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Ireland For Todays Tourist.
Ireland today is being promoted heavily by the hotels and businesses that stand to gain financially from the tourism industry. The main thrust of their campaigns seems to be based on the quality of their accommodation. They do have a lot to offer in the modern hotels with indoor heated swimming pools, fully equipped gyms, a quality dining experience, luxury surroundings and much much more. But, it seems to me that the modern traveller needs more than a high standard of accommodation. He/she needs an attractive and interesting destination to generate a truly memorable holiday. After all few people travel halfway around the world just to stay in the hotel and see nothing of the surrounding country.
Ireland is a destination that can match any in the world. It has an ancient culture full of life and tradition. This culture is growing and changing almost daily. A visitor to Ireland, ‘The Land Of A Thousand Welcomes’ will witness this change from an ancient culture of tradition filled with myths and legends, superstition and religious fanaticism to a modern culture which is still deeply religious and respectful of its traditional heritage but now tempers this with the high standard of education the young people get today. What is there to see? Ireland has a great tradition in theatre.
We are not short of theatres in Ireland though of course we can always use more. Nor are we short of racetracks, but, I am not going to list all the activities that await the discerning visitor. That would mean that this would just turn into a long long list. I just want to highlight some of what I think are the more interesting ones. The Arts Festivals and Music Festivals are not to be missed. The Arts Festivals are a coming together of all the best of Irish Arts including but not limited to theatre, spectacle, street art, music, comedy, literature, music and more with many participants visiting from other countries. The Galway Arts Festival (recommended) goes from July 13th to July 30th. The scenery in Ireland is famous throughout the world and with places like Roundstone in Galway, the Ring of Kerry and the cliffs of Moher in Clare on your itinerary you cannot go wrong. There are old castles and traditional stately homes like Bunratty Castle and Westport House and Ashford Castle and Clonalis House. For those who like that sort of thing there is a long list of them beautifully restored and looking at least as good as they did when they were in use, and many of them even offer accommodation usually to a standard difficult to match anywhere in the world.
No matter what part of Ireland you visit now you will find a shopping experience that will impress. The large multi-national companies seem to have a local branch almost everywhere, alongside the indigenous shops who have a more traditional offering. Small country towns still have the old style shops where you can get almost anything and some of them even still have a pub behind the shop. There are many show-farms to visit, hurling matches to see and people to talk to. The traditional Irish thatched cottage is still in use by ordinary people in many parts of Ireland. Though they are seen by many to be old and dated they are admired and appreciated by as many more. There are many islands around Ireland, but, if you are heading west I recommend that you visit The Aran Islands. You can fly or sail there are now a number of companies running boats several times a day. They will give a view of Ireland and an insight into our culture not found anywhere else in the country. If you don’t have enough reason to visit Ireland now I don’t know what to say.
Good luck, and God bless.
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