Click on the colored areas of the map to access a travelogue. The colors indicate different regions of the Republic of Ireland -- scroll down for explanation and introduction for each location. (Original map comes from the CIA World Factbook)
Introduction. The Republic of Ireland has changed greatly between my first two visits there -- in 1978 and 2002. Back as a lad, I recalled the towns being small and agrarian, the cities old and rundown, the people super friendly. When I returned in 2002, I was amazed to see how much the country has modernized. Massive new factories are all over the place, particularly in information technologies. Expensive housing projects, hundreds of trendy clubs, and new markets took over unused farmland. The urban centers have been renovated to an extent, largely helped with EU money. Not surprisingly, the EU flag flies everywhere.
Indeed, this was not the poor blighted country that generations of Irish left years ago. Now, the problem is much the opposite -- immigrants into Ireland are numerous and the country is now among the most expensive places to live in Europe. The changes would have been inconceivable just a quarter-century ago.
On the other hand, much of Ireland has not changed, and this is a good thing. The natives are still among the friendliest and honest folk around, true Irish pubs are still the best places to hang out, and nothing beats a pure Irish stout poured super slowly from the tap. Mmmmmmmmm. Ireland is a great place to visit, and a great place to live, especially now.
My "list" for Ireland is extensive, beginning with Dublin, the capital. But really, my goal would be to grab a motorhome and tour the entire countryside, dotting town to town seeing the country's beautiful coastline and doing a bed-and-breakfast at each stop.
Travelogues and Features. The coloring of the locations on the map above indicate different locations in the Republic of Ireland, as shown below.
Links. The below links connect you to external sites in a new window. All links are official sites sanctioned by the national, state, or local governments unless otherwise indicated. Links updated 5 January 2006.