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At night, the streets of Paris are booming with bustling bistros and the sound of scurried stilettos, clicking their way through cobbled walkways. By day, the illusion is vanquished, streets lined with booming tour buses and throngs of people filing into cathedrals and beloved landmarks. This scene is echoed in Dublin, London and spans its way to the Côte d’Azur. The charm and allure of these destinations becomes muted, more a chore than an escape, unless you know where to venture.
When flying across the Atlantic, instead of jet-setting straight to Niece or Paris, a stop in the Emerald Isle can be a step back in time. Land in Dublin and save the trip inward for another time—and head west. Combing through the countryside be watchful for people on the sides of the road, strolling peacefully despite the uncomfortably close speeding cars, weaving in and out along the country roads. Along the west, in the middle of what seems like no place in particular, there’s a quaint castle in Limerick dating back to the 14th century. The slight musky odor when you enter the foyer alerts you to the history of the place, much of it collected on the walls and overflowing in the different rooms.
Walk the manicured grounds and rest in the generous beds. The complete silence during the evening and absolute darkness is startling. Separate yourself from the chaotic motions of every-day-life, while soaking up the plush greens and tranquil walkways. The staff is welcoming and accommodating, usually guessing what you need before you even realize it yourself. After your brief stint back in time continue your journey by taking the five-mile drive down to the Tarbert car ferry and continue onward.
Prefer the scuttle of the city? Treat yourself to a meal on the corner of London’s exclusive Sloane Square at The Botanist. Before you make it to your seat, the Sir Hans Sloane-inspired artwork adorning the walls leaves the muddled mess of city life, transporting diners to the Caribbean, discovering new species of exotic flowers, snakes, and crabs.