You can’t visit Ireland without bumping into a church. These impressive buildings dominate the skyline in cities and small towns and beg to be visited.
You can’t enter a city or town that doesn’t have its very own castle. Ross Castle, 15th century in Killarney. Doonagore Castle 16th century, in Doolin. We see this one from our loft apartment window and is privately owned by an Irish American. Some castles are now hotels like Killane Castle in Wexford and Waterford Castle. There are tens of thousands of castles spread across Ireland. Most of them in ruin and yet their medieval, majestic charm continues to draw us travelers to them.
You can’t go out to the countryside without being compelled to go to a grocery store and stock up with carrots to feed the adorable donkeys. And, if no donkeys in sight, there are plenty of cows giving you a pleading feed-me look. Even in the city there are no lack of animal presence, this time in the form of statues.
You can’t walk more than a block without passing at least one probably three or four pubs to entice you in for a Guinness or in my case a refreshing 0.0 beer or cider.
The connection between these four things is how their contrasts are in harmony with their history, and how they blend together as a part of this beautiful Emerald Island.