Introducing A New Social Community For Movers To Ireland

I often receive e-mails from readers asking me for tips about moving to Ireland.  Finding a trusted, thorough, and well researched resource was not easy, well not until now. The Ireland Move Club has been specially designed to help answer the questions that arise along the way, when planning a move to Ireland.

Liam, the creator of an Irish website called Got Ireland, recently made the move back to his hometown of Cork from California. Along the way he learned much about the ups and downs of moving a family half way round the world.

I was delighted to hear Liam has started this new online venture, to share his knowledge, and first-hand information gained through his journey.  And so over to Liam ….

The Ireland Move Club

Before I start I’d like to say thank you to Mairéad for giving me the opportunity to submit a guest post on Irish American Mom. Like many of you, I have been a longtime fan of Mairéad’s blog, and have watched it grow into an incredible Irish cultural resource over the last few years.

Mairéad has been kind enough to let me tell you a little bit about my brand new website – The Ireland Move Club. I like to describe the Ireland Move Club as a social community for movers to Ireland.

It’s a place where those of you planning on moving to Ireland (and those of you just dreaming about it) can come to meet, share stories, experiences, knowledge and more. You can participate purely as an observer, or you can seek out advice and information which will help you plan your move.

For those of you who live in Ireland, or those who have moved here, you can get involved and help others out with information you might have that they need. Similar to other online communities, you can create your own profile, send messages, make friends, participate in interest groups, and even have a little fun along the way.

Aside from the community aspect of the website, I’ve been busying myself creating practical international moving advice which I’m sharing in the form of blog posts on the site. My goal is to build up a repository of first-hand information that can help others facing similar logistical issues with moving to, and settling in, Ireland.

For example, you might learn a thing or two about what’s involved in bringing your pet dog to
Ireland, or some tips to help you choose an international shipping company.

If you’d like to find out more, become involved, offer some useful advice, or simply just do a little browsing around, I invite you over to The Ireland Move Club.

 

Logo - The Ireland Move Club

 

Wishing Liam every success with his new life back home in Ireland, and I hope the Ireland Move Club will grow into a vibrant, active website where community members help and encourage each other as they plan new beginnings in Ireland.

 

Slán agus beannacht leat!

(Goodbye and blessings)

 

Irish American Mom

The Irish Cuppa Tea Plus A Giveaway From Dolmen County Retailers

Believe it or not, Ireland is one of the leading consumers of tea per capita on the planet. Now I would have assumed India or China might receive this honor, but no, the people of Turkey, Morocco and Ireland love their cuppa the most.

And I for one, am a tea-loving, Irish woman. I love to start my day with a nice, warm cup of tea, or should I say pot of tea, because one cup is never enough.

And so today, let’s explore this phenomenon of Irish tea drinking, followed by a wonderful “Tea for Two” giveaway, sponsored by Dolmen County Retailers.

Before I share the details of this giveaway, let’s first enjoy a little ramble about the Irish cuppa tea ……

Cup of Tea and Biscuits

The Introduction of Tea To Ireland:

 

Tea was introduced to the Emerald Isle by the Anglo Irish aristocracy in the nineteenth century. This new Indian import was way too expensive for regular Irish laborers to enjoy in the early years of that century.

Before the Great Hunger, tea was reserved for guests of honor only, likely the doctor or the priest. However, once Ireland’s economy improved in the latter half of the 1800’s, the nation’s affinity for this hot brew just grew and grew.

Vintage China Teacup, Saucer and Plate

Rules of Irish Tea Making:

 

By the turn of the twentieth century every Irish mother was an expert tea maker. Or perhaps I should say “tay maker”.

In the Irish language the word for tea is “tae”, and is pronounced “tay”, which explains why so many cups of “tay” are poured in Ireland every day.

And believe me, every Irish mother knows exactly how SHE makes her tea.

God forbid you forget to scald the pot before adding the leaves or the tea bags. This scalding process involves adding a small amount of boiling water to the empty pot, swishing it around for at least 10 seconds to remove any residue from previous brews, then discarding the hot water.

When I was a little girl in the 1970’s I only remember tea being made with loose tea leaves. In the 1980’s the popularity of tea bags grew. Irish tea drinkers quickly discovered the ease of clean up with this wonderful invention.

But now, back to the rules …..

Only boiling water is acceptable to “wet the tay.” None of this tepid, warm water found in so many American hotels for dunking tea bags hiding weak, tasteless tea leaves.

A boldly flavored, black leaf is imperative for proper Irish tea.

Irish tea is brewed in a teapot rather than directly in a cup.

This facilitates the process of properly “drawing the tay.” Exactly how long the pot must linger over a low heat to produce the perfect shade of brown varies from family to family, and even from person to person within a family.

And for some Irish mothers, the pot must be swaddled in a homemade, knitted, tea cozy to achieve perfection.

http://www.irishamericanmom.com/2014/06/21/blueberry-scones

How The Irish Drink Their Tea:

 

Some like it weak, some like it strong, but nearly all Irish people like it hot. No ice tea for most true Irish men and women.

And don’t get me started on sweet tea. Just like coffee, it’s not for this Irish gal. Even after living in the southern United States for the best part of eighteen years, I still can’t drink this southern favorite.

But I digress. Back to the Irish hot brew ……

Some Irish like their tea as dark as porter when it’s finally poured from the pot, and nine times out of ten milk is added.

No fancy lemons or flavorings.

Just a drop or two or ten of milk, and for some a spoonful of sugar helps the tay go down.

Tea and Scone

Hmmm Yummy

The Famous Irish “Cuppa”:

 

In Ireland a “cuppa” always refers to tea. No “cup a joe” is associated with the term “cuppa”.

We’ll stick to ordering “a cup of coffee”, and reserve the highly honored title of cuppa for none other than our favorite beverage.

In fact, having a “cuppa and a chat”, may be Ireland’s favorite pastime.

Of course there are a few superstitions surrounding your cuppa, with floating tea leaves and rising bubbles predicting the arrival of strangers, letters and riches. If bubbles rise to the top money is on the way. But in some parts, to receive your fortune you need to lift the bubbles onto a spoon before they burst on the edges of the cup.

In my granny’s house floating tea leaves indicated a letter was on its way, but alack and alas there are no more letters in our tea with the adoption of tea bags. E-mails and tea bags must have ensured the demise of letters in the mail. In some parts, floating leaves meant a stranger would soon arrive at your door.

I remember rescuing a floating leaf, placing it on the back of my left hand beneath my thumb, then thumping it with the side of the other hand. The number of hits it took to get the leaf to stick to the other hand told how many days you had to wait for your letter. Perhaps others counted the days to wait for the stranger to arrive in this same manner, and I believe some counted the years till they wed in the same way.

Green and gold china teacup

Irish Pubs Must Serve Tea:

 

No respectable Irish household would be found without tea, and believe it or not, Irish pubs are legally required to provide tea.

I was so surprised to discover this little intricacy of Irish law, but perhaps that’s how those who abstain from alcoholic drinks came to be known as “tea totallers”

 

Irish Customs When Offering A Cuppa:

 

Now when offered a cup of tea in Ireland it is customary to first decline, and to await a second offering of refreshment. In a previous post, I explored this little Irish cultural nuance. One reader, Milly explained this Irish habit beautifully in the comments section of that post:

 

“During the famine, a host, to be polite, would offer their guest some refreshments.

The guest would understand that it was likely there were no refreshments to be had,

and would politely decline.  If the host had nothing to offer,

no further offer would be made, and both parties would understand the situation.

If a second offer was made, it would mean that the host was in fact

in a position to provide their guests food/drink,

and at this point the guest may accept.”

 

Thanks for this wonderful insight, Milly.

A Cuppa Tea In The Hand

 A Cuppa Tea In The Hand:

 

Another peculiar Irish tradition is the offer of a “cuppa tea in the hand.”  When a hostess doesn’t want to put too much pressure on a guest to indulge in a cuppa, the invitation is worded as follows:

 

“Ah sure, you’ll just have a quick cuppa tea in the hand.”

 

The simple sentence is full of innuendo and hidden intent. The hostess is telling her guest she understands what a busy person her guest just happens to be. There is no pressure to have a cuppa, but if the guest does decide to imbibe, a quick departure will be totally understood. There isn’t even an expectation that the guest would have time to sit down.  A cup of tea can always be gulped down standing up if the world is calling.

Oh, the nuances of Irish tea drinking ….

 

Tea for Two from Dolmen Retaileers

The Prize – A “Tea for Two” Giveaway Sponsored By Dolmen County Retailers:

 

Customized gift card from Dolment County Retailers

To celebrate the importance of tea drinking in Irish culture, Des Lee from Dolmen County Retailers has graciously sponsored a prize for a giveaway for readers of Irish American Mom.

One lucky winner will receive a Tea for Two Giftpack containing a box of Barry’s Gold Blend Teabags, 2 packets of Ireland’s favorite chips or crisps – Tayto cheese and onion flavor, and 4 Jacob’s Club Milk chocolate biscuits, a perfect treat with a cuppa tea.

Dolmen County Retailers is a new business whose goal is to bring you a taste of Ireland, even when you are far away from home.  Irish people living abroad often long for a taste of home. Sometimes it’s Irish tea they crave, or biscuits or a special chocolate bar or crisps, or a favorite treat from childhood. Dolmen County Retailers aim to provide a full range of these items which are easy to order with a few clicks of a mouse. Des Lee and his team take care of the rest, shipping your favorites to wherever you are in the world!

They even include customized message cards at no extra charge.

 

The Giveaway:

 

I’m making just a slight change in the giveaway entry process this time around. With more and more entries for each little competition on my blog, manually writing out tickets is beginning to take quite a bit of time. 

There’s something about paper cutting and pens that attracts little ones. Whenever I heard a little voice ask: “What you doing, Mom?”, I started to reflexively respond with “Don’t touch anything.”

So I thought I would give Rafflecopter a try, to see how well it works. I’m hoping it will make the whole process of running raffles smooth and easy.

Extra entries can be obtained by following along on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. Just log in to the widget below with your name and e-mail address and you should be guided through the steps for entering.

I hope it isn’t too difficult, and thanks to all who comment and enter this little giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A big thank you to Dolmen County Retailers for providing this lovely prize. Feel free to leave a comment, even if you choose not to enter the giveaway.  I look forward to hearing your stories about tea.  

Slán agus beannacht leat!

(Goodbye and blessings)

 

Irish American Mom

 

And now a little bit of legalize through a quick disclosure: Irish American Mom does not have any financial connection with Dolmen County Retailers and did not receive payment for publishing this post and giveaway. I simply wish to help spread the word about this new Irish business venture. Thank you to all who support the wonderful Irish and Irish American enterprises who sponsor giveaways on my site.

Top Ten Reasons Why Tourists Love Ireland

I count amongst the millions of people worldwide, who simply love Ireland.  My deep feelings of connection are understandable, since I was born in Dublin.

However, after living in America for over twenty years, I have come to realize, many who have never even set foot on Irish soil, feel the same affinity for our little island.

Irish Scenery Collage

Many reasons explain why we love Ireland.  I suppose every tourist holds in their heart a very personal and special reason why they make the journey across the miles to visit the Emerald Isle.

And I am quite certain some visitors leave Ireland perplexed, unable to figure out what all this Irish, nostalgic hoopla is all about.

And so, in today’s post I thought I would explore the great big WHY.

 

Why do so many hold Ireland dear to their hearts?

 

I have browsed through numerous posts on the internet where reasons to love Ireland are eloquently listed.  I found some focused too much, on what I consider superficial reasons, such as the pubs and the Guinness.

Now don’t get me wrong, Guinness is a fine Irish product and its invention is plenty reason to admire Ireland and the Irish, but in my book, Ireland’s magic springs from a deeper, more spiritual place.

And so, without further ado, here are my top ten reasons, why I think tourists love Ireland.

Irish Animals Collage

 

1. Our Own Unique Music

 

I must confess Irish music makes my heart swell with joy.  Every time I hear the rhythmic beat of a reel or a jig, I take a deep breath, my insides do a little somersault, and my foot inevitably begins to tap.  I don’t know if this is a reflexive expression of my Irish genes, or just sheer appreciation for the vitality of this passionate music form. I truly believe Irish music is a deeply resonant and beautiful expression of our unique culture.

For a country as small as Ireland, it’s amazing how far and wide our music has reached.  Irish dancing classes are taught as far afield as China, which for me is evidence of the uplifting qualities of our tunes.

Most tourists to Ireland take time to enjoy at least one traditional Irish music session at some point on their itinerary.  The moment a listener makes the vital decision to join in, magic happens.

By clapping those hands and tapping those toes, visitors experience the rich and intricate combinations of notes and rhythms, at a spiritual level. Irish music can simply stir the soul.

 

2. Festivals:

 

Ireland is a land of festivals especially during the summer months. With a little planning tourists are sure to find a festival of interest celebrating everything from the arts, architecture, fashion, film, food, literature, music, theatre, and much, much more.

I know you think I’ve lost my marbles by including festivals in this list. At first glance these festivals may appear to be tourist traps. But that is far from the case.

Festivals are part of who we are as a people, part of the tapestry of our wonderful, cultural history. Our Celtic forefathers celebrated the seasons with four distinct festivals. Their social lives revolved around fairs and markets held during these carnivals.

In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries fairs and marts were held at regular intervals throughout the year, and were highly anticipated by native Irish people. Dancing, drinking and revelry accompanied the more mundane tasks of paying the rent and selling farm animals and produce.  Coming together to connect and to celebrate is part of who we are as a people.

Irish festivals are all about interaction, where the depth and uniqueness of individual Irish characters are waiting to be discovered. Irish people seldom strive for commonality, but revel in the diversity of their individuality. At an Irish festival you meet a cohort of characters unmatched anywhere in the world. Festival goers possess a love of stories, talk and music, a deep-seated wildness, and above all else, an affinity for fun, or what we Irish call ‘divilment’.

http://www.irishamericanmom.com/2013/01/11/why-are-irish-americans-so-captivated-by-ireland/

 

3. A Hundred Thousand Welcomes:

 

“Céad míle fáilte” is one of the most loved Irish expressions worldwide, and it literally means a hundred thousand welcomes. Irish people are very proud of the welcome they extend to visitors.  Now I hope I’m not painting a picture of smiling leprechauns greeting you with a canned “Top of the Morning” salutation at the airport.

No!  Ireland’s welcome is more subtle.  It revolves around a chat, a friendly nod, a reserved inquisitiveness. A lady I met on a plane when I was returning to America once told me:

 

“Ireland feels like a dear old friend.”

 

 

I love this description, and I truly hope visitors feel welcomed home by their dear friend, Ireland.

 

4. Peace and Tranquility:

 

The moment I set foot on Irish soil, an overwhelming sense of calm and peace, overcomes me. I always think of Yeats’ poem The Lake Isle of Inishfree.

 

“And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a-glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.”

 

 

Ireland offers true quietness for those who seek tranquility. I believe it is one of the best countries in the world to relax and unwind. Remote and romantic, Ireland offers a laid-back charm, with a unique sense of place.

The sound of silence in rural Ireland is unparalleled. For me, it is a hymn to the surrounding landscape and magnificent scenery.

Even when the rain falls in bucketfuls, as is so apt to happen, it simply takes an evening sitting by an open fire for real warmth and peace to transform the soul. The scent of a turf fire, appreciated from the comfort of a welcoming chair, is simply magic.

History All Around in Ireland

 

5. History All Around:

 

In Ireland, the old and the new co-mingle with grace. Our ancient past is evident nearly everywhere through our history, music, art, and architecture.

In America 100 years is considered “old”. But in Ireland one hundred year old buildings are considered modern additions.  In every small town and village visitors encounter sites much older than historical landmarks found in America

To sum it up, Ireland is steeped in history, and that history is evident everywhere you go. Ireland’s first known settlement began way back in 8,000 BC.  Newgrange, is older than the pyramids. The land boasts ancient castles, dolmens, burial tombs, arched bridges, round towers, and monastic ruins, dotted here and there throughout the countryside.

Preservation of our history is no accident. Reverence for ancient sites is inherent in some Irish souls.  Farmers plough in circles around ancient monuments, afraid to disturb the memory of long lost ancestors. Museums are frequented by both young and old, eager and willing to learn and preserve our country’s fascinating past.

 

6. Folklore and Stories:

 

Rest assured a story awaits you in Ireland. From tour guides to barmen, shop keepers to farmers, everyone treasures stories of our recent history and distant past.  Ireland’s charm is wrapped in myths and legends.

Our stories are filled with heroic warriors, deadly goddesses and trouble-making supernatural creatures. Folk tales from mainland Europe focus more on fairy godmothers, talking animals and, of course, wicked stepmothers. A few colleens with a severe lack of maternal instinct also feature in Irish myths, but in contrast to the Hans Christian Anderson variety of fairy tale, the Irish ones are filled with romance and tragedy, ghosts and other worldly beings. To tell you the truth, some of these tales would frighten the life out of a child today. But these stories are part of who we are, and feature regularly on tourist trails.

Once when we visited Donegal, we took a boat cruise on Dunlewey Lake. The tour guide told stories of all the mythical creatures and ghosts surrounding the lake. My American children were enthralled.

No banal, politically correct tales to be heard in Ireland, but in their stead thrilling sagas of ancient warriors, saints, sinners, and lingering spirits.

Who cannot love this superstitious land?

The Beauty of Ireland's Coastline

 

7. The Coast And The Islands:

 

Ireland may be a small country, but as an island, she boasts a great expanse of rugged beauty along her winding, and sometimes treacherous coastline.  I grew up on the coast, with views of Dublin Bay at the end of our road. The sound of waves and howling winds are part of my childhood. Living in Kentucky, I miss the sea, wind swept gales, Atlantic sunsets, and the sheer beauty of Ireland’s coastline.

From Howth to the Giant’s Causeway, Malin Head to Mizen Head, the Cliffs of Moher and all the wonderful spots along the Wild Atlantic Way, I truly believe this island’s magnificent coastline, is one of its finest attributes.

 

8. The Scenery:

 

During the many years I have lived in America, I have often been asked:

 

“Is Ireland as beautiful as it seems in photos?”

 

And the answer to this question is a simple and resounding “yes”.

To be honest, Ireland’s scenery must be seen to be believed. It is even more beautiful than it appears in any photo or postcard. No image does Ireland justice. Even cloudy skies coordinate magnificently with mythical stones and ancient ruins.

When the sun doesn’t cooperate, Ireland’s beauty still shines.  Around every twist and turn of Ireland’s winding roads, awaits yet another new reason to smile.

 

Irish Food Collage 2

9. Irish Food:

 

In previous posts, I have waxed poetically about the glories of Irish food, and I still make no apologies for Irish food.  Traditional Irish food is hearty and wholesome, comforting and filling.

Irish dishes provide healthy helpings of meat, oodles of veggies and, of course, the pride of every Irish mother’s table, potatoes.  After a spoonful of Irish stew, or a warming bowl of potato and leek soup, it will be easy to understand why I rate Irish food so highly

My advice for tourists is to dig into a plate of bacon and cabbage, savor our brown bread, and treat yourself to a full Irish breakfast. You’ll leave Ireland understanding how simple, wholesome food feeds the soul.

 

10. Irish Pride:

 

And last, but not least, comes Irish pride. We Irish live and breathe our heritage.  From a very young age, we learn our history through myth and legend.  For centuries we clung to our culture, even when our conquerors tried to strip us of our heritage. This Irish pride has been carried by generations to the four corners of the world.

But when you visit Ireland you will learn the subtle differences in our heritage and how our cultural inheritance changes from county to county. A tourist’s experience in the Burren in County Clare is vastly different from the memories created in County Donegal, but everywhere you go on this little island, you will be enthralled by the pride people feel in their local village, town, and county. History and heritage survive, because Irish people choose not only to remember the past but to practice old traditions with pride.

 

And so I hope this little list, will help you understand why you may already love Ireland, or if you plan to visit the Emerald Isle in the near future, it will help you understand you too may be at risk of falling in love with Ireland.  If you think of another reason to love Ireland, why not join in our discussion in the comment section below.

 

Slán agus beannacht leat!

(Goodbye and blessings)

 

 

Irish American Mom

 

The Wild Atlantic Way

Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way stretches from West Cork to Donegal, hugging the rugged coastline. Around every twist and turn of its rural roads, tourists can experience some of the most spectacular scenery in the whole wide world.

So many words come to mind when trying to describe the sheer magnificence of this scenery – wild, untamed, breath-taking, dramatic, dazzling, and dare I say it, the Wild Atlantic Way is just plain awesome.

Anyway, enough of the descriptors. Here’s a sneak peak of Ireland’s wondrous, western coastline.  This infographic was beautifully crafted by the good folks at Emerald Elite Travel. I love their specially chosen photos of some of the highlights along the route.

 

And so welcome to the longest defined coastal drive in the world……..

 

Ireland Wild Atlantic Way Infographic

Image Courtesy of Emerald Elite Group

Here’s to creating wonderful memories along the Wild Atlantic Way. Wishing everyone happy travels in Ireland.

Slán agus beannacht leat!

(Goodbye and blessings)

 

Irish American Mom

Memories Of Secret Coves, Hidden Steps and Pirate Queens

On the hill of Howth in north County Dublin a secret pirate cove awaits would-be explorers, daring enough to descend one hundred and ninety-nine steps carved out of the sheer cliff face.

In my post today, I once again hope to take you off the beaten path, and help you discover some of Ireland’s hidden treasures.

199 Steps In Howth

When I was a little girl growing up in Dublin, my grand aunt loved weekend outings with all my cousins in tow. One of our favorite hang outs was on the beach at the bottom of the “199 steps” in Howth.

My cliff stair collage above shows how these stone steps are carved out of the cliff, winding their way from the shore to Howth summit.

Looking Towards the Bailey Lighthouse Howth

This is Grace O’Malley territory. The famous Irish pirate queen visited Howth on many occasions.

My grandaunt loved to tell us this very cove was where Grace O’Malley always came ashore in Howth. Considering Grace O’Malley, or Granuaile in Irish (pronounced Graw-nea-wale) lived between the years 1530 and 1603, the truth of this tall tale may never be known.

Undeterred my grandaunt relayed stories of pirates working by torch light to hack and cut 199 steps from the rocky cliff face, to allow their pirate queen ascend to Howth’s summit undetected by the English.

Looking Down At the Cove Below 199 Steps in Howth

We loved to wind our way along the cliff path in search of the first step to this secret pirate cove. We looked down from on high dreaming of Grace’s lost treasure, just waiting behind some rock for our eager eyes to find.

Steps Leading to a Hidden Beach in Howth

Last summer I rediscovered these secret steps with my children.

Once I told them of potential pirate treasure, they made quick work of navigating the treacherous steps.

Grace O'Malley's Secret Cove in Howth

A sense of mystery and magic awaits on the rocky shore below.

Barnacle covered rock

You can easily imagine the pirate queen herself standing on top of this barnacle covered rock issuing orders to her crew of Mayo men.

A Strange Rock on an Irish Shore

This strange rock has not shifted since I was a little girl.

I imagined a big, strong pirate flung the smaller red rock across the beach with such force that it lodged into the larger boulder.

I’m certain there’s a perfectly sound geological explanation for this rock formation, but let’s face it, nothing beats a good pirate story.

Ireland's Shoreline - Rocky Beaches

This is no sandy beach. Shoes are definitely required for pebble covered shores…..

Seaweed Covered Rocks

……. and seaweed strewn rocks.

Searching for Pirate's Treasure

My kiddos were convinced Grace O’Malley’s treasure lay beneath the large rocks at the base of these cliffs. I spent hours as a child climbing those very rocks. In four decades they don’t seem to have budged even an inch.

The Beach Below 199 Steps in Howth

A small row boat could easily have been maneuvered close to the rocky shore at this very point, allowing the brave Grace reach dry land. 

O’Malley’s connections to Howth are not just part of my late grandaunt’s vivid imagination.

In 1576 Grace O’Malley tried to call upon Lord Howth at his castle only to be informed the family was at dinner and she was not a welcome guest.

 

Dublin Ferry From the Beach in Howth

This rejection did not sit well with the bold Grace. The Lord of Howth soon felt the full brunt of this pirate queen’s wrath, when she abducted his grandson and heir.

The terms of the child’s release included a promise from Lord Howth to keep the gates of his castle open to unexpected visitors, and to always set an extra place at every meal.

This pledge is still honored at Howth Castle to this very day, with an extra place setting laid at table.  I wonder if Grace’s ghost ever inspects the distance between the knife and fork.

This ferry passed as we roamed the shoreline, following in the wake of pirate vessels from years gone by. What a day, imagining ghosts and pirates roaming around searching for treasure.

199 Steps in Howth

And so, after an energetic day playing on a secret pirate cove in Howth, the long trek upward and homeward began. There are no cable cars or lifts to take treasure hunters back to the cliff top. The only way home is to shift one foot after the other until all 199 steps are finally surmounted.

For anyone interested in a stiff climb to a secret (or not-so-secret anymore) cove, access to the 199 steps lies on the left hand side of the cliff as you walk out the headland towards the Bailey Lighthouse. That’s all the information I’m willing to part with, and if you can’t find it, perhaps you’ll find the way on an old pirate treasure map.

Wishing you all happy trails, discovering your very own hidden Ireland.

 

Slán agus beannacht leat!

(Goodbye and blessings)

 

 

Irish American Mom