I have been in Ireland for a week now. The weather , that was the first thing I realized, is poles apart from the weather in Austria. I had though luck, the weather was worse, even compared to the week before. I am in total agreement, that the color green is very important to the Irish. You are able to draw parallels between this fact and the bad weather. If you are in Ireland and draw attention to these two things, you will realize, that these are irrefutable true. The rest of the first day, I spent with the host family. During the whole week, they played a central role, because they helped me to get in touch with “English” and the country itself. They tried hard to share their views on the country. I really saw their point and in the same way I liked the way they expressed themselves, but on many points we had to agree to differ.
The very first sight I saw was the “spire” at the main street. This beautiful building is higher than most of the houses in Ireland. Because of the cultural difference, there are few skyscrapers. I tend to believe, that most Irish families live in one family houses. On the afternoon of this very day we had a guided tour at “Kilmainham Goal”. It used to be a prison in the past, but nowadays it is a museum and a national shrein in the same way. We got loads of information about this place, where people got executed. It is a popular believe, that this place attracts sadness and I really have to agree wholeheartedly.
On Tuesday I was at Howth. This place is absolutely stunning and – believe me or not – it was a worm and sunny day in Howth. In contrast to this, it was raining cats and dogs in Dublin city. It was really worth to walk around and enjoy the nice view. I disagree fundamentally that the cliffs at Howth are dangerous, but I agree that this place doesn’t suite to families with small kids. I really recommend to plan two or three hours for this trip. There are some routes marked and although the violet route is the longest one, I tend to recommend to walk along this.
Wednesday was a typical Irish day. It was too windy for using an umbrella, but nevertheless it was raining cats and dogs. It was a pity, that we had our free afternoon on that day. In order to proof the friendliness of the Irish, I got off the DART 2 stations to late :p (DART is a local train. By the way: there are only two tram lines and no subway at all. The main vehicle used for public transport are buses. To be honest: There are thousands of bus lines in Dublin. They are very well-organized, BUT you don’t know where to get off the bus
a) Because there is no clue, how the next station is called.
b) For me, quite every street looked exactly like the others. If you want to hop on a bus there is another problem: In many cases you don’t know which line(s) stop at the bus stop….)
Fortunately the Irish are very nice and helpful people and with the help of about ten oft hem, not including two bus drivers, I got home drenched to the bone.
Thursday is the reason, why I am museumed off for a while. In the morning we were at the “National Art Gallery”, a very bright place with a lot of realistic pictures. If you are interested in Irish history, visit the “Dublinia”. At the “Chester Betty Library” you are able to see beautiful old paintings and other stuff. The topic of this museum could be “Religions all over the world”. In the same way as the “National Art Gallery”, there is no entrance fee at the “Chester Betty Library”.
I am sure you know the world-famous beer, originally brewed in Dublin: The Guinness beer, originally developed by Arthur Guinness is ought to be the best Irish beer. (I am absolutely convinced, that this is true, because at least in Austria you know, that Guinness is an Irish beer, but tell me another one!) The “Guinness storehouse” is a museum as well as a brewery. To be honest: The Guinness storehouse is an enormous building. From the top floor, you have a fantastic view all over Dublin. You can even see the Spire from there. Because of this, I can draw parallels to many placed in Dublin, because you always (okay, quite often) know where “Temple Bar” ,also known as Dublin – 01 or the city center of Dublin, is.
Today I had to get up one hour earlier, because of an one – day – trip to Belfast. This trip was the one, everyone (my class and of course me) were looking forward to most. We heard a lot of “The troubles”, but to be downright honest, it seems to be worse, than I could imagine. Catholic and protestant, their houses only ten meters away, but the difference could not be bigger. Between the two houses, normally separated by a one meter high fence, the fence in Belfast seemed ten times that tall…
The gardens are also secured by a cage around it! What are the differences between a catholic and a protestant street?: There is only one thing, that makes them unique: The murials of the protestants are far more aggressive than the catholic ones… Thanks to the EU, there is no border, but if you have a closer look, you will see some differences: kilometers turn into miles, Kph turns into MPH. The key difference, to be honest, is the currency. Northern Ireland has, in the same way as the rest of GB pounds. Ireland and my home-state Austria have Euro…
After a short night, just four or five hours, I am now about to get home. This text I have written in two steps: Step 1: From the very beginning till Friday plus the conclusion were written in the Dublin school of English. The rest was written during the flight from Dublin to Vienna. To end this day (9:50 AM MEZ) I want to talk about the airline “Air Lingus”. You have enough place to sit comfortably (I am for example ~1,91m tall), but my eyes nearly popped out of my head as I realized, that there is no free snack during the 2 ½ hour long flight. There is no TV ( I don’t mean a TV per seat, I mean the TVs at the ceiling of the plane) and no newspaper offered at any time. My host family shared this opinion and added, that they used to be better in former days…
All in all I am not able not to suggest a trip to Dublin. Please don’t forget to take one umbrella per week with you, because of the rainy and windy weather in Ireland there is an extraordinary waste of them.