Bicycling Irelandby ExperiencePlus! - Tuesday, July 27, 2010
A Bike Tour Review by Jan Rastall of ExperiencePlus!
May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face.
So goes an Old Irish verse that could have been written for our Cycling the Emerald Isle customers. I found this out first hand when I pedaled our bike tour in Ireland this past August.
Our route covers some of the most beautiful country in the west of Ireland, full of quiet roads, green pastures, stone fences and grazing sheep. Dotted throughout this charming landscape are ancient ruins, whitewashed churches and medieval forts, sometimes literally right in someone’s back yard or farm pasture.
Among the favorite spots on the tour mentioned by customers to me were the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher – rising 2000 feet straight up from the Atlantic; lively yet quaint Doolin – famous for its musicians performing Irish music in its pubs; and the austere limestone formations of "the Burren." Even though there was a light mist and some rain along the ride, people didn’t seem to mind and many customers thought that somehow it added to the experience rather than detracted from it. After all, what would Ireland be without a little rain?
Pedaling through Joyce’s country was one of my favorite rides. The mountains, open valleys and lakes reminded me of places in New Zealand and Colorado. The road curved around the lakes and through the valleys, providing beautiful views of the mountains.
Bicycling is definitely the way to see Ireland. The slower pace allows the lifestyle of this wonderful country to seep into your veins like the water that seeps through the limestone fissures.