TGIF: You won’t need a pot of gold when visiting Ireland

I am not sure what I like best about Ireland; the kind people, good food, spectacular sights or low prices. The accommodations and restaurants are extremely affordable or down right cheap. I really can’t say enough good things about Ireland. Whether exploring the Wild Atlantic Way, or visiting castles, you’ll find much to explore in Ireland. You can climb the highest peak in Europe at Slieve Leage. Splash in Ireland’s pristine turquoise waters. Along the way, you’ll witness seals and puffins on the scenic shores. You can also enjoy an expedition to a upside down lighthouse and escape to a quiet island. 

Evocative cliffs encapsulate this fairly land island.Tory Island has the distinction of having a resident, King. Besides greeting visitors, I’m not sure what his official duties are. The King of Tory rules over a small and quaint island kingdom. Tory Island lighthouse, a monk’s tower recall local history. There’s a hostel and hotel, grocery store, some shops and a post office within walking distance. Tory Island offers a quiet retreat and a taste of the past.

 
Rathlin Island is a popular destination. You can scale an upside down lighthouse. Catch a bus to the lighthouse and enjoy nature. West Light builders ingeniously came up with a way to avoid clouds that could obscure the light. Watch puffins, skylarks and other birds at the West Light Seabird Center. It’s largest seabird colony in the United Kingdom. Over 250,00 seabirds return to breed on Rathlin Island each year. 

Stop by Dublin and don’t miss Trinity College. It is the oldest university in Ireland. Its stunning architecture transports you to another era and dimension. Venture to the Long Room, one of Europe’s most impressive libraries. Beautiful marble busts adorn the aisles of the library. Star Wars used the library for inspiration. Walk through the pages of history and see the Book of Kells. It is a medieval manuscript of the four Gospels that is considered to be Ireland’s finest treasure. 

Whether you’re a history buff, beach goer, nature lover or lighthouse enthusiastic, Ireland offers a lot for your money as well as fun for everyone.

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Twelve Dollars Can Save a Lighthouse 

For only $12, you can join efforts to save Florida’s Endangered Lighthouses. join the Florida Keys Reef Lights Foundation at http://www.floridakeysreeflightsfoundation.wildapricot.org/page-1475853

Last year the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation announced the 2016 11 Most Endangered Historic Sites at the 38 th Annual Statewide Preservation Conference in Tallahassee. The Most Endangered Historic Sites program is designed to increase the public’s awareness of the urgent need to save Florida’s neglected or threatened historic resources, and to empower local preservationists and preservation groups in their efforts to preserve Florida’s rich history.

Florida Keys Reef Lighthouses was on the Most Endangered List
 The Florida Keys Reef Lighthouses are an important piece of Florida’s history. The six reef lighthouses are Carysfort Reef (6 miles south of Key Largo), Sand Key (7 miles southwest of Key West), Sombrero Key (5 miles south of Marathon), Alligator Reef (4 miles south of Islamorada), Fowey Rocks (6 miles east of Key Biscayne) and American Shoal (5 miles south of Sugar Loaf). Built between 1852 and 1880, these lighthouses are made of cast iron with a skeletal design to let as much wind and waves pass through in order to withstand hurricanes. These lighthouses were constructed to warn ships of the hazardous reefs below the surface. The Florida Keys Reef Lighthouses are currently owned by the US Coast Guard. The Florida Keys Reef Lights Foundation is applying for ownership of all but Fowey Rocks, which has been transferred to Biscayne National Park. With the Coast Guard facing budget cuts and many boaters relying on GPS for navigation, the proper upkeep of the lighthouses has been lacking. All lighthouses now have corrosion showing, and vandals leave the doors and windows open causing damage on the inside (Fowey Rocks has been secured now). The need to save these lighthouses as pieces of history now doubles to protect the reef. Should the lighthouses be left to decay the structures would fall on the reef causing damage that cannot be repaired.

“Art, like morality consists in drawing the line somewhere” GK Chesterton.

 

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