Rain, pubs, sheep, Kevin, rain, Guinness, James Joyce, rain, whisky, lovely nature, rain, Patrick, crisis, rain, O’Connor, Mc, red hair, rain, green, shamrock, leprechaun, rain…
Well, I could finish this post right now, having mentioned all those stereotypes Ireland is famous for. They describe Ireland very well and of course, people will never stop using those stereotypes ever. Currently the country is in discussing because of the annual Irish Red Head Convention taking place in Cork.
Well, I have to admit, there’s a bit more to this country!
Dublin – College, party, sightseeing
I was definitely looking forward to seeing all of it while spending almost half a year in Dublin studying. I lived in an exciting, young, yet very expensive city. Although prices had declined by roughly 20% compared to two years ago, it was still very expensive. There was nothing unusual about a Guinness for € 5.
There are some strange things, which can be derived from the celtic past. In my opinion the country becomes even more likeable, though. Their language, besides English: Irish. For some years, all kids learn at least the basics in school.
In daily life, only two words were important for me: Slaínte (Cheers, pronounce it Slantché) and Garda (which is the police). There are a few villages in the western parts where Irish is spoken in daily life, though.
What you wouldn’t expect in Europe: Football (or soccer, if you like) is not the number one sport. Rugby, Gaelic Football and especially Hurling are extremely popular, while in Germany we don’t even know it.
During the Finals, the atmosphere in the pubs is indescribable.
The colleges are famous, especially Trinity College. ‘My’ University College Dublin also has a quite good reputation. By the way, James Joyce used to study here. My stay was part of the ERASMUS program; lectures were challenging but I also had enough spare time.
‚Temple Bar‘ quarter, next to the Liffey river is famous for its many pubs. All tourists come here, of course. But you can really have a lot of fun and a great time here.
Live bands are playing on different floors in every pub and especially on weekends the atmosphere is getting better and better. Normally there’s no entrance fee, but drinks are very expensive. We weren’t too much into clubbing. Well, you don’t need them with those great pubs.
There are not many tourist sights in Dublin. Trinity College is amazing, especially the library. Some lovely churches and its location along the Liffey and near the Irish Sea is great. Beautiful Malahide Castle is in the north of the city.
Very beautiful and worth a trip are some places quite close to the Capital:
Taking the DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transport), you reach Howth in less than half an hour. It’s on a peninsula in the north of Dublin. You can watch seals in the port and enjoy amazing fish & chips.
Dun Laoghaire und Killiney
Dun Laoghaire (Irish, you would spell Dun Leary in English) is in the south of Dublin. You can reach this beautiful seaside town by DART, too. Killiney is some stations further and is often compared to the Bay of Naples. Well, slightly exaggerated, but it is beautiful.
An old Celtic grave. Interesting architecture, but what’s really stunning: the people built it 5000 years ago, so the sun would shine inside only on the day of winter solstice. Impressing!
An old monastery in the Wicklow Mountains, south of Dublin. Its location next to a lake is picturesque and the ruins have a morbid flair. The old graveyard is extremely picturesque.