Wee Irish Cottage, Dromahair, Ireland

wee blue cottage in Ireland

Wee Cottage on the Sligo Way, Dromahair, Ireland

When one envisions the Irish countryside, often quaint stone cottages with thatched roofs, with a garden of dancing flowers on backdrop of rolling emerald hills comes to mind. A lot has changed since this type of Ireland was the norm. Ireland (which was a 3rd world country until about a generation and a half ago) has modernised, become part of the EU and joined the 21st century. And yet, when you are wandering in the countryside – particularly in the rural parts of the west coast, in places like Sligo, Donegal, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon and other similarly rural and agricultural counties, you will still find pockets of this old world Ireland, such as this wee little cottage outside the village of Dromahair that maintains traditional thatched roofs and stone structure (though it’s a vivid shade of blue!). The best way to uncover the real Ireland is by pulling on a pair of hiking boots and set of traipsing through the woods, as Ireland’s outdoors has so much more to offer than Ireland’s towns or cities. This particular cottage is along the final stage of the little-known Sligo Way, a nature and cultural track that winds its way through some of Northwest Ireland’s most scenic destinations. Not only is hiking in Ireland – especially in the remote and undiscovered northwest – a good way to explore the island, but it’s also a great escape from our busy, fast-paced, screen-driven lives of modern society. Instead, kick back, relax and enjoy a slower – albeit muckier – way of life in the remote corners of Ireland!


Pro tip: The Sligo Way is 78 km long, but the final 10km are by far the best. Nearly all off-road, the landscape and backdrop varies from lush woodland, tranquil lake shore, to mountain path, farm track and boggy ground. It passes the famed Isle of Inisfree, the ruins of Creevylea Abbey, a donkey farm and lovely cottages like this one, before ending in the charming village of Dromahair. 


Other lovely places in Ireland to visit:

 

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Warsaw, Poland

Warsawwedding

Couple on a bridge in Warsaw, Poland

Welcome to the still-practiced Polish tradition of parading around the streets in your formal wedding attire. So, you though the French liked PDA? You clearly haven’t been to Poland yet, because they are even bigger fans.  From couples kissing on overcrowded metros to girls sitting on their boyfriend’s lap on almost-empty trams to couples insisting on waltzing down busy streets hand in hand, to awkward restaurant dates.  The Poles tend to marry young. And weddings are a big deal, though unlike Americans, the Poles don’t plan these magnificent, expensive, 500-person weddings 700 miles away from their hometown. They stay right here in Warsaw, and following tradition, spend the rest of the day parading through the city and letting people take photos of them.