Whether it's the luck of the Irish, the chase for that pot of gold or simply a traditional meal of corned beef and cabbage - Ireland's enchantment draws many new visitors each year. With rolling green hills covered in morning mist, it's easy to appreciate the picturesque landscape that stretches out for miles. While Ireland is famous for its peaceful beauty, not all of Ireland's treasures are well known. Here are some of the lesser known sights in Ireland that are well worth a visit.
The Unsinkable Ship in Belfast
Do you love Leo, Kate, and the 'unsinkable ship'? Well you're in luck -- the iconic Titanic was built in Belfast and the city has taken this to heart. Visit the Titanic Belfast Building, which pays homage to the ship, crew and guests. The building officially opened in 2012 and sits a mere 100 yards from where the Titanic's hull was launched . The rest of the city doesn't miss out on paying tribute to the Titanic; the main shopping street was redesigned to include famous sculptures from the ship .
Boating in Killary Harbour
Killary Harbour is Ireland's only true fjord and stretches 10 miles in from the Atlantic . Surrounded by mountains, the views from Killary Harbour are magnificent. Killary Harbour offers fantastic scuba diving and regular boat trips around the fjord. Along with breathtaking mountain scenery, Killary Harbour is a bird watchers' paradise as it is home to many important species such as the mute swan, whooper swan, and barnacle goose .
Thrill Seeking at the Slieve League Cliffs
If you're an adrenaline junkie you'll want to check out the Slieve League cliffs in Donegal, Ireland. With a height of 595 meters, Slieve League Mountain is known for its spectacular cliffs . If you're brave (and experienced) enough you can try the one man's pass trail where, you guessed it, the trail is only wide enough for one man to pass. Your reward will be well worth the risk as the views you encounter are amazing. Take in a panoramic view of the Slieve Cliffs rising out of the Atlantic Ocean that's shimmering below.
The Legends and Myths of the Giant's Causeway
In Northern Ireland sit the estimated 40,000 hexagonal basalt columns that were formed during a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago . The strange look of the columns combined with the mystical feel of the surrounding Irish landscape have led to many legends surrounding the Giant's Causeway. One of the most popular is the legend of Finn MacCool. It's said that Finn MacCool is an Irish giant who inadvertently created the causeway during an argument with a Scottish giant named Benandonner. You can read the full legend of Finn MacCool here and decide for yourself who won the colossal argument!
St. Patrick's Day in Dublin
You can't talk Ireland without mentioning St. Patrick's Day. Celebrate the holiday made for the Irish at the St. Patrick's Day Festival in Dublin, Ireland. The festival is five days of Irish pride, music, and dance. The highlight of the festivities is the St. Patrick's Day parade which meanders throughout Dublin and ends at the famous St. Patrick's Cathedral. The festival also prides itself on a huge street carnival and a treasure hunt that takes participants through a trail of Dublin City's landmarks. The entire festival is a time for celebration and is filled with laughter, fun, and Irish culture.
Depending on your destination, an international flight can last upwards of 16 hours. How do you fight the jet lag, fatigue, and outright boredom that can come with such a long flight? Here are some tips to make your next international trip a little easier:
While you might get away with the half-asleep-head-bob or resting awkwardly against your seatmate on a short flight, you are going to end up with a massive kink in your neck on an international flight. Invest in a neck support pillow; blow-up pillows are an option if you want to save space. The pillow will hold your neck at a much more pleasant angle and make it easier to get some sleep.
Stretch it out.
Your legs and body will start to ache from sitting in the same position. Take every opportunity to get up, walk the aisle and stretch. Even twisting your body in your seat to stretch your back and arms can help ease the cramping.
Prepare for jetlag.
Long flights often involve flying overnight and changing time zones. Arrive for your international flight ready to sleep so that even if you can only get in a few hours on the plane you'll be less likely to crash when you arrive at your destination.
Keep your documents handy.
Flight attendants will hand out immigration and customs paperwork that will need to be filled out. Keep your documents (and a pen) within reach so you can fill the forms out right away.
Airplane air is notoriously dry and on any flight it's important to stay hydrated. Don't depend on flight attendants to bring around small glasses of water to stay hydrated; bring a bottle of water that you can sip on throughout your flight. Don't want to pay the costly price of a bottle of water once you're through airport security? Here's a tip: bring an empty bottle with you and fill up at a drinking fountain once you clear security.
Don't count on the fact that you'll be able to sleep on your international flight. For some, sleeping on a plane is hard to do and you can't guarantee you won't end up next to a noisy seat mate or an antsy toddler. Make sure you bring back-up so that you have some entertainment if you're unable to get some shut-eye. You don't want to end up staring at the head rest in front of you for 16 hours!
Dress in layers.
International flights can get quite chilly at night, especially flying over water. Dress with several layers so you can bundle up if you're cold and bring a light jacket that can double as a blanket.
Take advantage of the countless hours you have without typical day-to-day distractions. Use the time to review travel guides for your destination and plan out fun activities. Connect with family and friends the old-school way and write them a letter. Make a list of souvenirs you want to buy on your trip. You'll be amazed at what you can accomplish.
Where in the world can you find this ancient temple that was constructed over 5,000 years ago?Answer:
You can find this construction along the bend of the River Boyne in Ireland. It's called Newgrange and is older than Stonehenge and the Great Pyramid of Giza.
Planning a vacation? Don't forget to pack a travel insurance plan!
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