|Village of Cong in Connemara area|
|You hang out from the top of Blarney castle to kiss the stone|
The Republic of Ireland.
|Loyalist area Derry|
The Republic of Ireland - is a member of the European Union, their money is the Euro (€), their flag is the tricolour and they have their own goverment, parliament and rules.
Northern Ireland and The Republic of Ireland are two different countries. I did not know that and when you travel from north to south there are no border posts.
|Aftermath of a car bomb|
|Loyalist wall mural Derry|
The reason Derry (Londonderry) has two names is a hangover from Loyalists (Northern Ireland) who are pro Britain and call it Londonderry and the Republicans (The Republic of Ireland) who are pro independance and call it Derry.
We saw kerbstones painted red, white and blue in Loyalist communities. And just two blocks away kerbstones were painted orange, green and white in Republican neighbourhoods. A car bomb exploded outside a furniture shop in Derry while we were there, but the damage was contained. And to be fair, these incidents are rare today. I think the reason the tensions don't erupt as much anymore is testament to the will of the Irish people. They really want to move on from their difficult past.
|Celtic crosses on Aran Island|
|Medieval crockery for banquet at Bunratty Castle|
We encountered lots of Americans at the breakfast tables in the guesthouses. On our night out at Bunratty Castle we met people from just about every American state. Americans come over to explore their roots and do much what we did, a mad dash across Ireland. Nearly every president of the USA has Irish ancestry. America played a part in the liberation of Ireland from Britain. Read more about Irish American presidents here
|Giants Causeway in Antrim|
To see other holidays we have taken you can - click here - to go to the Travel Archive Page.