Discover the Countryside of the Emerald Isle

COUNTRYSIDE OF THE EMERALD ISLE

The UK and Ireland are hugely popular destination for travellers from all over the world. England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales – four incredible countries, each with a wealth of fascinating attractions. But what are some of the treats in store for travellers?

The history

The UK and Ireland are both hot-spots for history-buffs. Thanks to the spread of culture in centuries past, this is where much of the western world took its cues, in everything from language to architecture. The cities of the UK and Ireland offer a charming mix of historical buildings and modern design. Marvel at the spires of York Minster, the largest gothic cathedral in northern Europe. Stroll through the cobbled streets of Edinburgh and gaze up at the majestic Edinburgh Castle. Punt along the canals of Cambridge (one of the world’s most famous university towns). And in Ireland, see Bunratty Castle, which dates back to the 1400s, and kiss the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle! Of course, no trip to Ireland is complete without seeing some of the landmarks associated with its turbulent history. For a taste of musical history, stroll the streets of Liverpool, home of The Beatles. When you’re done, rest your legs in one of the many historic pubs – there’s certainly no shortage of those in the UK and Ireland!

York Minster – England

The culture

Along with the cathedrals and castles, there are also many museums to explore, and a range of exquisitely-curated art galleries. You’ll find some of the most respected artists and performers in the world coming to the UK, so be sure to check local publications ahead of time to see who might be there when you visit! The live music scene in the UK and Ireland is also a big part of the culture, with local music venues hosting everything from traditional folk singers to modern rock bands and DJs. There’s also a huge respect and patronage for the world of dance, with many respected dance companies touring in the UK and Ireland throughout the year.

Irish Folk Singer

The scenery

The rolling green hills of England and Wales, the highlands of Scotland, and the wild charm of Ireland’s western coast – this region is famous for its countryside scenery. It’s not hard to imagine legions of iron-clad knights riding around in olden times, and it’s not just us that think so – Northern Ireland was used extensively in the popular Game of Thrones series, and countless other films make use of the UK and Ireland’s beautiful scenery too. The Cliffs of Moher (above) are one of the most famous attractions in all of Ireland – and it’s not hard to see why!

Cliffs of Moher in Ireland

The food

When one thinks of the cuisine of the British Isles, one normally thinks of comfort food. Fish and chips, bangers and mash, black pudding, haggis, Irish stew – all these (and many more) are traditional favourites, and are usually washed down with a pint of beer. There’s probably no better way to while away a rainy afternoon than setting up in a comfortable old pub and enjoying some of the traditional cuisine. But modern British cuisine has come a long way from these fairly basic starting points, with influences from around the world now informing many of the choices you’ll find on your local menu. Look around in each city, and along with the traditional favourites, you’ll find brilliant Indian, Turkish, Vietnamese, Chinese, West African, Caribbean and modern European restaurants – the British Isles are a great place to sample foods from all over the world.

Good ol’ Fish and Chips!

Sport

The British Isles are famous throughout the world for the sports that are played there. After all, this is the home of the Premier League! England is also the birthplace of rugby (named after the town of Rugby), and the seeing that the Rugby World Cup is being held here in 2015, there’s no better time to visit if you’re a fan of the game. Cricket is also a quintessentially English sport, with many famous stadiums in England. Golf had its start in Scotland, and is now one of the world’s most popular sports. And let’s not forget Hurling, a game with ancient Gaelic and Irish origins, which is a bit of a mix between field hockey, baseball and lacrosse – and is believed to be the world’s oldest field game. Interested?

Reprint from expatexplore.com

Our place in time…

I remember walking through Venice in a trance.  As my eyes took in the overwhelming beauty of the city my mind reeled with questions of how history and culture had carved out this unimaginable place.  Around every corner the bridges and pathways laid out a labyrinth of intrigue and story.  Each doorway was an invitation to explore the nature of this way of life.  How did this place come to be?  Who envisioned this remarkable water lined community and how am I so lucky to be here?  As I sat alone along a quiet canal, photographing homes that rose straight out of the water, I was struck by an awareness that I too was now part of its history.  My own footsteps had been added to the record of time as Venice and I took each other in.

As I travel I inherit fragments of each place, and take them with me on my path.  Venice inspires in me a sense of awe at what the swell of humanity is capable of.  Lives and footsteps and stories combine through history, each impacting its course, resulting in the very moment that I experience here and now.  As the culmination of time arrives through my senses I accept that my contribution is underway, and smile at the opportunity to make my mark.  I believe that each of us are here to participate in the unfolding of time and the evolution of culture.  As we expose ourselves to the world we open within ourselves new doors of understanding of what it means to be alive.

My arrival in Venice in 1996, was by train.  Railpass in hand, and backpack as companion, I scraped Liras out of my pockets for cheap accommodations and dined on pizza truck delicacies drinking stowed bottles of Italian wine.  The shoe string of my budget could not diminish the deliciousness of the experience but my next voyage will be by sea.

www.windstarcruises.com
Windstar Cruises

 

“Vacation with Europe’s elite along the sun-drenched shores of Croatia, Montenegro, and tiny Capri. Let your imagination soar as you travel through time to discover the magic of Venice, the grandeur of Rome, and the stunning beauty of the Dalmatian Coast. From the Grand Canal to St. Peter’s Square, this is a voyage of superlatives. “-www.windstarcruises.com

 

Are you are ready to make your mark on Venice?  Can you hear the flap of the sails as you travel the coastline of Italy; taste the wine and feel the Mediterranean sun on your skin?  If you are, call the expert agents at Niche Travel Group to make it happen.  Ask about a special discount rate for Canadian Travellers.

Niche Travel Group  902-407-4567

Faith@nichetravelgroup.ca

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