Ireland, both the Republic and Northern Ireland, exudes authenticity: added to its landscape, alternately lush and stark, are its prehistoric, ancient and Medieval sites; its small towns and villages; the rich geology of its breathtaking, rugged coastlines, and interior wonders; its “haunted” ruins; its spectacular flora—and its reassuring lack of commercialism. We see the same scenes today that inspired early 19th Century plein air painters from all over Europe: the same towns with overgrown riverbanks, the ruins of castles, abbeys and churches, the cows and sheep in the fields, the narrow, winding roads flanked by stone walls, and covered with hanging wild flowering plants or bowering trees.
The weather is famously changing, making for interesting skies, intermittent rain and sun.
Joel drove around the whole island in two different rental cars, seeing both well-known sites, and little-known ones, and making surprising discoveries that were not in the guidebooks. He flew his drone many times, coming home with aerial views, and movies of ancient sites and spectacular coastlines.
The Irish maintain a high awareness of their past, and take seriously their mission to give every curious visitor a rich first-hand experience of it.
Plenty of time for questions after the program.