Exploring Ireland

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Travels in Ireland, Germany and the like in Europe with regards to an earlier Celtic culture.

Transcript of Exploring Ireland

Exploring Ireland's Ancient MonumentsA few of Ireland's top cultural attractions

Rock of Cashel by Suzanne Barrett

Come and explore the ancient monuments and attractions of Ireland.Ireland is home to a vast array of historical and cultural attractions, which can easily be visited by holidaymakers arriving in the country. Car rental is an ideal way to explore these places of history and heritage, with many car hire companies available at airports and big cities, such as Dublin. Visitors to Ireland should make sure they go to the megalithic passage tomb at Newgrange, in County Meath. Built around 3200 BC, this historical attraction dates back to before the construction of the pyramids in Egypt. It has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site, welcoming over 200,000 visitors every year. The passage tomb is enclosed by a mound, which covers around an acre and is surrounded by 97 kerbstones that are decorated with megalithic art. The design of the passage and chamber means that they light up during the summer and winter solstice. However, experiencing this phenomenon could mean a long wait. For the 50 places that were available to book in 2003, 20,000 people applied.

County Meath is also home to the Great Mound at Knowth and is similar to the passagetomb at Newgrange. This monument was built around 5000 years ago and has guided

tours running from the Bru na Boinne Visitor Centre, close to the village of Donore. These tours run between April and October. Another place of interest is Kells, which is home to a round tower that was constructed to protect natives against the invading Vikings and remains today. The original monastery is also present and this is where the famous Book of Kells was created and housed over a thousand years ago. The book has since been moved to Trinity College Dublin, where thousands of people go to visit it every year. The landscape of Ireland transformed considerably due to the arrival of the Normans in the 12th century, with castles frequently dotted around the country. These forts come in many different shapes and sizes from the grand Rock of Cashel in County Tipperary, to the ruins of Kildownet Castle, which was once the Achill Island home to pirate queen Grace OMalley.

Until next time.Museum Exhibits: Four Million ArtifactsVisit the wide array of National Museum items on display at various locations

Photo by S. Barrett by Suzanne Barrett

Dublin is the main location of a well-visited museum that displays up to four millionhistorical artefacts, and Irish car hire users looking to view the wide collections may like to pay a visit to the National Museum of Ireland. However, the wide array of items exhibited by the attraction are spread among four different locations. Three are located within the city, while the fourth lies 240 kilometres from Dublin near Turlough Village, County Mayo. Visitors to the various complexes are greeted with a stunning array of

items that have been collected by the museum since it launched in 1877, when it took receipt of a collection of antique Irish coins and other historical artefacts. Over time, the museum has expanded and now has its individual sites devoted to several areas, including archaeology, decorative arts and history, natural history and country life - the last of which can be viewed at the County Mayo building. There is much to interest holidaymakers keen to view exhibits that hail from Ireland's past and those from overseas. For a glimpse into the artistic crafts that have been created in the Emerald Isle, visitors can attend the Art and Industry building located in Dublin's Collins Barracks. Here, they can learn the interesting history of the site itself, which was home to troops for 300 years.

In addition, there is much to see, including exquisite glassworks and many other worksof art that have been made from a variety of materials, such as metals, lace and ceramics. The building also has a section devoted to the transport methods used in the past, where visitors can view original 19th Century carriages. Moving on from here, day trippers can step back into the mists of time when ancient man walked the earth. Located just a short trip from Collins Barracks, the museum's Archaeology building located in Kildare Street boasts over two million objects, with some hailing from the stone age. Gold jewellery and ornaments from Viking and Medieval periods are likely to amaze visitors, as are items created in Roman and Classical Egyptian times. Due to reopen next year, the Natural History exhibit in the city is undergoing renovation. Once the works are completed visitors can marvel at the many animal specimens on show that offer insights into nature and the many animals that inhabit the plant. Drivers to County Mayo are free to stop off at the attraction's Country Life exhibit, which takes a detailed look at Irish culture and lifestyles from the Great Famine until the 1950s. Here visitors can learn and see items that have helped to shape the lives of Irish people. Exhibits feature information and items related to the country's religion, agricultural practices and sports and leisure pursuits.

Until next time.Exploring Ireland's Ancient MonumentsA few of Ireland's top cultural attractions

Rock of Cashel by Suzanne Barrett

Come and explore the ancient monuments and attractions of Ireland.Ireland is home to a vast array of historical and cultural attractions, which can easily be visited by holidaymakers arriving in the country. Car rental is an ideal way to explore these places of history and heritage, with many car hire companies available at airports and big cities, such as Dublin. Visitors to Ireland should make sure they go to the megalithic passage tomb at Newgrange, in County Meath. Built around 3200 BC, this historical attraction dates back to before the construction of the pyramids in Egypt. It has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site, welcoming over 200,000 visitors every year. The passage tomb is enclosed by a mound, which covers around an acre and is surrounded by 97 kerbstones that are decorated with megalithic art. The design of the passage and chamber means that they light up during the summer and winter solstice. However, experiencing this phenomenon could mean a long wait. For the 50 places that were available to book in 2003, 20,000 people applied.

County Meath is also home to the Great Mound at Knowth and is similar to the passagetomb at Newgrange. This monument was built around 5000 years ago and has guided tours running from the Bru na Boinne Visitor Centre, close to the village of Donore. These tours run between April and October. Another place of interest is Kells, which is home to a round tower that was constructed to protect natives against the invading Vikings and remains today. The original monastery is

also present and this is where the famous Book of Kells was created and housed over a thousand years ago. The book has since been moved to Trinity College Dublin, where thousands of people go to visit it every year. The landscape of Ireland transformed considerably due to the arrival of the Normans in the 12th century, with castles frequently dotted around the country. These forts come in many different shapes and sizes from the grand Rock of Cashel in County Tipperary, to the ruins of Kildownet Castle, which was once the Achill Island home to pirate queen Grace OMalley.

Until next time.Travel to Galway for the Safety Direct Galway International Rally Weekend

Photo courtesy Jane Huffman by Suzanne Barrett

Galway on the west coast of Ireland will be the venue for The Safety DirectGalway International Rally, which will be held from 5th February 2010 until the 7th February 2010. The administrative headquarters will be based at the Clayton Hotel and visitors to the event will be assured a war welcome and exciting racing entertainment during the weekend. Visitors to Dublin can hire a car and travel west out of the city along the M4 in the direction of County Galway. The village of Oranmore, where the main race section will take place is preparing itself for the onset of thousands of rally fans, all looking forward to three days of

fast-paced action. Due to severe flooding in south Galway, rally officials have had to revise to route and close roads as they prepare for the main event.

The ceremonial start of the weekend will begin on Friday night in the heart ofOranmore, with centralised service on Saturday and Sunday taking place in the Oran Precast grounds. The finish ramp ceremony will occur on the Sunday evening as the winning crews return to Oranmore village. The top entrants for the opening round of the Irish Tarmac Championship include Tim McNulty and David Moynihan, on board their Subaru S12B, while Kevin Barrett and Sean Mullally, winners of the Galway Summer Rally, will be racing in their Subaru S11. There will be large support for the local crew of JJ Fleming and David Hogan in another Subaru, with massive interest sure to follow the multi-award winning driver Craig Breen, who will be giving a debut on tarmac to the new Ford Fiesta S2000.

The new Citroen Racing challenge is proving to be a popular one withcompetitors, with this series, which consists entirely of Citreon C2 R2s, being headed by 2009 British C2 champion, Martin McCormack. There is local interest in the Modified entries series, where Tom Flaherty and Patrick Curley are on board their Ford Escort Mk2, as are fellow local entrants Tommy Flanagan and Leanne Flanagan. The three day rallying event continues to be as popular with the competitors as it is with the spectators and is set to bring 3.6 million to the local economy.

Until next time.Visiting Belfast

Queen's University - photo Belfast Visitor and Convention Bureau by Suzanne Barrett

Belfast, a city of 300,000, is the