Do you find yourself drawn to the magic of the Emerald Isle? Would you like to see places beyond the typical tourist traps? Come, join me on a journey through the mists of legend, into the hidden places of mystery. Immerse yourself in the legends and myths, the history that has made this island precious in the hearts and minds of millions. Along with the tales and history, there is practical information on planning your trip, budgeting your costs, and finding the best places to while away the magical hours of your holiday.
Finding the Music
It would be difficult, indeed, to travel through Ireland for any length of time without coming across some of its unique music. However, it is becoming easier to come across ‘prepared’ performances, specifically made to entertain the tourists, glossy and polished without the authenticity of the real folk of the land. My advice is to go off the beaten path. Get out of Temple Bar and Killarney, and go to a local pub which might have a traditional seisiún. A seisiún (session) is a group of local musicians who have gotten together in a pub and just started playing some of the songs they all know. They may have never played together before, or may do so every night. They may not even know each other – but they all know the tunes. And they are playing for the joy of playing and entertaining. They aren’t being paid by the Irish Tourist Board to provide atmosphere to the Euro-laden tourist . . . they are having fun. No, the music may not be as high in production value, but it’s more honest, and in my opinion, much more enjoyable than the staged stuff.
If you are in a city, like Dublin, where tourism is common, it may be more difficult to find the local traditional pub. Your host at the hotel or B&B may give you the standard tourist answer and direct you to a staged performance. However, if you tell them you really are interested in a traditional session, they will likely give you a better recommendation. In some places, you can just walk down the street and follow your ears. Dingle, Doolin, Ardara, Donegal, Kilkenny – I’ve done this in all these places. There is a decent resource at Irish Abroad online for those who wish see an online pub directory.
About the author:
My name is Christy Nicholas, also known as Green Dragon. I do many things, including digital art, beaded jewelry, writing and photography. In real life I'm a CPA, but having grown up with art and around me (my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother are/were all artists), it sort of infected me, as it were. I love to draw and to create things. It's more of an obsession than a hobby. I like looking up into the sky and seeing a beautiful sunset, or a fragrant blossom, a dramatic seaside. I then wish to take a picture or create a piece of jewelry to share this serenity, this joy, this beauty with others. Sometimes this sharing requires explanation – and thus I write. Combine this love of beauty with a bit of financial sense and you get an art business. I do local art and craft shows, as well as sending my art to various science fiction conventions throughout the country and abroad.
1. What inspired you to write this book?
This book is my homage to the land I love dearly, mo anam bhaile, my soul’s home, Ireland. It is a guide to help others to discover the magic of the land that has ensnared me completely.
2. What's your favorite book-turned movie?
At the moment, I am enjoying the Game of Thrones immensely – more of a mini-series than a movie, but they are doing an excellent job.
3. Can you tell us about any other books you're writing?
I’m working on a book on Scotland, with the same theme of hidden places.
4. What do you do in your spare time?
What spare time? Hahaha! I work full time as an accountant, have a business selling my art and jewelry, and write – there is no such thing as spare time!
5. Who's your inspiration?
For travel writing, I think Bill Bryson is brilliant – I only hope I can come close to his easy and hilarious writing.
6. If you were stranded on a desert island which character do you want by your side?
A character from any book? Jamie Fraser from Outlander!
7. Team Edward or Jacob?
8. Team Peeta or Gale?
A book on Scottish Fairy Legends, in research for my next book.
**Christy will award a $20 Amazon gift card to one randomly drawn commenter.