Planning a trip to Ireland could be a stressful task. It might seem like a simple, whimsical place to visit but the truth is Ireland is a country with a rich and deep history; there is so much more to Ireland than four-leaf clovers and leprechauns.
Well, sort of. If you plan to visit Ireland, here are few places the Irish Travel Bureau might recommend; at least for a tourist of Erin.
THE NATIONAL LEPRECHAUN MUSEUM
Yes, that’s right. The Emerald Isle is, in fact, home to a National Leprechaun Museum. Located in Dublin City center, the Músaem Náisiúnta na Leipreacháin. While this definitely more of a modern tourist trap than a place of historical relevance, it also has much of the whimsical heart of the magical people and history of Ireland. With pots of gold and rooms full of giant furniture—aimed, no doubt, at making you feel like the green imp of lore this could be a wonderful—if not ironic—place to visit on a tour of Ireland
Have you heard of Stonehenge? Of course you have; and as such you know that these mysterious standing stones have long been speculated and guffawed over. However, the Newgrange site (locally, Sí an Bhrú) was built around 3200 BC—which places it on this planet older than all of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World (and that includes, of course, Stonehenge). Unlike Stonehenge, though, scholars believe they know what ancient civilizations used Newgrange for.
It is thought that the massive structure was used for storage, burial, and religious ceremonies. In fact, it seems that the site was built with a concept similar to engineering used in Ancient Egypt: on the day of the winter solstice (in Newgrange), the sun shines through a single, small opening, reflecting off quartzite passages to illuminate the entire inner chamber. This was how the ancients knew spring—and the harvest season—was beginning.
THE GIANTS CAUSEWAY
This unique coastal area is home to approximately 40,000 interlocking basalt columns formed out of a massive, ancient volcanic eruption. Located in Northern Ireland, Clochán na bh Fomhórach is part of Native Irish folklore. One of the Seven Natural Wonders of Island (along with Newgrange), The Giants Causeway takes its name from an old Irish legend which states that a warrior—with the name Fionn MacCumhaill—built the collection of columns to giants could step over Scotland without dipping their toes in the Atlantic Ocean.