Aran Islands of Ireland

Travel Guide: Green Ireland, a Country to Discover

If someone 5 years ago said to me:

“One day you will move abroad.” I probably wouldn’t have believed them”.

However, life is so unpredictable that things sometimes happen because they are supposed to happen.

Nothing happens by accident.

Not everyone likes to leave their comfort zone.

In life, everyone has their own form of structure. Choosing to change or leave takes courage.

I chose change.

Like any change, at the beginning you are frightened, many questions, many doubts, a different culture, the rock of a new language to learn, find a job, settle in, create new friends, the climate, the food.

God, how many thoughts!

Thoughts justified by fear of change but which fade with time.

Our nature as humans teaches us that we are born to get used to change.

In this regard, I am reminded of the famous phrase by Charles Darwin in which he says:

“He is not the strongest who survives, nor the most intelligent, but the most open to change”.

By exerting resistance, resilience, and flexibility in the face of the change that grows, you discover the extent to which your resources are rich.

Although leaving your comfort zone may be difficult at first, travelling opens your mind, getting to know the culture, way of life, habits, and traditions of a country other than yours can only enrich you and fill you with knowledge.

Bruce Chatwin said, “Diversion, distraction, fantasy, changes in fashion, food, love and landscape. We need it like the air we breathe”.

It will be Ireland with its majestic views that will give me new eyes to look at, another heart that will get excited in front of an immense landscape and other ears to listen to different stories that I will meet along the way.

A pint, a cup of American, a glass of whiskey?

Food is one of those elements that belongs to the culture of a people and we know that Italians are a little spoiled and are not easily satisfied, especially when they move to another country; they always find an infinity of differences with respect to their dishes and the way they are prepared differently.

It represents a moment of aggregation for many cultures.

Every culture has its own traditions and customs linked to it.

For example, in Italy, mainly in the south is very much felt the custom of coffee.

Coffee should be taken almost always, you can not start the day if you have not had at least a cup of coffee, you meet with friends to sip coffee together and have a chat, or simply as an excuse for a work break, or again, it is very common to enjoy a cup of coffee before smoking a cigarette.

When I talk about coffee, I am mainly talking about espresso, not American coffee, mind you. This clarification is important because, for example, in Ireland or in England, when you refer to coffee, you prefer American coffee, which is diluted with water, longer than espresso, shorter and stronger. If for an Italian, espresso is a quick sip, for an Irish, the cup of American is the ideal company for the early hours of the morning. Speaking of express, a famous quote by Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord says: “Espresso is to Italy, as champagne is to France.” If, instead, I had to list the main moments of aggregation of the Irish culture, I am reminded of two main moments: beer, tea.

Beer is known to be an important and integral part of their culture. It is like an Italian coffee, and must always be drunk. On every occasion, in a moment of aggregation, beer can not miss. When we talk about beer, we immediately remember the Guinnes, a typical and famous Irish beer, so popular for its processing, produced with water, malted barley, roasted malted barley, hops and yeast, takes the typical color and flavor from a particular process of roasting barley that makes it a firm beer with a slightly bitter taste.

Irish pubs are also characteristic, whose atmosphere makes you feel at home. The furniture is mainly characterized by walls filled with paintings of different sizes, musical instruments, curtains and prints, aged wood, and upholstered armchairs, all accompanied by a warm light that creates an atmosphere that takes you back in time.

Ireland's Oldest Bar, Sean's Bar

Located right in the center of Emerald Island there is Sean’s Bar, Ireland’s oldest pub and, admiring the walls of this quaint place, you can see how old it is and consumed by all visitors who have gone there just for a beer.

In addition to beer, another custom rooted in their tradition, another moment of aggregation is the consumption of a cup of tea, the same meaning that is given to a cup of coffee. Eaten both in the afternoon with friends, but also in the morning accompanied by scones with jam or in the evening after dinner.

And what about the food?

When I am asked what you eat in Ireland, the first thing I spontaneously answer is the meat with its exceptional quality, followed by good cheeses among which there is the embarrassment of choice between those with soft pasta such as the Milleens with a delicate flavor, or the Cashel blue, Blue cow’s milk cheese, creamy and delicate; while among the hard cheeses I still remember the taste of the typical Corleggy, delicate and rich in herbs that give it a unique delicacy.

I have to admit, the meat is really very good. When the weather permits, a barbecue is a perfect opportunity to enjoy a nice grilled steak, marinated chicken wings, sipping good wine together with a group of friends.

Among the dishes that I would like to list because I had the pleasure of tasting I would mention the Chowder (a fish soup based on salmon, a mixture of seafood and potatoes), and the typical fish and chips dish (hake with a crispy batter and accompanied by potatoes).

If you are a meat lover, you can’t taste spiced beef, Irish Stew with onions and potatoes (lamb stew) or even roast stuffed turkey (Roast Turkey), a typical Christmas dish. To also add the typical Irish breakfast characterized by 2 sausages, 2 slices of bacon, 2 slices of Black and White Pudding (pork sausage), eggs, 2 medium-sized tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of beans or cooked mushrooms, bread in a white box or black toasted.

Finally, for the most demanding and greedy palates, Irish cuisine will amaze you with the Baileys cheesecake, Irish shortbread toffee bars, Irish apple cake with custard sauce, Guinness cake, one of the best Irish desserts.

I mean, you can easily adapt to Irish food. Of course, you won’t find the variety of products and dishes you usually enjoy in Italy, but this is always because the Italian food is spoiled with food and is uncontrollable.

The sky of Ireland

When I tell my friends about the weather and climate in green Ireland, they ask me:

“But how do you live there? I couldn’t see the sun for weeks”

Well, how to blame him, for those who are accustomed to more days of sun than clouds, living without sun or, in any case, with the prevalence of cloudy days, ventilated and rainy. Sometimes it is boring, but then you get used to it.

So if you suffer from the lack of sun, hate low temperatures and rain, Ireland is not the country for you.

There are days when I feel like I live in the tropics; heavy ten-minute showers followed by a blue and sunny sky, but this is the weather in Ireland.

Telling you of the weather, I think of the song of an Italian singer, Fiorella Mannoioa, who best describes the sky of Ireland. Some verses describe it like this:

The sky of Ireland is an ocean of clouds and light. 

The sky of Ireland is a carpet that runs fast.

The sky of Ireland has your eyes if you look up there.

The sky of Ireland is a huge rain hat.

The sky of Ireland sometimes makes the world black and white.

But after a moment, the colors make them shine more than the truth.

But there is a point to emphasize. When the weather is nice, you fall in love with it.

In summer there is light until 23:00 and the days seem endless. At sunset, the light is splendid, clean, and then the air you breathe is not polluted.

If Ireland had the climate of Italy, maybe I would never leave it again. It would be a perfect country to live in.

Summer, for example, is not as warm. When it’s hot, the maximum temperature reaches 25 degrees. Only the first summer I moved in. I saw 30 degrees for two weeks, but it was an accident. One thing I love is the lack of mosquitoes that are killing me, so I’m glad there aren’t any here. In August, but it is already winter again and the temperatures are moving to 15-10 degrees.

Landscapes and their unspoiled nature

If you love photography, and prefer landscape photography, then you are in the right place.

If you like majestic landscapes surrounded by greenery, imposing cliffs overlooking the ocean, and unspoilt nature dominated by rich flora and fauna, then you will love it.

All photography enthusiasts can find fertile ground in Irish landscapes for their eyes, but above all, they will bring home a priceless experience.

It all depends on the tastes that everyone has and what they are looking for, of course.

Ireland also has a lot to offer. There is plenty of choice between walks surrounded by nature, trails to skirt by bike or horseback riding.

Among the things to do, there are immense golf courses where you can enjoy an afternoon with friends. If you are a fishing enthusiast, you can not find rivers where you can fish for nice salmon, trout and lake fish, or you can take a canoe day along the long rivers. For surfing connoisseurs, don’t forget to ride the waves of Bundoran, the Irish surfing capital, located in County Donegal, along the Wild Atlantic Way.

In short, the activities to be carried out satisfy all tastes.

For lovers of long hikes, where distances are not a problem and walking is your favorite activity, there is no need to worry. The trails characterized by different levels of difficulty will accompany you for long miles for many hours. Do not be surprised if along the way you will meet cute sheep and cows grazing.

If you prefer quiet places, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and prefer contact with nature, silence will be able to give you what you need, almost becoming your best friend.

Personally, when I am in touch with nature, I am at peace with myself. Indeed, I will tell you more, I prefer the silence of parks, the chirping of birds, to contact with human beings.

For eyes that know how to look and ears that know how to listen, you will be surrounded by a magical and fairy-tale atmosphere that only the lights and shades of the sunsets can create, giving you a moment of inner peace. If, at that moment, you have the camera in your hands, you are lucky because you managed to seize the moment. I would conclude by saying that living away from your comfort zone is not always simple. That, the lack of family friends you often feel but the new experiences you collect, the stories you meet on your path and places you have the opportunity to visit do nothing other than enrich yourself, so my advice is: “Travel, live your best by collecting new adventures and you will not regret it.”

“The only rule is: don’t come back as you left. Come back different.” – Anne Carson

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