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Experience Winter 2012

Outback and Down Under Discover all that Australia has to offer

East of Center The top travel destinations in China

Pot o’ Gold Find the least clover-rated attractions


The Experience Team Dear Reader, We hope you enjoy our magazine. We worked really hard to bring you the best, most unique information about various exciting places on Earth. Our goal is to open your eyes to the world around you and encourage you to go out and experience it. Safe travels! The Experience Team

Nick Is a freshman at LASA and was born and raised in Austin. His favorite activities include soccer, reading and playing video games. His favorite vacation was to Banff National Park in Canada. His dream vacation would be to travel around Europe for at least a month.

Sam Is a native Austinite from a hectic family. Her favorite things to do in her free time, which is rare that she has any, are reading, writing and cooking. Her dream in life is to be a journalist and travel the world, meeting new people and trying new foods.

Erin Is a native Texan who enjoys playing soccer, dancing, and photography. She loves the outdoors and other cultures. She would love to move to Australia or Ireland because she doesn’t want to stay in the same place all her life. She hopes that one day there will be world peace.

Santiago Is a freshman at LASA, and was born and raised in Austin. His favorite activities are playing soccer, running, reading and playing video games. He is outgoing and enjoys anything that is outdoors.


Table of Contents East of Center

4

Popular Travel Destinations

6 12

The Great Wall

Outback & Down Under

14

What to Do...

17

Yank’s Guide

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Where to Stay...

20

Cop it Sweet

21

‘Roostaurants

22

Aussie Slang

23

Pot ‘o Gold History

24

“Craic” ain’t Whack Hipstours

26 27 29

Castle Accomadation Unique Attractions Eatin’ House

30 32 33

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East of Center By Nicholas Green

C

hina is a land as old as time itself. Craggy peaks, and booming cityscapes panning as far as the eye can see.

And contained in all of this is thousands of years of culture, from monastaries built into cliffs, to walls stretching along the entire border. China is one of the largest

countries in the world, with so much to see that it would be nearly impossible to see everything. In this section, we will highlight must-see places in and around Beijing.


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The Forbidden City

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ying at the city center, the Forbidden City was the imperial palace for 24 emperors during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. It was constructed over a time period of 14 years during the reign of Emperor Chengzu in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). It was believed by ancient Chinese astronomers that the Purple star (Polaris) was the center of Heaven, and that the Heavenly Emperor lived there. The palace for the emperor on earth was called ‘The Purple Forbidden City’ because of the Purple star and the very strict rules regarding entry to the palace. Today, the name is shortened to

just ‘The Forbidden City”. Now known as the Palace Museum, it is to the north of Tian’anmen Square. Rectangular in shape, it is the world’s largest palace complex at 183 acres, which is enormous compared to the U.S. Capitol building, which is 16.5 acres, just one-thenth the size. Surrounded by a 171-foot-wide moat, and a 33-foot-high wall are more than 8,700 rooms. There is a gate on each wall, one of which faces Jingshan Park, and one that faces Tian’anmen square. There are towers in each corner that offer views of both the palace, and the city around it. thechinaguide.com


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T

he Temple of Heaven is a worthwhile visiting place. It is much bigger than the Forbidden City and smaller than the Summer Palace with an area of about 2,700,000 square meters. It was built in 1420 A.D. during the Ming Dynasty to offer sacrifice to Heaven. As Chinese emperors called themselves ‘The Son of Heaven’ ,they dared not to build their own welling,’Forbidden City’ bigger than a dwelling for Heaven. It is enclosed with a long wall. The northern part within the wall is semicircular symbolizing the heavens and the southern part is square symbolizing the earth. The northern part is higher than the southern part. This design shows that the heaven is high and the earth is low and the design reflected an ancient Chinese thought of ‘The heaven is round and the earth is square’. It is divided by

The Temple of Heaven

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two enclosed walls into inner part and outer part. The main buildings lie at the south and north ends of the middle axis line of the inner part. The most magnificent buildings are The Circular Mound Altar, Imperial Vault of Heaven and Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest from south to north. Also, there are some additional buildings like Three Echo Stones and Echo Wall. Almost all of the

buildings are connected by a wide bridge called Vermilion Steps Bridge (Danbiqiao) or called Sacred Way. The Circular Altar has three layered terraces with white marble. During the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368 A.D. - 1911 A.D.), the emperors would offer sacrifice to Heaven on the day of the Winter Solstice every year. This ceremony was to thank Heaven and hope everything

would be good in the future. The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest is a big palace with round roof and three layers of eaves. Inside the Hall are 28 huge posts. The four posts along the inner circle represent four seasons-spring, summer, autumn and winter; the 12 posts along the middle circle represent the 12 months; and 12 posts along the outer circle represent 12

Shichen (Shichen is a means of counting time in ancient China. One Shichen in the past equaled two hours and a whole day was divided into 12 Shichens). The roof is covered with black, yellow and green colored glaze representing the heavens, the earth and everything on earth. The Hall has a base named Altar for Grain Prayers which is made of three layers of white marble and has a height of six meters.


J

ust 31 miles northwest of Beijing City, at the foot of Tianshou Mountain, is the Ming Tombs Scenic Area, where lie the mausoleums of thirteen emperors of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644). Since 1409 when Zhu Di, the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty, built his Changling Tomb here, the succeeding twelve emperors had their tombs built around Changling during the next 230 years, covering a total area of over 46.3 square miles. This

The Ming Tombs

is the best preserved tomb area with the most emperors buried. Every year millions of tourists come to the site to appreciate its long history and palatial architecture. In the scenic area, each mausoleum has its own independent unit. The layout and arrangement of all the thirteen mausoleums are very similar, but they vary in size as well as in the complexity of their structures. Each of the tombs was built

in an area at the foot of the mountain, with distances ranging from 547 yards to 8,749 yards between them. The other tombs stretch out on the two sides of Changling Tomb in a fan shape, except for the Siling Tomb, which sits separately in the southwest corner. From site selection to design, great attention was paid to the harmony and unity with nature, pursuing a perfect situation of ‘made by God’ and reflecting the philosophy ‘the unity of

heaven and humanity’. As outstanding representatives of the ancient Chinese mausoleum, the Ming Tombs demonstrate the richness of traditional Chinese culture. At present, only the Sacred Way, Changling Tomb, Zhaoling Tomb and Dingling Tomb are open to the public.

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DON’T BE BORED AT HOME! TAKE A TRIP!

RETRO TRANSPORT, INC.

BECAUSE NOWHERE IS BETTER THAN WHERE YOU AREN’T.


C

hinese recorded history tells us that Emperor Shun (circa 2372 BC) toured his northern domain years ago, and he was so impressed by the sight of Mt. Hengshan that he proclaimed it the

Mt. Hengshan

‘North Mountain’ (Bei Yue). Many later emperors had also come to visit Mt. Hengshan. The renowned traveler Xu Xiake came to visit in Ming Dynasty (13681644) and left behind Hengshaninspired writings.

Overhanging Temple: Overhanging Temple, at the mountain’s foot, was built in Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534), on the high cliff hemmed in by a precipice on either side. It sits up there beyond reach in abject solitude. From the bottom you see range upon range of pavilions supported by dozens of wooden pillars. Entering the temple, people will be surprised by its half-house and half-cave inner structures. Overhanging Temple deserves a visit.

Ancient battleground: Mt. Hengshan has been an age-old battleground. It is the bottleneck to Central Hebei Plain from Plateau beyond the Great Wall. Many emperors utilized Mt. Hengshan in national defense planning. Emperors and generals went down in history on battles won and lost right here. Plenty of ancient battlefield relics litter the landscape with passes, fortresses, castles and beacon towers. These make Mt. Hengshan unique among the famed mountains.

Others did similar things. Mt. Hengshan, one of the most famous ‘Five Sacred Mountains (Wu Yue)’ in China, is located about 62 kilometers south to Datong City of Shanxi Province. It attracts people

by its natural sceneries and manmade landscaping. Mt. Hengshan Scenic Spots has temperate semiarid continental climate and distinct four seasons. It features cold-dry winters, windy springs, short

rainy summers, and short sunny autumns. There is an extreme temperature difference between daytime and nightime. Annual average temperature in Mt. Hengshan is 6.1 degree centigrade.

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Tianfeng Summit: At 2016.1 meters (6,617 feet), Tianfeng Summit, in Hunyuan County, Datong City, is the highest peak. The steep north slope is covered with verdant pine trees. Climbing onto the top of the mountain, you will see endless pine trees, some of them growing on the cliff with roots burrowing in the rocks, exotic flowers and rare herbs and odd-shaped stones, and so forth. lots of tourists are too delighted to want to return home. The south slope is studded by lots of temples where emperors worshipped the North Mountain.

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HISTORY The Great Wall, one of the greatest wonders of the world, was listed as a World Heritage by UNESCO in 1987. It is the world’s longest humanmade structure, stretching over approximately 4,000 miles from Shanhaiguan in the east to Lop Nur in the west, along an arc that roughly follows the southern edge of Inner Mongolia, but stretches to over 4,160 miles in total. It is also the largest humanmade structure ever built in terms of surface area and mass. It has been estimated that somewhere in the range of 2 to 3 million Chinese died as part of the centuries-long project of building the wall. The first major wall was built during the reign of the First Emperor, the main emperor of the short-lived Qin dynasty. This wall was not constructed as a single endeavor, but rather was created by the joining of several regional walls built

by the Warring States. It was located much further north than the current Great Wall, and very little remains of it. A defensive wall on the northern border was built and maintained by several dynasties at different times in Chinese history. The primary purpose of the wall was not to keep out people, who could scale the wall, but to insure that seminomadic people on the outside of the wall could not cross with their horses or return easily with stolen property, and at its peak the Ming Wall was guarded by more than one million men.

The Great Wall

CONDITION The Great Wall that can still be seen today was built during the Ming Dynasty, on a much larger scale and with longer lasting materials than any wall that had been built before, such as solid stone used for the sides and the top of the Wall. While some portions north of Beijing and near tourist

centers have been preserved and even reconstructed, and are often frequented by sellers of tourist trinkets. However, in many locations the Wall is in disrepair. Those parts might serve as a village playground or a source of stones to rebuild houses and roads. Sections of the

Wall are also prone to graffiti and vandalism. Parts have been destroyed because the Wall was the way of construction. No complete surveys of the wall have been carried out, so it is impossible to say how much of it survives, especially in remote areas.

Trivia! 1. How old is the Great Wall? 2. How long did the Great Wall take to complete? 3. How many people died building the Great Wall? 4. What percent of the Great Wall remains today?


cities, fields of crops, and even some individual buildings. While at a low orbit, the Great Wall of China can certainly be seen from space but it is not unique in that regard.

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CAN YOU SEE THE GREAT WALL FROM SPACE? For some reason, some urban legends tend to get stated and never disappear. This legend even appears as a incorrect Trivial Pursuit question. The legend? Many are familiar with the claim that

the Great Wall of China is the only man-made object visible from space or from the moon with the naked eye. This is simply not true. The myth of being able to see the Great Wall from space originated in Richard Halliburton’s 1938 (long before humans saw the

earth from space) Second Book of Marvels in which it was stated that the Great Wall of China was the only man-made object visible from the moon. From a low orbit of the earth, many artificial objects are visible on the earth, such as highways, ships in the sea, railroads,

However, when leaving the earth’s orbit and acquiring an altitude of more than a few thousand miles, no man-made objects are visible at all. NASA says, “The Great Wall can barely be seen from the Shuttle, so it would not be possible to see it from the Moon with the naked eye.” Thus, it would be tough to spot the Great Wall of China or any other object from the moon. Furthermore, from the moon, even the continents are barely visible. Regarding the origination of the story The Straight Dope’s pundit Cecil Adams says, “Nobody knows exactly where the story got started, although some think it was speculation by some bigshot during an afterdinner speech in the early days

of the space program.” NASA astronaut Alan Bean is quoted in Tom Burnam’s book More Misinformation ...

“The only thing you can see from the moon is a sphere, mostly white, some blue, patches of yellow, and every once in a while some green vegetation. No manmade object anywhere is visible on this scale.” - Alan Bean

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Outback & Down Under By Sam Zern

pennyandjohninoz.wordpress.com


W

elcome to Australia, the single country continent way down south. Home to dozens of indigenous species and a rich aboriginal heritage, Oz is a whole new world in between the Pacific and the Indian oceans. No matter what you want to do, you can do it here, whether it’s scuba diving or mountain climbing. So grab a “lolly water” and “throw a shrimp on the barbie”; we’re heading down under.

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images.australia.com

Australia is well known for its range of diverse natural experiences. “One day you’re looking at Sydney Opera House, the next at the Great Barrier Reef then you’re in the middle of the desert looking at Ayers Rock,” Joanne Morgan of Aspire Down Under travel agency said. According to Carly Anderson of About Australia Travel Agency , one of the best places to visit is Port Douglas in Queensland, where three beautiful sites meet. “The Daintree Rainforest and the Tribulation and the

Great Barrier Reef all meet in one point,” Anderson said “And it’s really beautiful.” The Daintree Rainforest has one of the most complex ecosystems on earth due to the fact that so many of Australia’s rainforest species were forced to move there when the climate changed from humid and warm to arid. Because of this, many of the animals living there now have not had to adapt for millions of years. “There are a lot of animals that you can only see in Australia because it’s an island and they’re not in any other parts of the world,” Carly said.

One type of animal you won’t find anywhere else in the world is the tree kangaroo. Like all marsupials, they have pouches, but they differ from their land-hopping cousins in that they jump from tree to tree. They are very commonly found in the Daintree Rainforest. Some of Australia’s most stunning creatures can be found off the coast, in the Great Barrier Reef. From mammals such as whales, dolphins, and seals to six of the world’s seven species of turtles, the Great Barrier Reef offers an unparalleled

coastal experience. Not only that, but the Great Barrier Reef is only accessible from Australia, making it all the more exclusive and significant. Cape Tribulation is a unique experience in itself. Lying within the Daintree Rainforest, this small village of around 100 residents is popular among backpackers and travelers looking for an off the beaten path adventure. From Cape Tribulation, you are able to reach both the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest, making it an ideal place to stay travelers who want to feel close to nature.

But incredible natural beauty is not the only reason to visit the Land Down Under. “Some of the main reasons to visit are the friendliness of the people, the history of the country with its convict history and indigenous people,” Morgan said,“Melbourne is a big melting pot like New York with lots of different cultures blending together.” Whether you want a natural experience or an urban adventure, Australia is the perfect place to find it.


... What to do s i g h t

photo used under Creative Commons licensing

Take a road trip on the world’s largest war memorial. Spanning 151 miles, this scenic route dedicated to the soldiers of World War 1 provides access to some of Australia’s most beautiful landmarks, including the Twelve Apostles, which are natural limestone formations on the shore of Port Cambell National Park.

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s k i

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Take to the slopes in the summer at Mount Hotham, Australia’s powder capital. Visit Australia’s highest peak, Mount Kosciuszko and see the Biosphere Reserve, which has 20 species of plants that are found nowhere else in the world. Or visit glacial lakes and go trout fishing in autumn. There is an adventure for every season in Australia.

s u r f

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Visit the legendary annual Rip Curl Pro Surf and Music Festival Bird Rock at Bells Beach in Victoria or learn to surf in the gentle waves of Bondi. If you think you can handle more extreme surfing, head down to Trigg Island near Perth to tackle tougher waves. If surfing’s your thing, Australia is the place to be.

e x p l o r e

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Traverse across white sand beaches on camel back in Cable Beach. See 130 million year old dinosaur footprints at Gantheaume Point. Buy pearls and visit pearl farms in Broome. In the Kimberely, there is no limit to the gorgeous things you can access.

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Yank’s Guide A quick guide for even the most green of travelers

Western Australia Wave Rock See this natural rock formattion shaped like a breaking wave Penguin Island See Australia’s Little Penguins and dolphins

South Australia Coober Pedy This underground town offers a uniquely Outback experience

photo used under Creative Commons licensing

Kangaroo Island Observe kangaroos, sea lions, and penguins in their natural habitat


Northern Territory Kakadu National Park This is one of the greatest places to learn about native Aboriginal culture Uluru-

The world’s largest monolith is also an Aboriginal spiritual site

Queensland Cape Tribulation This small town is home to secluded beaches and tropical rainforest Great Barrier Reef This reef, the world’s largest is only accesible from Australia

New South Wales Sydney Opera House This iconic location offers stunning performances for all ages Broken Hill This mining town doubles as an artistic community 19


Where to Stay... Underground Motel Catacomb Road Coober Pedy South Australia 5723

Get down under in the outback in Coober Pedy’s Underground Motel. All rooms are dug into a sandstone hill and have natural sunlight and ventilation.

theundergroundmotel.com

Daintree Rainforest Bungalows Lot 40 Spurwood Road Cow Bay Queensland 4873

Tropical rainforest meets Barrier Reef at this small town of about 100 people. Stay in one of the solar powered cabins surrounded by lush rainforest. Enjoy easy access to a number of beaches and national park boardwalks.

daintreerainforestbungalows.com

Seal Bay Cottages, Kangaroo Island 3052 South Coast Road, Seddon, South Australia 5223

Stay in one of 7 furnished cottages just a few miles from Seal Bay. Surrounded by native wildlife and a winter lagoon, this gorgeous destination offers an in house all day cafe as well as incredible hosts.

sealbaycottages.com

Number 71 Bed and Breakfast 71 Denison Street Bondi Junction, Bondi, Waverley, New South Wales Australia 2022 number71.com

Stay in an eclectic artist’s home in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. Have breakfast two minutes away at an organic cafe and catch a fifteen minute bus to downtown Sydney. For a homey stay, this is the place to go.


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Cop it Sweet

To “cop it sweet� is to be fortunate. See how you can be fortunate with these delicious native treats.

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www.springhillfarm.com.au

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Anzac Biscuits These sweet biscuits are made from rolled oats, golden syrup and coconut and have a chewy texture.

Hedgehog Slices These uncooked bars are similar to an American fudge brownie and have puffed rice or bread crumbs, to make the lighter areas in the bar. Sticky Date Pudding This Australian treat consists of a warm date cake soaked in butterscotch to give it a gummy, pudding texture. Lamingtons These are a popular Australian desert consisting of squares of sponge cake covered in chocolate and coconut. Pavlova This desert is a crispy meringue shell with a marshmallow like center and is topped with whipped cream and fruit.

5 www.allrecipes.com

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K angaroos are

known for their bouncy nature and pouches, but what you might not know is that they are also a great source of zinc and iron. Though highly controversial, kangaroo is available in many restaurants throughout Australia. However, the kangaroo is only harvested by licensed hunters and each kangaroo must be tagged with state approved labels to prevent poaching. Only a set portion of the kangaroo population is hunted each year to prevent kangaroo overpopulation. Kangaroo is said to taste somewhere between venison and bison. It is very lean and gamey, as with many animals that live off of grass and shrubs. Because of this, kangaroo is very healthy, with low amounts of saturated fats and high protein levels.

Pictured- Kangaroo Burger at Dogwood Tavern in Virgina, USA

‘ROOSTAURANTS

Do it Yourself : Kangaroo is readily available at most supermarkets in Australia. So if you have access to a kitchen, you can make this Australian delicacy by yourself.

photo courtesy burgerdays.com Courtesy of Peter Tsai

Oz Turk Pizza & Kebabs

Tukka

Australian Heritage Hotel

704 George Street Sydney NSW 2000

145b Boundary St, West End, Brisbane, QLD 4101

100 Cumberland Street The Rocks, Sydney 2000

This small, neighborhood takeaway shop sells a variety of inexpensive kangaroo oriented cuisine, from burgers to kebabs. Sweet tahini, which has a nutty taste, is used on the kangaroo kebabs. For a quick, cheap sample of Australia’s most known bush animal, Oz Turk’s is where you want to go.

This fine dining restaurant totes a hefty price tag, but you certainly get your money’s worth. Kangaroo here is available in panini and fillets. This restaurant also provides samples of other native dishes, such as emu and crocodile. For Australia’s finest, Tukka is the place to be.

A popular tourist attraction, this restaurant provides a great sampling of native meats, all on one pizza. One of the most popular pies is the crocodile, kangaroo, emu pizza. Also offered is a variety of native beers. This restaurant is a perfect place to get a taste of Australian meats and drinks.

Ingredients: • 500g Kangaroo Steak, cut in to 2cm cubes • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped • 3 tbsp Olive Oil • 1 tsp ground Cumin • 1 tsp Garam Masala •1 chopped Birds Eye Chili • ½ tsp Cracked Black Pepper • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice Directions: • Combine meat with 1 of the chopped garlic cloves, oil, spices, chili and lemon juice in a bowl and marinade for 20 minutes. Set aside. • Thread meat on skewers, leaving a little space between each piece of meat. • Pre heat BBQ hotplate or pan, and cook skewers for approximately 2-3 minutes each side.


Aussie Slang People Shiela

Greetings Australian Woman G’Day

Bloke

Australian Man Ta

Anyone

Mate

Bushie

Someone from a rural area

Greenie

an environmentalist

Skippy

slang term for an Australian

Sprog

Yonks

Oi

Good on ya’

thanks

goodbye

how are you doing?

do you need help?

excuse me well done

person from the US (said with humor)

Time

Brekkie

You right?

child

Yank

Evo

Hooroo

Ow ya goin’

an incessant talker

Earbasher

Savvo

good day

Places

Fun afternoon evening breakfast exaggerated amount of time

Furphy

Prezzies Fair Dinkum Ratbag

rumor presents true mild insult

Dunny Big Smoke Billabong Bush

toilet a large city dried up watering hole country, outback

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Pot o’ Gold By Erin Dennis

rebeccalatsonphotography.me


E

veryone just needs to get out and have some “gas” every once in a while. Because what is the point if you just stay in the “scratcher” all day, when you can go out with your “horses.” In Ireland, you can do anything from viewing the beautiful old castles and getting to know the rich history, to going to the cities and just having some fun. If you wanted to visit Ireland the flight would take anywhere up to 11 hours down to six. But when you go, you will never forget. There are so many sites to see like the Ross Castle, or Mizen Head. Anywhere you go in Ireland, it is sure to be a good time.

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History

600BC Gaels took over previous settlements

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Henry VII extended English law over the entirety of Ireland

1168

1495

The English invaded 1620

6000BC

A man named St. Patrick spread Christianity

The republic of Ireland was formed capthk.com

Saint Patrick

1948

1840

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland came into existence.

A revolt in Ireland set in motion a series of events that led the Irish to relinquish their own parliament.

1801

1798

After Cromwells (the king after James I) death, Ireland renewed their claims on their historic lands.

James I reigned and the Protestants became more prevalent

1670

First settlement by fishers and hunters

The potato famine and the population dropped from 8 million to 6 million


“Craic” ain’t whack S

ome tips if you go to Ireland; know their slang. There are some you will know, like ages but you are going to need to know a lot more than that if you want to really feel like you are a part of whatever county you are staying in or just so you can understand what they are saying.

Most Common: sham banjaxed gander aye lock coddin

friend

gowl

stupid person

broken

manky

smelly

a look

gimp

fool

dense

stupid

leg it

run away

bird

girl

black

crowded

rapid

amazing

yes small amount joking

scratcher

bed

gas

fun

horses

friends

craic

banter, gossip

yoke

an object or thing

jacks

toilet

eatin’ house fib

Just for Fun:

There are a lot of amazing and unique things about Ireland, and this is just a little starter to help you get to know the awe-inspiring destination.

restaurant lie

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Hipstours

A ll you have to do is drive. On the self-

guided tours at irishtourism.com, everything is planned out for you. You have options from how long you want to stay to where you want to go.

7 Night Tours

8 Night Tours scenery.nihaowang.com

If you go on a seven night tour, there is no doubt that you will have to be moving from place to place every day or two. If you want to see all of the beautiful scenery and all of the authentic food, go on the “Best of Ireland” tour. You will visit Waterford or Kilkenny for 1 night, Kerry, Galway and Dublin for 2 nights. This is where you have the freedom to go to any exhibits, castles or restaurants you want. So if you go on a seven night tour make sure you keep in mind that you will be traveling around every night to different cities.

Depending on your preference of what you want to see or where you want to go on your eight night tour, these three tours are very different. The northern tour is filled with rich history, and as the locals say “their best kept secrets” (all of the beautiful scenery like the Cliffs of Moher). The southern tour is a mountainous terrain with crystal clear lakes and sure to make the time memorable. The western tour has sandy beaches, Gaelic culture and oyster festivals. If you go on an eight night tour I would recommend you go on one of those three so you are not overwhelmed with all of the tourists.

These are the Cliffs of Moher; one of the many beautiful sites you get to see on the self guided tours.

10 Night Tours

12 Night Tours

14 Night Tours

Ten night tours are where you can finally sit back, relax and just enjoy everything that is Ireland. There are many of the same options here that you can get on the seven or eight night tours but there is one different tour that I would recommend. It is called the “Irish Welcome” tour. On this tour, you have the ability to eat at the local restaurants, get to know the history and culture and most importantly visit all of the spectacular scenery.

All of the 12 night tours require a bit of traveling, but if you go you will be glad you did all of the driving. If you want to get the best experience while you are on a 12 night tour of Ireland, I would recommend you go on the “All Ireland” tour. When you go on the “All Ireland” tour, you will get a wonderful array of memories, diverse scenery and cultural differences.

The best of the best is what you are going to experience if you go on a 14 night tour. On a 14 night tour there aren’t many different options from all of their other tours but that won’t matter because instead of moving from place to place every day you get to meet all the locals and really feel like you are a citizen of Ireland. So I recommend that if you go on a 14 night tour to Ireland that you go on the “5 Centre” tour. You will go to five cities and soak in all that is Ireland.


Castle Accommodation

There are so many beautiful places in Ireland, of course it is going to be hard to decide where to stay if you don’t

want to go on a guided tour. So let us help you with that. Most of the hotels that you will find will be in the capital of the not so famous counties that you would want to visit, but if you want to find hotels that aren’t in the capital, you can go to irishtourism.com. This website has all the counties listed in Ireland. Just click on one and it will give you a list of hotels where you can stay. This will also give you a summary of what attractions are in that county if you want more information. But we will make it easier and list some of them for you.

*The rates will depend on what time you want to go.

The Ashford Castle:

Dromoland Castle:

Ashford Castle’s has spacious suites that allow you to have time to relax and experience the serenity, which western Ireland in Mayo county on the coast of Lough Corrib, will bring. During the summer there is a choice of 2 Restaurants at Ashford Castle: The George V Dining Room, offering classical Irish Cuisine; or the specialty restaurant, The Connaught Room, which offers classical French Cuisine.

A Renaissance structure built in the 16th Century, was once the royal seat of the O’Brien Clan. On Dromoland Castle’s 375 acre estate guests at this outstanding castle accommodation in Ireland can hunt, fish, ride horseback, or play golf, tennis and more.

Ballynahinch Castle:

Waterford Castle:

Ballynahinch Castle is set in the heart of Connemara and surrounded by 350 acres of woodlands, rivers and lakes, which offer miles of scenic walks while overlooking the famous Ballynahinch River. Ballynahinch Castle’s close association with the history of the area is reflected in each of its bedrooms. Local fresh produce is used to create culinary delights in the dining room.

Waterford Castle, located two miles from Waterford City is situated on its own private 310 acre island on the River Suir, surrounded by woodlands. The details of the interior reflects the old world Dining at Waterford Castle provides an opportunity to sample the best of traditional and contemporary cuisine. The restaurant’s menus have the finest international cuisine.

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Dingle Peninsula

Unique

The Dingle Peninsula is located in the county of Kerry on the south western coast Ireland. It stretches 30 miles into the Atlantic Ocean This was once cited in the National Geographic as ‘‘the most beautiful place on earth.’’ You can go on the beaches, swim, surf and when you are done go out and eat while listening to their traditional music.

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Blarney Castle The Blarney Castle that you are visiting today isn’t the original. This castle has been build and rebuild three times. The last time it was rebuilt, it was in 1446 for Dermot McCarthy, the King of Munster. It is located in the county of Cork in southeast Ireland.

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Giant’s Causeway The Giant’s Causeway is located in the County of Arim on the coast in northeast Ireland. The causeway has a 40,000 columns range in height, with the tallest around 36 feet high. This formation happened because of many years after a volcanic eruption with cooling and cracking and shifting.

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Attractions

The Rock of Cashel

The Rock of Cashel is a group of Medieval buildings set on a projection of limestone including the 12th century round tower, High Cross and Romanesque Chapel, 13th century Gothic cathedral, 15th century Castle and the restored Hall of the Vicars Choral. This is all located in the county of Tipperay in southern Ireland.

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Mizen Head This is located in the southernmost tip of Ireland. There are many trails to go on to go on and look out on to the scenery or a beach if you want to sit and relax or go swimming. On top of the Mizen Head peninsula there is a visitor center that you can go to if you want to learn more about Mizen Head.

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Aran Islands There are three islands called Inishmore, Inishmaan and Inisheer. These three islands are located in western Ireland in the Atlantic Ocean. Inishmore has many ancient stone forts like Dun Aengus. Inishmaan is the most untouched of the three islands. Here you will experience the natural, cultural and traditional way of life of the islanders. Inisheer has the famous Burren landscape and is haven for bird lovers. Any way you go you will have an amazing experience.

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In Ireland there is

a lot of food that is similar in the U.S. but “the difference is how traditional it is,” says Tammy Lowe a regular traveler to Ireland. The food there is the essentially same as it was when the first colony was founded, but of course there are going to be some changes that go along with the development of the country. “A lot of their best food is soups and stews,” like nettle soup, which is a soup that comes from a stinging weed. Most people would think this is disgusting, “but the locals seem to love it.” Well you don’t actually get stung when you eat it. You pick it early and let it sit in boiling water to take of the “sting” out. Once you have that, it tastes a lot like cabbage but with higher content of iron. Traditionally it is made as a soup but it can be stirred into mashed potatoes, put in homemade bread or made into a pesto. Even though the locals love it, it is very uncommon in most restaurants. However, leek and

Eatin’ House

potato soup is a very common dish in many restaurants. This soup is a very literal food, all it is potatoes and leeks in a white wine broth. Most of the soups and stews do have potatoes in them like Irish country stew, regular Irish stew, luck of the Irish stew, pride of Erin stew, tullamore dew stew and many more. The potato is one of the most stereotypical foods related to Ireland, but it is still very true. “There are many things to love about Ireland, even the stereotypical parts like potatoes,” says Tammy. In every part of the day you can eat potatoes; for breakfast you can have boxty, for lunch and dinner there are many stew like colcannon, for and desert you can have chocolate potato cake. “It is actually quite good. It is very rich and moist. It tastes like regular cake,” Tammy says. Some restaurants where you can find all this authentic food are all over Ireland, but I will just help you out and list of few. If you are staying in Cork county there is a restaurant

called “Market Place Restaurant & Bar”, which is rated one of the top 3 restaurants out of the 290 places to eat in Cork. Even with their rating, it is not overpriced or fancy. It is casual and has good and efficient service, but not overbearing. If you are staying in Glaway county there is a restaurant called “Oscars”. It is a place with fresh out of the ocean seafood that is made in a very authentic way like quick bouillabaisse. If you are staying in Limerk there is a restaurant called “Freddy’s Bistro”. This was voted one of the hundred best restaurants in Ireland. If you are willing to spend a bit of money to enjoy the atmosphere and the authentic food, then this place is perfect for you. So if you need more informatioon about where to go to food you can go to irelandguide.com

Photo credit from top-gumshoegastronomy.com askchefdennis.com fakefoodfree.com tomarketwithmo.com

Colcannon is mixture of mashed

potatoes, chopped cooked kale, green onions, milk or cream, and lots of butter.

Quick Bouillabaisse is a seafood dish. It consists of crab and fish that were boiled in a broth of onions, leeks and tomatoes and served with French bread.

Boxty is a potato pancake, all that goes into this are potatoes, flour, milk and eggs.

Spotted Dog can be in the form of

a scone, cake or bread. It is basically a type of bread, you can have many variations of this and filled with fruits or chocolate chips.


Giant’s Causeway

Aran Islands

Dingle Peninsula

The Rock of Cashel

Blarney Castle Mizen Head mappery.com

33


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