Oh Ireland…

13 Apr

As my trip to Ireland coming to an end, I am reflecting on what a beautiful country Ireland truly is.

The scenery comes first. Ring of Kerry, Killarney, the Cliffs of Moher, and, of course, Connemara landscape were truly phenomenal. I think I am so lucky to have the opportunity to photograph scenery this rugged and this gorgeous.

Connemara Landscape

Secondly, the Irish are most warm, kind, friendly people out there. They love to drink and socialize. I noticed they have strong social connections, seem to enjoy life more then us in the US. At times life seemed tough for the Irish – unemployment is at 14% here. But no one gets too caught up in there misery – people still show up, as always, for their pint of Guinness or Murphy’s and chat with their friends in a local pub.

Thirdly, I cannot wrap my head around how much the Irish drink. And that is coming from a Russian… Every night, I would see tons of people going out to local pubs and drinking with their friends. It’s borderline mandatory. I can see the benefit however – how many times do Americans see their friends. Me, probably once a week? In Ireland, people see their friends every or every other day. Now, how is that for social networking?

Indeed it is!

Another thing that surprised me – Irish food is actually extremely good! I read somewhere that Irish cuisine has gone through a transformation a few years back. Indeed it did. I had lamb shank, pot roast, salmon, mushroom risotto, and, of course, Irish stew (sausage, lamb and beef). It was delicious! Hearty, warm, and very filling…Perfect for when you are exploring the country 10 hours a day.

Clockwise, from right: salmon appetizer, pot roast and potatoes, lamb shank, and Irish stew sampler with soda bread.

In general, this trip has been awesome. I pat myself on the back for bringing warm clothing – hat, scarf, gloves. It was freezing – generally, 39-40 F. After battling the elements every day, I learned to keep my raincoat and gloves in my backpack.

Finally, if I had a choice to come back to Ireland, I absolutely will. There are so many places that we didn’t cover – and I’d love to make another trip to see them in the future.

Merrion Square, Dublin Collage

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