TRAVEL organisations and ho tels surpass themselves in efficiency and detail of arrangement. Hardly a stone remains unturned to ensure the smooth running of a vast and complex machinery. But this complex mechanism seams, thank goodness, to he unable to encompass Ireland. It has reached the shores of Ireland, but it cannot cross them.
Transport to Ireland is on a par with the best. Aer Lingus run frequent and most efficient services to Dublin and Shannon from nine destinations in the United Kingdom and more further afield. Seventeen-day excursion tickets, c dawn » and a star a, flights, make air travel to Ireland one of the most economical routes. B.E.At have similar services to Belfast.
For those — and there are still many — who wish to have more than " forty winks " on their journey -who in fact enjoy travel — there are excellent sea services, perhaps the most popular routes being those of the British and Irish Steam Packet Company from Liverpool to Dublin (9 hours) and that by the Belfast Steamship Company from
Liverpool to Belfast (9 hours). You e save a day ,A by travelling at night, but in summer time you may also enjoy a beautiful evening departure from either Relget, Dublin or Liverpool, blessed by a sea sunset. The other routes are British Transport: HolyheadDun Laoghaire (3 % hours), Fishguard-Rosslaire (3 % hours), Fishguard-Waterford (8 hours), Heysham-Belfast (7' hours), Stranraer-Larne (2 1/4 hours), City of Cork Steam Packet Company Fishguard Cork (9 hours), Liverpool-Cork (20 hours).
SLOW-DOWN HP to this point, then, the
sheer mechanism of modern tourism survives, but now the cogs in these finely oiled wheels begin to falter. And how refreshing it is when this happens. So many people's lives are ordered to a constant pattern, the clockwork precision of modern life which an Irish holiday completely upsets. On arrival in Ireland, you must accept some, at least, of the greater essentials But then time does not rule. Nothing is so important that it cannot wait, the only exception being Sunday Mass. Ireland, in addition to the charm of the people — and that without a doubt is its greatest attraction — has many pleasant things to offer the holidaymaker.
TOURING EVEN the most inexperienced visitor need not be too timid to explore for himself in Ireland. Car hire services provide for an occasional excursion Or for the whole of the holiday (a new Foldex map of Ireland will be a help in this respect). For those who want to join a tour, Coras Iompair Eircam make ample provision by way of motor coach, rail, bus, and radio train tours, and attractive cruises on the Shannon. The Great Northern Railway and Ulster Transport have similar functions. For next. year Eire has again organised a national festival. An Tostal, from May 6 to 21. There are attractions specially organised for this period, but this festival is rather on the scale of an informal At Homer at which you may go into your host's home and enjoy his family's hospitality. In the case of Ireland, a considerable family offers a wide range of entertainment.
AN TOSTAL THE mountains of Ireland will give you some climbing and plenty of rambling. The rivers have excellent fishing, and during An Tostal there is an angling competition. And of course there is hunting. For the golfer there are more than 107 courses in the South alone with a most reasonable subscription for the visitor.
Home industries such as Beleek china, Waterford glass, Irish linens and Donegal tweeds supply the large and small stores with a variety of tempting purchases.
The present lives with a picturesque past. A glorious history much in evidence stands in Cashel of the Kings, in Dublin; indeed In almost every town throughout the land, all embellished with legend such as only the Irishman, the born storyteller, can weave about a place, a man. a situation.
If you like racing, what better country than Ireland can you find? Every Irish man — and woman — knows something about horses. The very reasonable entrance fees at racecourses make it no luxury to be enjoyed by a privileged few. It is a day for all and sundry. There is nothing better than the Irish Derby on The Curragh, or for that matter any meeting, he it Leopardstown, Phoenix Park, Naas, Navan, or Punchestown.
RIGHT AWAY IN Ireland also you can have the perfect holiday e away from it all ». Away from everywhere, near a canal hank, the bridge below, a lock above, a bog on the left and the bog over yonder. A tinker's cart on the grass, piebald grazing nearby, a donkey cart slowly creeping nearer along the uneven hank, a dog in attendance, the constant munching of grass by cattle, and, as the donkey cart passes you, a friendly Good night. Nice soft night to night MARY J. DOWLING.