A few years back, my family and I embarked on the trip of a lifetime. My parents had always wanted to go to the land of our ancestors, so there we were, the Aer Lingus tickets in hand…headed to the homeland. I remember well, my mother with tears in her eyes as we touched down on the lush green island. Once there, we explored all aspects the culture had to offer….from the Shannon River to the pubs of Dublin, kissing the stone at Blarney castle, to the horse drawn carriage rides in Killarney and crystal making in Waterford. The most majestic scene not to be missed was the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare. Jutting up from the Atlantic Ocean, this was probably the last sight of Ireland my ancestors saw as they headed to New York for a new life. To explore this further, we stopped at the National Archives in Dublin, and looked through birth records to find my Great Grandfather. We were able to find a few possible matches and I had the records sent to me back in the US for further research.
This was truly a magical trip for me and my whole family; we still talk about it whenever we get together. I do plan to go back in the near future with other family members who didn’t make it the first time around. It’s a trip that can’t be missed (even if you aren’t Irish).
This week on the blog, we’ll share stories and pictures from RCI subscribing members who have visited Ireland and nearby Scotland. Do you have a great story about Ireland, Scotland or experiencing a different culture? Please feel free to share your story here.