For this month’s Friday Guest Post we’re gonna hear about my friend Als experience in Ireland.
Als is a student with a passion for traveling and visiting new places. He grew up in a small town just outside Milan, and at the moment he is attending university there.
You can contact Als via this page and I will make sure your message is delivered to him!
Alternatively, follow him on instagram here.
Imagine going to Ireland, what pops up in your mind?
Ireland….. Perhaps Celtic atmosphere, fairytales, emerald fields heated by bright sunshine and a clear blue sky. Maybe parties in pubs to taste local beers and listen to ancient songs.
The truth is, most days, Ireland will not be as you imagine it.
Take Dublin, for example, the capital of Southern Ireland and the heart of the whole country.
Your plane will land. You will look around hopefully, but no emotion will overwhelm you – it will be cold, with a lot of wind and a sad grey sky.
It will be difficult to feel something. Not among the huge industries and coaches terribly overloaded with people. When you arrive in Dublin, you will also find a dirty, wet, humid city. Cans and bottles of beer anywhere along the sidewalks and a visibly widespread social discomfort. The sky will continue to be gray and a thin drizzle will wet hair and glasses.
Ireland, at first impact, will be a big disappointment.
You will be interested in finding guided tours that, like Sandeman’s (completely free and run by young people passionate about cultural heritage), will tell you the difficult past of the city and show you those places of interest. Which, once you’ve finished the tour, you can go back and visit on your own.
So you will come back to Dublin Castle with its huge and majestic history-filled halls, and its park (surrounded by numerous ancient and modern art museums) where you will often find theatrical improvisation groups practicing before a show. Alternatively, you can visit the centuries-old Trinity College, one of the most renowned in the world, where the old Book of Kells is exposed in the columns of a majestic library that seems to be leaving Hogwarts Castle: So-called Long Room.
Between one thing and the other, the first, cold day in Dublin will be over. The still gray sky, the cans at the corners of the road, and the humid climate will still be there.
In the evening, a bitter cold will overwhelm you and force you to wear heavy winter jackets or sweatshirts. You will head, almost certainly, to eat and celebrate in the city’s most famous night district: Temple Bar.
Full of pubs, restaurants and people, you just have the embarrassment of choosing where to taste hot morsels such as Dublin Coddle soup (Jonathan Swift’s favorite, author of “Gulliver’s Travels“), or take a Beer mug. If you look around, though, you will see drunkards everywhere, a constant cold, and, most likely, that annoying drizzle.
Final impression of Ireland and Dublin
Dublin is a tough city, as hard as its fascinating and tragic history, made of famine and persecution and espionage. Past and present must be melted, because the true Irish atmosphere can be felt.
Ireland is not a disappointment. It’s severe. Ireland LOVES to show itself as such, ruin your expectations just in order to be rediscovered. You’ll have to get used to it, accept the cold, the chaos, the dirt. Understand what it’s really like to see beyond the facade. It only opens to those who open to her, it’s like an old man reluctant towards any modern convention.
It is a nation that must be understood through its artistic culture and its History, a word that I repeated in this post to emphasize its importance. If the tours are not enough, the technology and modern Epic Museum of Ireland (one of the major attractions in the city), will immerse you in a overwhelming experience that will make you look back over the country’s past and traditions. In front of it, the statues in honor of the tragic famine that struck the Island in 1845.
Ireland is mostly a seaside country. You will notice while visiting the picturesque village of Howth, on the outskirts of Dublin. You will be surrounded by boats, fishermen and colorful houses. And just behind the corner, steep cliffs and stunning landscapes where nature reigns in the green, purple and yellow moorland.
Did you enjoy this post? share some love (and impressions) in the comment section below! You can also read the first post of the Friday Guest Post Series: Manny’s weekend getaway to London.