IMG_9046_ed_1

First I visited Ireland was in 2010, on Google Street View. It was just added to Google Street View then and first place I visited was Grafton Street. To me, Ireland was all about Grafton Street (I was obsessed with it then for some reason!), Guinness, Luck and everything green (No. Not even St. Patrick’s Day parade).

I could not even have imagined then that one day, I will actually live here and spend significant amount of time. I have been living in Ireland for almost 3 years now and I have to say, this country has surprised me. Ireland is much more than I had imagined it to be. And it is more than anyone who hasn’t been here can imagine it to be. Considering geographic area of the country and its location on the globe, one may think that how much history or heritage could it possibly have? Or how many significant events could have actually taken place here? Well, get ready for few surprises.

Ireland is home to Newgrange, a prehistoric structure which is older than Greeks, Romans or potentially even older than Stonehenge or Egyptian pyramids. It has produced some of the world’s best in pretty much every domain one can think of, literally. It has given the world some of the best poets, novelists, playwrights, story writers, singers, musicians, comedians (no, I am not referring to Tommy Tiernan 🙂 ), actors, scientists, philosophers, boxers, golfers and this list can go on forever. No wonder some of the most memorable characters on TV were Irish – Father Ted to Ray Donovan and of course, my personal favorite, Jimmy McNulty. This country has seen world class revolutionary young leaders and has also seen grumpy old corrupt politicians from time to time. It has been presenting the world with exemplary warriors from Brian Boru to Michael Collins and many others before and after their eras. The country has seen the worst of the famines on the planet and has also lived ‘Celtic Tiger’ era! The country’s name has been connected to the cleverest and most intriguing of the thieves (such as Martin Cahill) and the scariest of gangsters. Ireland was one of the active belligerents of ‘The Troubles’, one of the most complex, violent and long lasting armed struggle western world has ever seen and yet, it is one of the most peaceful countries on the planet today. Ireland was the first to pull out of European bailout program with very healthy recovery from the global slowdown but then it has also seen textbook example of a grand fuck up by a national bank. It has even seen a fucking civil war of its own!

[Well, too many F*** words? I first thought of not using them but then I thought, how can there be an honest account about Ireland without fucking F*** words!]

So, after travelling around the country for a while, I thought of starting this blog series. Idea is to cover Ireland in 99 photos. Now, that is very ambitious thing to try because Ireland has much more content to offer. I will share 99 photos (starting with next post) which best describe/relates to Ireland as country and its people. Will also try to share facts, some details around the picture, stories, experiences, practical tips about places, nightlife etc wherever I can.

P.S. : If this goes well, I may plan to do a series on India and another one on Europe – I still do not feel I have enough content to even start those.