With all apologies to our friends, both foreign and domestic, who advised us to spend some time in Belfast, we decided to secure our rental car and drive toward the northern coast as soon as we landed in Northern Ireland. We were short on time and long on ambition, hoping to see both the northern and the wild western coasts of Ireland before returning to Dublin and our flight home. But Ireland isn't a country that can be fully appreciated in a whirlwind tour. It is an ancient land, rich in history and slow in distillation. And, as with all fine whiskey, it needs to be sipped to be truly enjoyed.
More and more frequently these days, our travel adventures begin with an amazing deal on airfare. Last April, I came across an Air France promotion from Washington, D.C., to Dublin for just $314 per person round trip, and I couldn't pass it up. The travel dates were 11 months away, but that gave us plenty of time to decide what we wanted to do and see while we were there. You must know that when you tell Mr. Mike Ballard that you have tickets to Dublin, you will be seeing much more than just Dublin -- and much more than just Ireland! He planned an amazing itinerary for us that included stops in Ireland, Isle of Man, England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland in March 2017 as a belated Valentine's Day adventure.