It’s Been A While

Hey everyone,

Sorry it has been so long since my last post.  I have been really busy with finishing up my semester at school and also the preparations for a new job, which involve a move for me at the end of the year.  I’ll be posting again really soon to get back on track!

Stay tuned,

Slainte.

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Gaelic Storm

I wanted to jump to a more recent band for my second post in Irish Music.  This band is Gaelic Storm.  They were formed in California in 1996.  Although formed here in the United States, their music has a vast amount of celtic influence.  At the core of the group are Patrick Murphy and Steve Twigger.  Patrick was born and raised in Ireland, and his parents live in County Cork now.  Steve was born in England.  The other current members of the band are Ryan Lacey (an American from California), Pete Purvis (a Canadian from Ottawa), and Jessie Burns(who grew up in England to her American mother and London-Irish father).  The range of instruments is astounding as well.  They have guitar, a bodhran, Irish whistles, fiddles, an accordion, a mandolin, highland pipes and uillean pipes, and even a harmonica now and then.

They have so many great songs it is hard for me to pick a few to show you all in this post.

This is one of my absolute favorites though…..It combines some ‘Irishisms’ so to speak, and uses some great music.  Its fantastic.

 

Gaelic Storm has been around for 15 years now, and actually just released their most recent album, Chicken Boxer, in July of 2012. It is their ninth album.  It adds to the list of great album names from Gaelic Storm including; Herding Cats, Bring Yer Wellies, What’s the Rumpus?, and How are we Getting Home?.  They tour quite extensively now, but it is quite interesting how they really got their start.  Some of you may remember the movie Titanic.  And if so, you may also remember the ‘Third Class Party’ scene down below decks where there was dancing and Irish music.  The Titanic was built in Belfast, Northern Ireland after all.  Gaelic Storm was the band on the ship playing the tune. They have a song called ‘Titanic Set’ as well.

 

Just to post 2 more of their songs:  The first below is called ‘Don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story’.  The second is a hilarious little lesson about going out to the pub and how it is quite difficult to go out for just one drink.    Enjoy.

I hope you take the time to look into their albums and other songs.  They are a great band and have an excellent variety from their own music to covers of traditional songs.  Slainte.

 

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The Cliffs of Moher

It was quite possibly my favorite day trip of my entire stay in Ireland.  A good friend of mine just happened to be visiting us in Ireland and wanted to do as much as possible in her short stay.  This was a great time for all of us because it was within our first few weeks living in Ireland and we had yet to really explore the country.

The entire day trip was quite the adventure.  We woke up early to rain but still walked down to the travel company to get our tickets.  As is the stereotype, it does rain quite a bit in Ireland, but I’ll cover this in a later post. We werent discouraged though, and had high hopes for seeing the Cliffs.  Over the next few hours, we sat on the bus and saw plenty of the beautiful countryside and coastline. It rained and rained.  Just before the Cliffs, we stopped off in a small town called Doolin for lunch.  We had a half hour break before hopping back on the bus.  It was time enough to grab a bite to eat at a pub, and of course I tried the seafood chowder to continue my quest to find the best chowder in Ireland.

As we were getting back onto the bus, the rain was beginning to slow.  The bus wound its way up the road to the parking area for the Cliffs.  It was  not very crowded….perfect for us to just walk around and not be bothered by hundreds of other tourists.  Quite literally as we stepped off the bus, the clouds cleared and the sun began to shine.  I couldn’t believe it.  We walked up and down the pathway along the cliffs and also climbed up the tower at one end the path.  The view from the top of the tower was incredible, and it was joked that if you looked really hard you could see the Statue of Liberty across the way.  I tried, but it was a bit too foggy to make Lady Liberty out.  You could see the Aran Islands, however.

We had a total of two hours at the cliffs.  This was plenty of time to go off, or rather on, the beaten path so to speak.  The sight-seeing area of the Cliffs is paved and marked, thus keeping people safely away from the edge.  That edge being the edge of Ireland and a steep drop off right into the Atlantic.    There is also a path off to the side of the marked area.  Now, this side path is marked as dangerous and not recommended for walking on.  It also bears a plaque by its start that is a memorial to those that have died at the Cliffs over the years.  Fear was not even remotely in our minds.  We strolled along the path which at times was only a few feet wide.  I laid on the ground and crawled to the edge to take a picture down to the ocean.  I even stood at the edge looking down.  When I think about it now, I realize how crazy that actually was.  We have pictures from the day where you can see the swirling winds along the edge of the Cliffs.

As we were heading back to the bus, the clouds came back and it started to rain again.  We looked at each other in disbelief.  Seems as though Ireland itself wanted us to enjoy perhaps its most spectacular and breathtaking view unhindered by rain or clouds.

This is a must see part of Ireland.  The view from the top of the tower is unbelievable. (I will post a video from the top of the tower shortly).  When you make it to Ireland, make time for the Cliffs of Moher.  You will not be disappointed.

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