Friday, November 02, 2007


I am not sure what to say about Ireland to be honest. Maybe I shouldn't say anything and let the pictures speak for themselves. It is really one of the most beautiful and greenest spots on Earth.......if the weather holds. Fortunately for us we couldn't've gotten much better. It was great. The problem was that we were seriously unprepared in terms of preplanning and knowing what there was to see and do and having enough money to do it! Our 7 day car rental (, very cheap) turned into 10 and we still had no time. Shorter days didn't help but we did what we could. Mom did an amazing job of getting us around really.
At the same time I feel that I have not done anything to really get in touch with Ireland. I can honestly say I've been all over and seen a huge part of the country but I haven't felt it. It became obvious very early on that we would have to choose between culture or scenery on our visit. We chose scenery. Why? Well, the weather was good enough for that (which is never guaranteed over here) and because we were in need of some green in our lives. So I feel like a traitor to the country and am afraid to comment on much. I don't know much about the history here and given how strongly they feel about it, I won't open my mouth. My impressions are based on many random things strung together. How could you not love a country with town names like "Killinaboy" and "Knocknahaha". "Kill" (or rather "Cille" in Irish) means "church" and in Ireland that has never been more appropriate. We were a few days in the north and one of our hosts told us how he was killed by a bomb in a church and brought back to life, only to be bombed again in a pub 3 months later. Wow! And they tell us that tons of people have these kinds of stories. I can't imagine.
I also had no idea that it would be so "3rd world" here. Ok, that might seem a little bit stupid to say after coming from the real 3rd world, but I hadn't realized how undeveloped things were until the Celtic Tiger thing that the US did a couple decades ago to build it up. And building up it is, with tons of cranes everywhere, especially in Dublin. Belfast is also building up and almost every shop had a help wanted sign in the window. I know it was bad in the past (Hotel Europa there was the most bombed hotel in Europe through the 60's and 70's) but things are getting better and if you need a job that might be the place to go. Again, we had to drive right through Derry and all the little towns around the country so someday I will have to come back and stop off at the pubs and listen to the music.
It definitely reminded me of the Fraser valley a few times and mom mentioned Ontario a lot too. I guess it was enough of a "home" break that I don't have to come home now :) Our favourite spots were probably around the north coast near Giants Causeway and the northwest coast (Donegal county). The Donegal area is not very touristed and we had the best weather in the north. But it was all good. The only thing we didn't see were the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren area very well because it was really foggy but we are confident that we saw scenery just as good elsewhere. We have a few more crazy detours planned (nothing more than a few days) on our way back to Morocco.


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