Friday, July 17, 2009


Now that I'm home and have had a couple of nights sleep., I thought I'd take Mimi up on her challenge of things I liked and disliked on my holiday.

This isn't easy to do. I think I liked everything about Ireland so I'll just share some observations. Ireland is a different country and I wanted to go there for what made it different. Hard to say that anything should be changed since that would change the experience. Having said that, here's my offerings - in no particular order.

I especially liked:

1. The walking that is a way of life. Everyone walks. Short distances are given in walk times. The public transit in Dublin and Cork is very good - and gets good use - but you see many, many people walking.

2. All the 'green' measures that I encountered: dual or controllable flush toilets and electrical outlets that could be switched off were two outstanding ones.

3. The yogurt in Ireland is fantastic!

4. The train travel which was efficient, easy and so-o comfortable. Getting from one city to another or just riding the commuter train to the suburbs was always a treat. On longer journeys there was a cafeteria car as well as a trolley that came through the cars. The stations are clearly signed and, even though in old buildings, very clean.

5. Seeing work being done by people not machines. On the bus in from the airport, I started noticing that work which we in Canada (and the US) have relegated to bar-codes and noisy machinery provides employment. There are ticket takers on the trains and people at the stations who will help with information and directions - with a smile. I saw gardeners working with non-electric or gas-powered tools.

6. The food is almost always good. Nothing's perfect but my less-than-stellar meals were about two. I loved the soups which always came with delicious brown soda bread no matter how inexpensive the eatery.

7. The abundance of public toilets. These were everywhere and only when we were on top of a mountain or in a farmer's field did we have any concerns.

8. A fun hand dryer made by Dyson (yes, the vacuum cleaner inventor) which dried your hands in about 3 seconds flat. You put your hands in a slot and a tornado of warm air started up with the g-forces of a jet. These weren't common but were such fun.

9. That most of the cars were compact models. The delivery and work vans are small, too. I got quite fond of the little green postal vans. They were the same color as the letter boxes:

So, to things that could be improved:

1. It was often difficult, especially in Kerry, to find a place to put your litter. This was most noticeable at the beaches where we often ate our lunch. And I could make the case that we should have been prepared to carry our litter out with us. But at the beach we saw a lot of trash in the water which could have been avoided with a litter barrel. Or maybe some people will always be careless.

That's all I can think of. Really. I found more to admire than not.


Anonymous said...

I still remember the yogurt in Greece. Certainly not skim or fat free, it was wonderful.

Rudee said...

I'm so impressed and deeply jealous. In fact, I'm green with envy. I must find a pal to do a trip like this with me. I don't think my husband would like it, but one never knows. I've been entertained by all of your tales.

Stephanie V said...

Green - ha, ha, Rudee, that's good! If you want to know more about our walking tour, look up We recommend it.

Joanna said...

I totally love the green letter box. And I really enjoyed reading all about your trip.

Mimi said...

Yah! you did my challenge! Thanks.
I'm so pleased that you liked my country that much- we give out about lots of things here, so it's interesting to see it from a visitor's point of view.
I totally agree with you re litter bins- the argument that you should bring it home doesn't wash with me, I think it's impractical, and the litter hanging around proves it.
Bord Fáilte would be proud of you- a good sell job on Ireland!


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