A winner's tour of Ireland
Ever dreamt of winning a trip to Ireland for you and a bunch of your friends? Well, for one lucky lady from Portland USA that dream became a reality.
Emily Delamater was the lucky winner of Tourism Ireland’s Great Green-Off competition back in 2013.
Emily's images of herself and her friends braving a snowy Portland day dressed up in glorious green won Emily and six of her closest friends the trip of a lifetime to Ireland.
We’ve got more amazing competitions lined up for St Patrick’s Day 2014, so we thought we show you just how epic winning one of our competitions can be with a few highlights from Emily's trip.
We asked Emily to share her images and memories from one amazing trip to Ireland.
Here's the famous image that bagged Emily that amazing prize.
Emily and her pals travelled all around the island of Ireland on their trip. Here are a few snapshots from their journey.
First stop, the Cliffs of Moher.
Emily says "My sister Sarah and I looking over the Cliffs of Moher. It has been so nice to look back at out photos from the trip because it's hard to believe it's real when you are standing there. We drove a lot on this trip and we have always been close but a road trip will always bring people together. These cliffs are so majestic. It is such an unreal place. I loved walking the length of the path getting the view from many different spots."
Next up, Emily's adventures took her and her friends into the kingdom of Kerry, and a little fishing village called Dingle...
Emily says "We stopped in Dingle Harbour on our way out to the Dingle Peninsula. I loved the colour of all the boats bobbing in the water. We grabbed lunch here and got ice cream as well - I never knew that parts of Ireland would be known for ice cream! By the Harbor, a man has a donkey and this sweet dog that's trained to jump up onto the donkey's back. Very strange - but a crowd-pleaser. We loved the streat performers in all of the cities we visited. There is such an array and it makes simply walking around so much fun. This was definitely one of our favourite days of the trip."
Further up the west coast of Ireland and along the Wild Atlantic Way route, Emily's trip took her into the arts and culture hub we call Galway City.
Emily says "Galway. What a city! We walked around town, went to a great cafe and bakery, met some great new friends at a pub and sat outside to take in the scenery. Matt (my husband and pictured in the photo with my sister Sarah) bought the hat he is wearing at a beautiful yarn and woolen store. Sarah bought some beautiful yarn - she is an avid knitter and we also got a gorgeous sweater for our mom. We loved the musicians on the streets of Galway and the bright colors of the shops and building and the winding streets."
"One of our first real meals in Ireland was fish and chips at a great pub right near our B&B in Tuam, County Galway. Which was so beautiful. It was delicious. We were exhausted from traveling but so happy - we laughed and drank Guinness, of course. The B&B was one of our favorites because it was a working farm with two sweet dogs and gardens in the back and cows. We all grew up on a farm and we felt like we were home."
Next we're into the Rebel county of Cork and to the gorgeous Blarney House.
Emily says "This is Blarney House which is right next to Blarney castle. We hadn't planned on visiting here but I'm so glad we did. The house was glorious and the gardens near the castle were amazing. We loved the "Poison Garden" and the Caves."
Heading east now, Emily and co stopped off in The Garden of Ireland or County Wicklow as it's known. Home to rolling hills and glistening lakes.
Emily says "Wicklow Mountains, one of the most magical places I have ever been. These are my friends Jessica and Erik Person. I photograph couples and weddings for a living so I like to make my sisters and their husbands model for me when we take trips. We had stopped at a market to get provisions for a picnic by the lake. We swam and skipped rocks, ate fresh bread, strawberries and chocolate and cheese. So good."
Emily's Ireland adventure then took her to capital of the Republic of Ireland: Dublin city. Famed for producing literary greats, its friendly locals and all round buzzing atmosphere, it's pretty much impossible not to have a great time in Dublin city. Our advise? Get there for St Patrick's Day when the entire city goes into party mode.
Emily says "Dublin. I could walk the gorgeous streets of Dublin everyday and never tire of them. I loved the lights hanging across and the potted plants above the awnings. We all wished we had had more time to try so many more restaurants because had so many amazing meals. We also loved the Crack Bird restaurant - so good!"
Our last night in Dublin was the weekend, and it was very lively. We had an amazing meal at a place called Rustic Stone and then ventured out to some pubs. We ended up at a salsa club of all places and then at the famous O' Donoghue's. We were so sad to be leaving - it was a total dream."
To think all of these amazing experiences and adventures around Ireland came from entering one little photo to Tourism Ireland's St Patrick Day competition in 2013.
The good news is that we'll be holding more amazing competitions in the run up to St Patrick's Day 2014! So why not enter? You could get lucky like Emily and win a dream trip to Ireland and memories to cherish for a lifetime.
If you're not in, you can't win!