Thursday, June 17, 2010

Why I Love Ireland

A friend once asked me, "Why do you even want to go to Ireland?  I mean, there's nothing much there."  My answer was "because it's beautiful!  ...and the culture is so interesting".  Yes, it's probably not as cosmopolitan as other places but it makes up for it in other ways.  My favorite is the southwest of Ireland.  They say that if you've only been to Dublin, then you haven't been to Ireland.  To me, the Southwest is real Ireland.  Here is a list of why I love it so much.

1.  The People -  The Irish are some of the nicest people you will ever meet.  They are open, welcoming, and will buy you drinks all night if you're not careful.  As a tourist in other countries, sometimes you feel like the locals don't really want you there.  In Greece, I have been LOOKED AT as if to say, "go home, tourist.  This is my place!"  In Ireland, I've never felt that way.   As you walk down the street, the old men will wink at you and say, "Hello, how are ya my dear?"  Lovely.
2.  Pubs - We just don't have the equivalent in the U.S.  Our bars seem to usually have a somewhat seedy "meat-market" element to them.  Or the music is so loud you have to shout to hear anyone.  You wouldn't usually go to a bar alone unless you were trying to hook up.  Irish pubs, however, are kinda like coffee shops but with beer.  It's a relaxed atmosphere where you can sit, have a pint, and chat to the local characters.  It's perfectly alright to go there as a single woman and no one will think anything of it.  The musicians that play are usually not up on a stage and will chat with you between numbers.  Also in some pubs, if you bring along an instrument and want to play along with them, it's totally okay.  How cool is that?  

3.  The Countryside - Beautiful!  Check it out.

4.  The smell - There is a very faint smell of grass and peat and sea.  This smells like Ireland to me! 

5.  The Sayings - When refering to a man, they say "yer man".  When refering to a woman they say "yer one".  "Feck" is used instead of...well...you know, but it's not considered a curse word at all.  Even little old ladies say it.  "Slainte" = cheers!  "Gobshite" and "eejit" = my favorite insults.  In Kerry, they put the word "so" at the ends of sentences.  I don't why but it's cute.  (As in "shall we go to the pub so?")

That's good start.  I'll add more tomorrow.  For now---off to the pub so!

5 comments:

  1. I'm with you! I haven't even been and that's why I've been wanting to go! And as far as the "there's nothing there" comment, that's not a bad thing. You don't always need something there. The landscape (especially along the shore!) is plenty!

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  2. Lyn, this is a lovely post. I've not been to Ireland but love Irish pubs (here in New Zealand). You are so right that they are a relaxing, family-oriented place to be, rather than a meat market. I often think Irish landscapes are much like New Zealand. Fiona (formerly of La Vie En Fifi - I have started a new blog).

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  3. Lyn, sorry, linked to my old blog. New one is www.howtobechic.blogspot.com

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  4. Thanks, Fiona! I can't wait to check out your new blog! (I've been lazy with mine lately. It's just not as easy to keep up with it while traveling.)

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