Ireland

White sheep, green hills and brown beer: Welcome to Ireland! 

 
It’s tangible, as soon as you set foot in Dublin, the air is fresher than elsewhere and it’s not just about the temperature. The city radiates a different energy and you would almost expect to meet Vikings around the corner.
Ireland has been through battles, crises and war, the Irish know what it means to live through hard times. The great famine is far behind, the tensions have eased, Dublin is breathing, so you are likely to feel like that when you first arrive here.
Ireland is in Europe, it’s very close to Paris, but Ireland is a different world.
 

Dia duit, is mise Christine, is mise Fraincis, is deas liom bualadh leat! Hello Ireland! 

 

The Irish are brave, they don’t wear coats in winter

  
The wind sweeps mercilessly across the streets and wrapped in our anoraks, hats pulled down to our eyebrows, we are absolutely stunned to see Dubliners walking around in T-shirts or sweaters.

That’s what it means to be Irish. A real Irishman miite is not afraid of the cold in winter. 

Do you speak English ? In Ireland it can help, but only a little 

 
The Irish speak English, which is one of the official languages. They also speak Gaelic and Ulster Scottish. I’m lucky, I speak English. But that’s the theory. As soon as I get through customs I understand that I have to wake up neurons and ears, because despite all my efforts I can’t understand anything my interlocutors say.

It’s the accent. It’s the hell.
Because if I record one word in ten, the worst thing is that they speak very, very quickly and super-cooooool. No matter how old they are, the Irish have a very relaxed way of speaking. It’s like they’ve known you a long time even, if you just ask where the toilet is.

That’s what being Irish is about, being cool with everybody and under any circumstances.

There’s a unique library in Dublin that’s worth the travel alone

 

Dublin hides a real treasure: one of the most beautiful libraries in the world

 

Inside Trinity College, founded in 1592, this illustrious building still welcomes students from home and abroad. The walls have seen Samuel Beckett, Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s father, and even Bram Stoker, Dracula’s father, but there are far too many to mention them all.

What is in the great library that lets us fight against gusts of wind that would depilate the wool of the sheepsback ? The Book of Kells. Yeah!

A manuscript from the year 800 containing the four gospels. What makes it famous is neither its great age nor the holy scriptures. It is the illuminations that decorate it. The illuminations are of an incredible finesse, a true goldsmith’s work, extraordinary. A treasure, I tell you!
 
Enclosed in its temperature-controlled bulletproof glass chest, you can see… one and only one page of the Book of Kells during this visit.
Each day, one page is turned by a super lucky man whose work makes you dream. He will not find the work boring, there are 680 pages to turn.
To see it all and understand why he is the object of so much admiration, scholars must buy one of the many books that explain this marvel of paper, which they say took 30 years of work.
 
To make the visit unforgettable, the library itself is fabulous. Thousands of old books rest on the shelves on both levels. The dark wood, the high ceilings, the arches that enter this library force silence and respect even more than a cathedral would. Everywhere you look, there are books. Between each niche are walls filled to the brim with books. There are many reasons to make a trip to Ireland, a visit to the library is a must.
 

It is also what it means to be Irish, to have an ounce of that heritage somewhere in your genes, or the pride of having protected it for centuries. 

Culture is for scholars, but beer in Dublin is for everyone! 

 

You cannot miss the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. There the ignorant will learn what beer means. The visit follows the production process, and the closer you get to the final product, the higher you climb the steps. At the end you will enjoy the mythical beer on top of the Guinness Tower, which dominates the city.

This is what it means to be Irish, a real Irishman! Knowing where the emblematic beer of your country comes from and drinking Guinness with friends in a pub. 

Around Dublin, the travel goes into the green Irish countryside and some cute, but not bewitched, castle 

 
Around Dublin, the walk is even more refreshing than the city, it is the domain of green meadows, iodine air, hills on which some fairytale castle are enthroned. You only have to walk around and admire the relics from the time when the maids had rooms in the attics and the bathroom was the top of luxury.
You can also look for a ghost, but the best part of the day is the trip to the countryside and a hot chocolate with scones in the castle restaurant. 

 

What about the Irish in all this? 

 
The Irish come from a different world, that’s for sure.
They are all red like foxes and white like milk bottles, with freckles on their faces. They are also all without exception shaped like wild Vikings (and they grunt too).
On Mondays they wear horned helmets, on Tuesdays a green lechepraun costume with hat. On Wednesdays it’s the Irish woollen sweater with threads, on Thursdays, the James Bond costume (in homage to Bierce Brosnan) and on Fridays it’s an elf dress with a corolla of flowers in the hair.
The weekend is a break: black leather jacket and electric guitar at the bar with a beer in one hand and the microphone in the other.
 
No, I did not, too drunk grund trunk much Guinness brunk, sorry Binness Gier, not at allll

 

Go raibh maith agat, slán a fhágáil, a fheiceann tú go luath!

Thanks to DIego Palhais for Picture of Dublin (https://unsplash.com/@diogopalhais)

Next travel: lets discover England!

England is a country of contrasts. Styles, monuments, characters, personalities mix, everything collides and complements the sound of rock and canon. Good morning England!