I R E L A N D / E I R E

E M E R A L D I S L A N D

September 2002

They call it the Emerald Island and indeed it is a green jewel. Beautiful scenery, beautiful bays, shores and beaches (they call them strands) of white clean sand, huge cliffs, blue clear sea, lakes and rivers, green grass dotted with white sheep, green forests, gaps and passes, nice nurtured houses, nice people happy and helpful, good pubs, good music, wonderful B&Bs (oh, those full Irish breakfasts),

clean little towns, high standard of environmental quality (no plastic bags in the shops), beautiful Georgian architecture, interesting history and prehistory, Celtic culture, dolmens, huge boulders and a nice weather, mostly sunny for a full fortnight. Not a drop of rain. Only flaw I can think of is driving on the wrong side (and the terrible high prices too, caused by the economical boom that joining the European Common Market brought along with the Euro currency).

We spent a day in Dublin, mainly south of the Liffey, the river that divides D to north and south. High points of interest are Trinity College and the Book of Kells in it, its magnificent library, St Patrick cathedral, St Stephens Green, City Hall, Ha'penny Bridge and the place nearby of outdoor shows at day and merry pubs at night.