So whats Ireland like? Tough to say. I only got a small sampling, and a tainted one at that. Still, I can honestly say that the Irish are an amiable peole, and generally welcming. There is a great influx of Polish into Dublin, noticably so for even a veeryshort time visitor like myself. What does that say about Dublin or Poland? Not much. Several years ago when Laura and I travelled around the world (literally) Warsaw was one of our favorite places of that whole trip.
Where we stayed in Dublin had a view of the river and Ha’Penny bridge, which we lucked into. Part of this luck was in asking a woman on the street as we were wandering about, somehwat lost. In Belfast and Ballycastle I stayed with family who had fleeting knowledge of me or hadn’t met me before. This was done not necessarily as a familiar obligation, but because that’s the nature of the people.
Pub life is different, where “adults” in America go to the bar to have a ew beers, thepub is a social gathering place. Yes, beer flows, but not in the uantities that one necessarily migght associate with a drinking establishment. Because everybody there grows up around the beer and it isn’t the “forbidden fruit” as it is in America, it dosn’t hold the same sway on the Irish. That’s not to say they don’t like their drink, but they are much more sensible about it.
A real sense of culture, heritage and history is enjoyed by the population as well. Everybody seems to be if not formally educated, at least knowledgable about some of the basics of their country, which is sorely lacking in America.
Because it’s an island, and a large one, transportation is plentiful. A regular bus runs every hour from Dublin to Belfast – 24 hours a day. In the Dublin airport, an advertisement for the national airline offered flights from Dublin to other cities in Ireland for 19Euro. Busses are almost always running in the cities, so much so that it seems to be that transportation is the biggest employer in Ireland, more so than pubs. Ireland is an easy country to get around in.
Above all, Ireland is friendly and enjoyable. To say that I woulld like to go back is an understatement. There is so much to see there, so much history to explore, that a couple of months would wind up being a whirlwind tour of the highlights. I look forward to going back.