"Kiss me, I'm Irish"
In Ireland, you'll discover that there is a lot more to kiss than old stones in Blarney. In fact, traditionally we say that "When gorse is out of blossom, kissing's out of fashion" (Amusingly enough, gorse is the longest flowering plant in Ireland.) In 2007, Galway was named one of the eight "sexiest cities" in the world. So if you don't have a kissing partner, Galway could be a great place to search for a suitable candidate. Note that Galway is full of native Gaelic speakers. So if they are attempting to entice you with Pg mo Thin (Kiss my ass)! you can safely assume that W.B Yeats is right. Romantic Ireland is dead and gone. Or possibly dead but still twitching. Fear not, if you can't find a suitable kissing partner, you can always grab a 'Galway Hooker'. This is a local craft beer that goes down easily!
"I do".. Again
While on your Vagabond Tour of Ireland, all this romance in the air may encourage you to renew your wedding vows. Kilmalkedar Church on the Dingle Peninsula may just be the ideal location. Here, there is an ancient Celtic Ogham stone which has a hole in it. Today many archaeologists believe this carved stone may have been used by pagan druids to perform ancient marriage ceremonies in pre Christian times. The ogham writing could have been added in the early Christian period. It's an ideal opportunity for you and your partner to slip your fingers in, let them meet in the middle and the magic is renewed. It truly is the best way to have your relationship "Set in Stone".
"Go forth and multiply"
The Irish took the phrase,"Go forth and multiply" very seriously. We believe we have successfully conquered the world, (through reproduction). Globally there are over over 70 million people claiming Irish ancestry. This national ambition to "Spread the love", has resulted in the global phenomenon of the Irish being everywhere. On St Patrick's Day it seems, the world over becomes Irish. It doesn't matter whether you are wandering down South Boston in the United States, Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia or O'Connell St in Dublin, everyone joins in the celebrations on the St Patrick's Day festival. Everyone wants to be Irish cause everyone loves the Irish.
Guinness is Good for You.
Master brewer Arthur Guinness invented Guinness in 1759. But with 21 children in his home in St James Gate in Dublin, there was certainly no fear of 'Brewer's Droop'. Old tales talk about Olivia, Arthur's wife, being very deaf. Apparently every night, Arthur would arrive home late from work and curl in beside Olivia. He would whisper in her ear, "Shall we sleep or what?". To which she would reply, "What?"
Romantic Hotels of Ireland
When it comes to romantic hotels, we at Vagabond, have included some of the best available. Our northern tours include Beech Hill Country House. Along the west coast, we stay at the Mount Falcon estate or the Waterfront House in Enniscrone. Ireland is well known for its castles. And a castle hotel is always a highlight. In Connemara, our Vagabond Tours stay at Abbeyglen Castle. And in Northern Ireland our Driftwood Tours stay at Ballygally Castle. But many a visitor to Ireland describes Gougane Barra in the south as the ultimate romantic setting. Indeed many Irish do too. This is where I proposed to Genevieve. I caught her on a good day. She responded "Absolutely".
Ashford Castle in Co Galway is truly startling. In fact, the only time I stayed there, we were on our honeymoon. Ashford Castle was recently voted the No.3 Hotel in the world. If romance is in the air, you could always add additional nights to your holiday & include Ashford Castle. (Please note all Vagabond Tours start and finish in Dublin.)
Lisdoonvarna Match Making Festival
Traditionally once the Irish farmer had the hay in the barn and the peat stacked high in the shed, it was then time to consider other matters close to the heart. Today, Europe's largest singles event takes place in a small town in West Clare. Every September, Lisdoonvarna is packed with singles (from "Cork, New York, Dundalk, Gorthahalk and Glenamaddy") looking for love or something anyway.
And so is Yeats correct when he said that "Romantic Ireland is dead and gone". I don't think so. I just think it can be hard to locate Romantic Ireland. Also I believe Yeats, like all great Irishmen, was a romantic at heart. Didn't he also say "Tread softly, because you tread on my dreams".
So come join us on a Vagabond / Driftwood tour. We are presently taking bookings for the 2018 season. Our motto at Vagabond is "We want you to love Ireland as much as we do". Check out our consistently excellent reviews on Trip Advisor.