I have recently come back from what I can only describe as the most relaxing and interesting vacation I have ever been on. This year myself and my wife were looking at holiday options and based on a recommendation by some friends we thought that a trip to Ireland might give us a dose of culture and scenery. I had only ever heard good things about the country, so we started planing. We were informed that the best way to see the real Irish countryside was by boat, cruising on the river Shannon which runs through the center of the entire country. So we did our research and booked a cruiser from a little town called Banagher. We had never operated a boat before but we were given a brief class beforehand which made everything easy.
We booked the cruiser for three nights, we thought that this would allow us time to see the rest of the country and it did. The rest of the country was fantastic but the truth is I never wanted to leave that boat. The river is full of history covering three thousand years, the ruins of churches, abbeys, castles and towers are everywhere and free to explore. Not far from Banagher is the ruins of an ancient seventh century city which you can cruise right up to and walk around. It was all very extraordinary. You will never be cruising for long without meeting a lovely village and stopping in at a pub. One pub we visited was 350 years old and the old part of the bar was preserved from this time. Another small village had huge deserted stone buildings and military towers. A local told us this was in case Napoleon was to attack England by coming through Ireland. All of these structures still stand like ornaments on the landscape passed down through generations until there meaning has been eroded to just spectacular sites. Cruising by low lying green meadows to the sweet backing notes of wildlife all around really recharge my soul. As the famous Irish Poet Yeats said ‘Come with me oh Human Child, to the waters and the wild’ my natural human instincts for exploring, for the wild were satisfied and the scenic delights that crossed my eyes will never be forgotten. Until next year when I will return to the river Shannon.
There is a company called Discover the Shannon Link: which arrange holidays on the river and were really helpful with us.