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April 30, 2012 - Hopping Fences 

A friend told me I was late on my blog... this is for him. Ever creating that sense of place that weathers the storms. 

April found me in Ireland for our annual meetings of the tourist trade and tour operators. With workshops at full tilt and adrenalin high, the time in Ireland was well spent on touring the country from Dublin to Belfast and from Galway to Cork. I know... just a little backwards, but well worth the run around to visit with friends I hadn't seen for the cold winter months and to meet and see new friends from hotels to bloggers to tweet ups/meets. I have to say I met more than 20 tweeters that I hadn't met before and connected instantly with them, just as we had on Twitter. The communication was high; the vibe was "Live"!  But, more on that next month! We have a lot planned for tours this year and it just keeps getting better!

My video this month is courtesy of Foxx on Fire, thanks guys!! And as I asked last month if I could use the video for my blog, the universe must have known that I'd be hopping fences in April!  At the suggestion of a good friend, I found myself hopping fences in Ireland, again. This time to inspect a house that was for sale.  I drove down a long drive (one that used to belong to the house but has long since been sold off) came to the gate and had to hop the fence to gain a closer look.  If you've traveled with me in Ireland, you know we've been known to hop a few fences... or at the least, get around a tourist trap. (Woops! Did I say that?!) This time was no different as there was no time to call the agent on a Sunday. Time was of essence and the rain threatening.                                                                                                                                                                         

Georgian House As I hopped the fence a Buck met me and I was immediately wondering what the next bend in the drive would show me as he bounded off, caught off guard by my sudden presence there. The daffodils, still present with their seed heads along the drive shown that once there was care taken here, and I found myself conjuring up the family that must have lived here all those years ago... over 250 years ago. As I approached the house I was taken by its Georgian structure sitting in the middle of majestic landscape that reminds you of a Jane Austen novel. Neglected, yes, but well worth the drive over and a serious think through. As I peered through the windows (no one peered back!) I could see that the house was once loved and while a bit on the eery side, the house had a story of Irish history that went back generations.  I always wonder at what the families of the area would have been like, how they interacted and what they might have done together as a community. 

The house looked out over a boggy bit of land. Not great for farmland, but good for sheep or cattle. The old Irish trees that make up so much of the landscape in Ireland were in abundance, some had not weathered the storms, but were as old as the house if not older and you could feel their presence, telling a story as the crows danced above them in the wind. In the end, the tour around the house and outbuildings only renewed my sense of Ireland and its history. Feeling these places in time is essential in touring Ireland. The history of the people and the land is paramount in understanding Ireland today.
What makes the people tick and what makes us want to be there to explore this great place.

This is exactly what we do on tour in Ireland...we hop a few fences and try and discover what took place... What might have been in ancestry and it is an ever challenging concept to create your story with your own family, and an ever challenging job for me to create the custom tour for you. We don't have a cookie cutter tour. We create for you that sense of place I keep talking about, so that you can create your own sense of place in your family tree or in your garden.

 

 

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