We have a New York-based pilot for this week’s feature: Washbuilt. As you’ll see, he’s a big fan of supporting local businesses — something that can be tough to do in the FPV world. Learn more about his favorite quad, with many of the parts locally sourced.
Stunning seascapes, green pastureland, lively villages filled with music and tasty food, the dynamic and compact capital cities of Dublin and Belfast, and prehistoric sites galore – Ireland is packed with wonders. The country has bounced back from the icy winds of recession, and while the city nearly saw the end of its boom years, much of its cultural heritage has survived. A robust realism replaces the hubristic confidence of the years of the “Celtic Tiger” and the Irish, fierce survivors, remain proud of their history and identity.
Ireland’s famous capital – the fair city – bestrides the River Liffey and looks seawards to its port and the broad waters of Dublin Bay. The distinctive outline of the Wicklow Mountains forms a magnificent backdrop to the South, while suburbs stretch far Inland as well as north to the Ben of Howth and south to Dalkey Headland. Something like a third of the country’s population lives in the greater Dublin area, and the majority of the country’s business is carried out here. Georgian architectural elegance and the increasingly cosmopolitan café, restaurant and bar scene make the city an irresistible destination, not only for a weekend but longer periods of exploration.
Low-rise but high-tech, elegant and yet raucous, Dublin retains the feel of a small city while flaunting its modernity. A modern tramway will trundle you silently around city streets where the best of the old has been preserved in ancient churches, medieval street patterns, Viking remains and pretty parks.
This long, rugged coastline offers endless scenic drives (notably The Wild Atlantic Way), pit stops at quiet, empty beaches and some of Ireland’s most exciting water sports. The Burren often seems like another place altogether with its strange moonscape hills and unusual wildlife. Even more remote are the Aran Islands, beaten by the Atlantic gales, their stones heaved up to divide the barren land into small divisions.
The six counties which make up the British province of Northern Ireland – Derry, Down, Armagh, Fermanagh, Tyrone, and Antrim – were once part of the historical region of Ulster but were separated from Donegal, Monaghan, and Cavan by the British in 1921. The three major urban areas to visit in the province are Belfast, Derry, and Armagh, once war-torn but now in recovery.
Sligo is well known for its connection to the Yeats family. However, the long coastline of Donegal is the chief attraction, with mountain ranges offering challenging cliff walks and stunning sea views.
Belfast is a major capital city, small enough to get around on foot with a couple of bus rides thrown in. It is a little like one of the United Kingdom’s northern cities with bombastic Victorian architecture overlaid with sleek 216- lines. Its inner city has regenerated into a fascinating cultural center and its murals, once a cry of pain and anger, have become tourist attractions.
The city of Derry has also emerged from the dark years, perhaps not as well as Belfast, but it is a small and fascinating place, its city walls intact and its museum offering an objective version of the ‘Troubles.’ Armagh is the province’s ancient religious capital, its observatory and cathedral well worth a visit. Antrim and Down are the wealthiest of the counties, with small, prosperous towns and some beautiful countryside.
Fermanagh offers a unique lake-land environment and the lively small town of Enniskillen. The highlight of any visit to Northern Ireland is the coastal drive taking in the amazing Giant’s Causeway. The North is a very different prospect to the Republic. The long years of warfare are not forgotten, but visitors will find a warm welcome from gracious people.
Follow In the footsteps of the Anglo-Normans as they spread across Ireland, building great castles, churches, and abbeys, and relish one of the great sights of ancient Ireland: the holy hill of Cashel. The Republic’s second city, Cork, has its distinctive character, while the southeastern coast is renowned for its beauty. From the ferry port of Rosslare, and the Viking city of Wexford, make your way to Johnstown Castle and the Irish Agricultural Museum.
Drive through the National Heritage Park to the old towns of Enniscorthy and New Ross, past the lovely abbey ruins at Jerpoint to medieval Kilkenny, one of Ireland’s most compelling cities. The Rock of Cashel is magical. From here, head south through Caher with its castle, and Fermoy with its beautiful river.
From Cork take the road east along the coast to Cobh, overlooking the broad waters of Cork Harbour, and on via delightful old Youghal to the southeast’s other Viking city of Waterford, renowned for its street art festival and lively cultural life. A ferry crosses Waterford Harbour to the abbeys, gardens, castles, and beaches of the Hook Peninsula.
From imposing Himalayan mountains to beaches caressed by the sun, from sweltering bazaars to exclusive designer boutiques, from sedate temples to lively festivals, from rural villages to torpid cities with avant-garde designs, it is hardly surprising that India has been considered the most multidimensional country in the world.
This vast territory is home to more than one billion people and its eclectic mélange of ethnic groups. For those looking for an enriching spiritual experience, India presents a wide variety of sacred sites and inspiring philosophies. Meanwhile, fans of outdoor activities can rejoice in the sparkling waters of the southern beaches framed by palm trees, mount on elephants and spot big cats in the jungle, or simply breathe the scent of wildflowers during a rejuvenating walk through the forest.
India is a country that overwhelms for its size and diversity. Nothing turns out to be exactly as planned, so the only thing you can expect is the unexpected, which comes in several forms and always sit next to the traveler.
Rajasthan is a parched land of vivid colors, soaring forts, and fairy-tale palaces that fulfills a visitor’s most exotic dreams. This land created the image of the maharaja hunting, fighting, dallying with his princesses, and dripping in pearls, emeralds, and diamonds. Whether you palace-hop from one fairy-tale historic hotel to the next or indulge in India’s most luxurious contemporary leisure hotels, be sure to spend time in the bazaars to find brightly colored textiles, folk art, and costume jewelry. From the “Pink City” of Jaipur to “Golden City” of Jaisalmer to the white marble havelis alongside calm lakes of Udaipur to the indigo-hues old homes of Jodhpur, Rajasthan is vibrant – and not just in colors.
The capital of India has been of the most prominent cities in the world in the past 1.000 years. Today, Delhi has transformed into a modern metropolis spilling out of its geographical boundaries. Ancient monuments that just 50 years ago were surrounded by jungle or farmland have been enveloped by urban sprawl and some are occupied by squatters or dwarfed by modern developments. Among the monuments for which this city is famous are no less than three entirely separate UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the early Sultanate Qutb Minar, Humayun’s Tomb from the early Mughal period and the later Mughal Red Fort-as well as dozens more major ruins and monuments.
Renowned for Taj Mahal, the emblem of India, Agra was the center of cultural and imperial Mughal kingdom. Explore the ancient culture and history, palaces and gardens. Here you’ll find beautiful marble objects inlaid with precious stones. Notice how the craftsmen create works of art using techniques that have passed through many generations in Agra Marble Emporium. Haggle to buy leather goods and souvenirs in the Sadar Bazaar. Take a break and enjoy the samosas and spicy potato balls and chickpea chaat (a typical snack from the region).
A former Buddhist kingdom, Ladakh is one of the quietest places in India. The region is cut-off from the Indian mainland for most parts of the year, which keeps itself as a relatively less explored tourist destination in India. The landscape is mostly arid with patches of tranquil lakes and lush greenery. Buddhist monasteries, colorful flags, and prayer wheels add to the beauty of this place. The people of Ladakh are probably the most hospitable people in India. Everyone greets you with a smile, and service comes before money. Ladakh also offers some of the most exciting trekking opportunities.
With pristine beaches, extending backwaters, and enchanting tea gardens, Kerala has rightly been called “God’s own country.” Kerala is the southernmost Indian state with its topography varying from high hills to the beaches. Along with the natural wonders, this magnificent state is also the home of Ayurveda, ancient martial arts techniques, and the fascinating folk songs and dances.
Located on Indian’s east coast, Pondicherry is very different from other Indian cities – no chaos, no noise, and no crowd. A former French colony, the French impression can be still seen in its buildings and people. Situated nearby is the unique township, Auroville with its own laws and currency; a place mostly inhabited by foreigners. Pondicherry is a perfect amalgamation of Indian, French, and English cultures.
Being the easternmost state of India, Arunachal Pradesh is the most scarcely populated. It lies in the lap of the Himalayas and has some of the most spectacular mountain passes of India. Still, it remains uncharted in the tourist maps due to its inaccessibility by both road and air. If you have some extra time to spare, exploring the “Land of dawn lit mountains” would be worth your time. Along with the mighty Himalayas, Arunachal Pradesh boasts of the world’s second largest monastery, Tawang monastery. Ziro valley is a must visit place in the monsoons due to the beautiful paddy fields as well as Ziro music festival, which is India’s largest outdoor music festival.