In 2011 here is one of the places that I would love to visit.
I have traveled through and enjoyed many trips to the Emerald Isle. It is a relaxing place for me to visit because I am Irish and it so reminds me of my dear mother, grandmother and my childhood home.
The beauty of Ireland just takes my breath away at times and simple photos from my past visits can make me long for the comforts of one of their many country manor houses. Even at this time of year, winter, I would greatly enjoy a peat fire and a spot of tea and some scones with jam and cream at Ballymalloe House in Shanagarry, Co. Cork.
If I landed there tomorrow morning taking an overnight flight from Chicago, I would opt for flying to Shannon, I would then rent myself a car. Of course, it would be one with an automatic transmission since I have not driven on the Irish roads for several years. It would most definitely prove too much for me to follow the map or GPS, as well remembering to stay to my left without automatic.
I would head for Shanagarry via Adare a delightful little village with thatched roof cottages. It is actually known as Ireland’s prettiest towns. From there I would just head south and enjoy the beautiful scenery ending up at Ballymalloe House.
I would have requested accommodations in the main house on the second floor where I could view the beautiful landscape.
My plan would allow me to spend at least 5 days there so that I could relax, unwind and just enjoy the warm hospitality of the Allen family who own and operate this wonderful country manor house.
Day trips would be a must…one to Cork, a city, which I very much enjoy…one to Cobh the last port of call for the Titanic and one to Kinsale a quaint fishing village which happens to have a “sister city” here in the U.S.A …Newport, Rhode Island which is another of my favorite places.
On the way home I would chose to depart from Dublin…as I cannot go to Ireland with a visit to this grand city.
Tired but happy I would return to Chicago with more memories to last me til my next Irish visit.