Ireland is a gem. Known as the Emerald Isle, a well-deserved name, given that the Irish countryside is an endless array of green-lush vistas, often dotted with sheep lazily grazing away.

One of the first forays I took out of Dublin was to visit the fabled countryside, a constant tableau of never-ending lush green fields, pastoral settings at their best.

Often they were punctuated by small quaint villages, see on the distant horizon and a castle or two.

Dublin itself has a lot to offer. There is an endless array of places to visit, more than often you find yourself strolling along streets that harken back to centuries back, but also have modern shops, great restaurants and pubs.

It’s a ying and yang of history unfolding for you.

One weekend my wife flew over from Vancouver and stayed a week. We decided to stay at one of those fabled Castle hotels

Ballyseede Castle has a history dating back to 1950s. It’s been transformed into a luxury hotel, amidst 30 acres of native woodland.

From Dublin the hotel was a 31/2 hour drive through the breathtaking Irish countryside.

And when we got there we were blown away by its magnificence. It was a holiday of a lifetime.

Our Room