THE IRISH BUCKET LIST
We’ve all seen or heard about the movie where Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman play two old codgers who decide on a bucket list of things to do before they die. Here is our best shot at an Irish bucket list of places you might want to see before heading into the wild blue yonder.
1. Slea Head drive, Dingle, County Kerry:
Watch the majestic Atlantic sweep in and see the sun’s rays glance off the towering mountains and witness scenes unchanged for centuries. Watch as the little fishing boats make their way to sea and the early morning stillness is broken only by the seagulls’ cries. In the distance see the starkly beautiful Blasket Islands.
2. Stroll down Dublin’s Grafton Street on a Saturday morning near Christmas:
All of Dublin comes alive with buskers, street artists, bustling crowds. School kids sing Christmas hymns, festive fare is everywhere and all is well with the world.
3. Visit WB Yeats’s grave:
The greatest poet arguably in all of literature is buried in a quiet grave “under Ben Bulben’s head” in Sligo. See the little church where his family worshiped and feel the presence of the great master. His epitaph has inspired for decades: “Cast a cold eye on life, on death – Horseman pass by.”
4. Visit Kilmainham Jail in Dublin:
Here you will find the stories of the last moments of many of the men who led the Easter Rising 1916 and the incredible bravery they showed in the face of death. Stand in the actual cells they waited in before their execution. A sacred place.
5. The Ulster American Folk museum in Omagh:
Witness how the great migration of the Scots Irish began from this very area in the 18th century. See the uncanny reproduction of the era from schoolhouse to little town to forge.
6. Spend an afternoon in Dublin’s National Museum:
Home to over 2 million artifacts, dating from the Stone Age. Learn about the incredible culture from earliest Celtic days to the dawn of Christianity and beyond. Marvel at the genius and creativity instilled deep in the Celtic soul.
7. Newgrange at the winter solstice:
Just twenty or so miles from Dublin, where the ancients built their equivalent of the Egyptian pyramids, which they predate, the winter sun passes through the burial chamber at the winter solstice.
8. Hill of Tara, County Meath:
Where the high kings of Ireland were crowned and where the great assemblies of the Irish race took place. A lonely windswept hill where you easily step back in time and imagine what the ancients felt.
9. Doolough Famine walk, County Mayo:
Every year a tragic walk is recreated when hundreds of starving Irish peasants in Mayo had to walk 12 miles in desperate conditions to seek relief. Many women and children died along the way and a Famine cross remembers their sacrifice.
10. Guinness Storehouse, Dublin:
After all the history, it’s time to enjoy a pint – and where better than at the home of the Black Stuff. A fun tour, well worth taking, to finish up your bucket list trip!