Ireland; a small country that gained independence from Britain in 1921, that comes with a big reputation. Along with romantic preconceptions of lyrically sounding locals, proud of their local brews, their 'craic' who greet you with “top of the morning yo you” are the expectations of a green and ancient landscape, covered in sheep with tiny lanes and stone fences. Much of this is true, some of it embellishments by TV, but Ireland has an astonishing diversity of landscapes for a small island. The countries villages are strewn with attractive churches, distinctive round-towers, castles and tower houses, all reminding us of the turbulent history of prior ages during successive invasions. Now, a peaceful country, most travellers and visitors arrive and begin their journey through Ireland in Dublin, and no trip to Dublin is complete without visiting the home of Guinness.
The most recent challenge to Ireland has been an economic one during the financial crisis, but the flip side is that for tourist the prices have fallen making the destination, which uses the Euro currency, a more affordable country to explore, perfect for the budget minded intrepid traveller.
The following pictures are mostly from a couple of trips I made to Dublin for two Stag weekends. Dublin's a great place to visit and party, hopefully they will inspire you to do something similar!