Ireland: Through Neil and Orla’s Eyes

 

Where are you originally from?​ 
Dublin, Ireland

PEOPLE

In one word or sentence, how do you describe your people?
Irish people are incredibly kind, helpful and easy going and laugh lots.

On a scale of 1-10, how well does your country speak English?
10

Can you give a key phrase/word/expression that people in your country usually say?
“craic” To use it in context “we are having the craic here”. It means having fun/good time.

How do I say “hello/thank you/please/sorry” in your language?
While only a very small section of the population speak Irish (Gaelic) locals would be delighted to hear a tourist say these words.
Hello = Dia dhuit
Thank you = go raibh maith agat
Please = le do thoil
Sorry = brón orm

Are you more like laid back or party people?
Party People for sure. The Irish are world renowned for their fun times.

FOOD​

Best food? Weirdest food? Local food to try?
Best food would have to be an Irish Lamb Stew. Our weirdest food would be “colcannon”, this is a simple dish that is made up of mashed potatoes and cabbage or kale. A great Dublin local food to try would be “coddle, it is made up of boiled ham, sausages, rashers, potatoes, onion and carrots all served in a ham broth.

Best drink? Local drink to try?
While there is a huge boom of local craft beers and Gin in Ireland, you have to have at least 1 pint of Guinness while you are here. It doesn’t taste the same anywhere else in the world.

How is breakfast served in your country?
A “full Irish breakfast” is made up of pan fried sausages, rashers, black and white pudding and eggs. You can add baked beans, mushrooms, tomatoes and sometimes boxty (potato pancake). served with a BIG mug of tea and toast. YUM!

CULTURE​

The best festival to attend?
Ireland is full of festivals but for the best craic the Dingle Trad Festival in County Kerry would be a great one to attend. It features both local talent and world renowned musicians.

Which sport are you guys crazy about?
G.A.A (Gaelic Athletic Association). This is our national sport and full of action and excitement.

What is the craziest thing to do in your country?
Swimming or surfing in the Atlantic without a wet-suit. Ireland is at the very edge of Europe and the west coastline is the Atlantic ocean, its bracing to say the least.
What excursions and/or activities do you extremely suggest that visitors MUST do?
Dublin city walking tour, this is a great way of seeing the sights in the city while also getting to learn more about its history. Hiking in the Wicklow Mountains. Driving the Wild Atlantic Way. The Skellig Islands. Killarney National Park. Go night kayaking on Lough Hyne in County Cork. Whale and Dolphin watching. The Burren National Park. The Giants Causeway. Newgrange and the Boyne Valley.

Are there any local customs a visitor should be sensitive to?
Don’t be surprised or offended if someone keeps insisting that you take/drink/eat something, its something we do here (go on, go on, go on, go on) best to just say yes and go with it.

PLACES​

What is/are the most surreal places/landmarks to visit?
Glendalough in County Wicklow for mystical atmosphere at an early Christian site. The dark sky reserves in County Kerry and County Mayo for spectacularly clear night skies. The medieval Castles dotted around the country for a glimpse into Ireland’s royal past.
Can you name a place that most people have not heard of? A secret spot perhaps!
The Comeragh Mountains in County Waterford. Here you will find some beautiful hiking and mountain lakes to swim in.

Where can visitors find the best beach?
Narin beach , County Donegal. A 2km long beach that offers great swimming and epic sunsets.

If I’m staying for less than a week, which city should I choose?
Dublin City.

COUNTRY​

In one word or sentence, how do you describe your country?
Ireland truly is the land of saints and scholars, stunning landscape and great people.

How many days at least should a visitor spend in your country?
A full 14 days in Ireland would give a visitor enough time to take in the main sights with some leisure time while not feeling rushed. To get off the beaten path you would need more time.

When is the best time to visit?
September is our favorite time to explore Ireland as all the Irish kids have gone back to school and there are less tourists.

Can you give an interesting trivia about your country?
The Irish Republic was only founded 96 years ago (1922) after 800 years of British rule.

What is your country’s most popular stereotype/cliché?
Being drunk! 🙂

TRAVEL

Are you a traveler? Which place is your favorite so far?
Yes we are (myself and my partner, Orla). The time I spent in Jasper National Park, Canada was some of the best times of our lives.

What’s your best travel story?
While in a hostel in Cambodia a HUGE spider fell from the roof onto my open backpack. Freaking out, I sought the help of a staff member who proceeded to whack the spider with his set of keys. Little did we know the spider was carrying an egg sack which then exploded all over my clothes and the floor. With a laugh and smile the staff member walked away simply stating “oh, many babies”. I spent 3 hours cleaning everything I owned with the ‘bum hose’ and I am still convinced one of the little babies stowed away to Ireland in my bag.

Why do you love traveling? 
The very notion of us getting into a car, a train or onto a plane to seek a new adventure, thrills us no end. We are firm believers that this world we call home, is worth sharing with everyone around us. Learning to remember to stop every so often, soak in the landscape around us and just be in it, is a skill that takes time to hone and we believe only learned from travel. Taking some time to explore, or in our case (hopefully) a lifetime, is worth trading any other life for.

ABOUT NEIL AND ORLA

Instagram: @allthewaysyouwander
Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/MrBigneilo
Website/Blog: http://www.allthewaysyouwander.com

Capturing the little moments in between, whether it’s with pen and paper or a camera, drives us to seek out experiences. It is the connection with people, culture and the overwhelming, awe-inspiring beauty of the landscape we surround ourselves in, is what truly inspires us to travel.

Others: http://www.neilarthurs.ie
E-mail: neilarthurs@gmail.com