Traveling to a new country for the first time you learn all sorts of new things. Here are 11 Surprising Ireland Observations from our trip there.
They say the clouds are lower in Ireland…I say Ireland is closer to Heaven. – Michael Vatis
When you think of Ireland, you may envision catles, pubs, lush green landscapes, cliffs, and even sheep.
But there were some surprising Ireland observations…
- Diversity – There was such wonderful diversity all around us. Since there are so many countries close together it brings lots of languages and people here. We learned that Dublin is a hot spot for business right now. That diversity showed in the foods and even plants. I was a bit suprised to see palm trees in Ireland.
- Cars/Pedestrians – In Oregon, pedestrians have the right away all the time. If a person walks out into the street, a car better stop. In Ireland, if a pedestrian walks out, you better watch for the cars. The other interesting thing was walking as a pedestrian. Again, because of so many different customs, and driving on different sides, there was no “correct” side to walk on. We had heard to walk on the right but found that didn’t really hold true. It was a pedestrian dance especially in Dublin.
- Language – This was our first trip abroad so we were thinking an English speaking country would be helpful. What surprised us is that there are actually quite a few things that are different (i.e. chips for fries) that even ordering in a restaurant was a little fun. When you went into the country side, Gaelic was used so that became quite a fun adventure.
- Smoking – Coming from the west coast of the US, you really can’t smoke anywhere. We didn’t even realize how much smoking we would encounter.
- Street Names – U2 is right…the streets have no names. Okay, there are some signs, but navigating was quite tricky at times.
- Pastries – WOW! Everywhere we went there were tons of yummy pastries. Good thing we did a lot of walking!
- Tipping – If you go to pick up a pizza here in the states, they ask for a tip. We went to a sit down restaurant there wasn’t even a tip spot on the bill. The waitress was adamant no tip. We didn’t know what to do. It appears in most places it can be a nice gesture, but it wasn’t as customary like in the states. We still tipped though.
- Prices – Even with the exchange rate, the prices were very reasonable.
- Homeless – Since Oregon is very similar in climate, we were expecting there to be more homeless in Dublin. I don’t know if it’s because it’s a small country and people can’t just go in and out like the states, if they have better systems, or what the reason is but we saw very few homeless while there.
- Convivence Stores – One of the favorite things about walking around in major towns was going into what we would refer to as a convenient store and having so many fresh food options. Lots of fruits, veggies, and quick grab and go healthier foods.
- Minimal – I am not gonna lie, I was hoping to do a little junkin while we were there. I even went so far as to look up Facebook Marketplace postings. But the country doesn’t seem overrun by stuff like we have here. Their décor seems minimal and the thrift stores were on the bare side.
This big adventure was for our 25th wedding anniversary. Here are a few more Ireland posts that share this beautiful country.
One last surprise…
While we were there, the environmental protests were happening, but we were surprised that recycling didn’t seem as common as it here in Oregon.
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