Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations


Posted November 8, 2010

How many of you have been to Ireland? What were your favorite experiences on The Emerald Isle? How were the natives? What places would you recommend? Did you like the music? How about the food? Please discuss and encourage others to discuss.  Did you know that North Carolina has a rich Scots-Irish heritage?

Ireland Bill Leslie: Ireland

While you think about these questions I hope you will view our latest music/photo essay. Chreagain features the photography of Irish native John Hall. John is a talented landscape photographer who captures Ireland's rugged beauty with wide angle lenses and extremely long exposures at dusk. It is an honor to collaborate with John on this essay. My music is an ancient Celtic tune I learned from legendary Irish guitarist Micheal O'Domhnaill.

Chreagain is a song that brought me to tears when I first heard Micheal and the Irish group Nightnoise perform it in concert. The vocal version of the song is in Gaelic and speaks of a churchyard dream where a beautiful young maiden entices a poet to leave his native region and travel west to a honey-filled land of beautiful music.

Chreagain is the third track on my Simple Beauty album and includes the remarkable piano arrangement from Asheville's Bill Covington. I hope you enjoy it and how the melody is enhanced by John Hall's wonderful images of Ireland.


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  • cindyldoe Nov 10, 2010

    wolfpackedrbc17, We also stayed in this area and went to all the places you mentioned. Donegal was beautiful! Bill, you can't go wrong in Ireland.

  • wolfpack317 Nov 10, 2010

    My family went to Ireland 4 years ago. It was the greatest vacation I've ever taken! We stayed in VERY rustic cottages in a little village in Donegal. We went to Slieve League - the highest cliffs in Europe, which were amazing. We also went to Glenveagh Castle. The great thing about staying in a small village was getting to go to the pubs and shops and experiencing Irish culture. There were not many tourists, and the locals were so friendly! Enya's grandfather was playing at a pub we went to! Ireland is definitely the most beautiful place I've ever seen, and I can't wait to go back!

  • Lissa Nov 9, 2010

    Onre more: My favorite B&B from the trip:

  • Lissa Nov 9, 2010

    To finish my last post - B&Bs are great because you're staying with locals, who can give you great ideas for places to see that are off the beaten path. It's also a great value - a huge Irish breakfast is included with your room price, and that was enough to last us until dinner. When I went the rates were incredibly low.

  • Lissa Nov 9, 2010

    I went to Ireland 16 years ago. It was the best two-week vacation ever. We rented a car and drove from Shannon to Galway to Dublin and back to Shannon, stopping in places along (and out of) the way. So many wonderful things to see: The Cliffs of Moher, Ring of Kerry, Dingle Peninsula, Doolin, Rock of Cashel (AMAZING), Waterford, Dublin, Newgrange, I could go on. Newgrange is a very spiritual/mystical place; it would be something to be there for the winter solstice. If I had to pick a favorite town, it would be Killarney.

    The people are incredibly friendly; we got lost every day, but loved it, because it gave us the opportunity to meet new people. The best part was that we had no itinerary. We had a book of B&Bs furnished by the tourist bureau and a map. Each night we would look at the map, decide what we wanted to do and see the next day, and pick a B&B out of the book. Before leaving the next morning, we'd call the B&B and make a reservation for that night.

  • djanemull Nov 9, 2010

    So very peaceful and lovely! I have not actually traveled to Ireland, however; I feel I've had a wee bit of a visit by hearing this wonderful music and seeing these breath-taking scenes. Thanks!

  • heintz Nov 9, 2010

    Very beautiful!

  • cindyldoe Nov 8, 2010

    I have been to Ireland twice. My favorite, last June, we rented a small cottage in Co. Kerry on Slea Head Drive. The most beautiful place you'll ever find! I wish I could post a picture. I'll post a link.
    We'd love to move there some day. The people are amazing!

  • bleslie Nov 8, 2010

    Leprechaun Leslie is ready to give these itineraries a try!

  • beckyyoung80 Nov 8, 2010

    Bill a friend and I did the Pub & Folk tour 3 years ago, it was wonderful. The only problem with the coach tour, there were too many shopping stops. We stayed an extra night at the Dromorland Castle, 5 Star and worth the money just to walk the 1500 acers.
    We really want to go back and do Northern Ireland as 9 days was not enough to see all the land or the Pubs. Enjoy




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