Ireland - an island of unique character and charactersNalynn Dolan Caine ▼ | September 10, 2008
Surrounded by the hundreds of islands and islets, Ireland is situated on the northwest coast of Europe. First settlers of Ireland were Celts that settled Ireland between 8th and 1st century BC. From 9th century it became interesting to Vikings who established many towns including today’s Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Waterford. English invasion began in 12th century BC and with lot of turmoil it last seven centuries.
Years of misfortune and catharsis experienced during history made great poets and writers of Irishmen. James Joyce, Flann O'Brien, Oscar Wilde, W.B.Yeats, George Bernard Shaw and Samuel Beckett are just a few names among many famous Irish writers, and some of the names are Nobel laureates.
Sometimes ironic in their writing, sometimes patriotic, sometimes with sharp tongue, or sad or funny. They embraced in their writing all that means to be Irishman. Today, to be Irishman means to love party, people, drinking and music and to be proud to be Irishman. Someone once said that Irishman is the only man in the world who will step over the bodies of a dozen naked women to get to a bottle of stout. That's what I call devotion!
The data of Tourism Ireland shows that more than 9 million tourists visited Ireland last year and for this year Tourism Ireland predicts revenue of 4.9 billion Euros. Witty, engaging, spontaneous, lyrical, pride in place, history and culture, those are the words they used in its campaign to describe the nation with slogan "Ireland - an island of unique character and characters".
People call Ireland "Emerald Isle" because of its rich vegetation. Lot of rain may be annoying to someone accustomed to sunny weather. But Irish milk, cheese and meat smell deliciously as fresh and juicy grass. Shore area offers mussels, shrimps, seaweeds and salmon. In Irish's kitchen seashells most often swim in whiskey, vine or beer and they are served with eggs and cream. This way of cooking you probably won't see anywhere else in the world. Even Irish cakes contain whiskey.
If you'd like to eat see specialties your destination will be Kinsale city in West Cork and when you are there taste Dublin Bay Prawns (shrimps with mayonnaise of garlic). On the other side, don't be surprised by very gamely and sophisticated combination of meat, as lamb with whiskey and orange marmalade. But the base of Irish cooking is a potato prepared on the hundreds of ways. Typical breakfast contains sausages, bacon, eggs, black pudding, white pudding and fried potato. Irish specialty is bread made with soda or potato. With some butter and marmalade on it, it is yummy.
In year 1800, the population of Ireland was almost twice as large as that of the United States. Today, there's no point in comparing. Muckanaghederdauhaulia is the longest name of the place in Ireland, Cork is the largest city, Louth is the smallest and Dublin or "Dubh Linn" as it's originally called, is the capital of The Republic of Ireland or Eire in Irish.
When you are in Eire visit The Cliffs of Moher, 8 kilometres long and 230 metres high massive that offers an amazing view. The Giants Causeway, hexagonal rock some 60 million years old, is 8th wonder of the world. Meet New Grange and its wonders, some of them are built 500 years before Pyramids.
Don't miss Glendalough, "The valley of the two lakes", and Clonmacncise, one of the Ireland's Christian Monastic Settlements. If you like horses visit National Stu, and Dun Aengus, place untouched by modern civilization. In Dublin visit Phoenix Park which is bigger that both Hyde Park in London and New York Central Park.
A research shown that Irish accent is one of the most popular accents in the world. As pubs are important and vibrant social meeting places in Eire, after few rounds you will catch some friends and maybe even the accent. If you think that you didn't have enough time for that, a sign in an Irish pub says: "This establishment closes at 11 o'clock sharp. We are open from 10 a.m. until 11 p.m. and if you haven't had enough to drink at that hour the management feels that you haven't really been trying." ■