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Well, some people have been curious as to how my trip went, so here is an off the cuff review of The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. This is a short version of the full review, which I should have up in a few days. I’m having terrible Guinness withdraws, as there is only one pub in my town, that serves Guinness. I miss pub hopping, that was my favorite thing to do in Dublin.

Guinness

Shannon

I would have to suggest that you not use Shannon Airport. It is ok, but there is nothing within walking distance to visit, or even within a couple of miles. I spent a whole day there, when I landed, and it was boring. Some of the hotel staff was snooty, but that is just one person, and I did have a much – much better experience when I came back through that hotel on Monday. There is simply nothing to do there except sleep and eat. If you are going to land at Shannon, I suggest that you rent-a-car and go see some of the local sites, such as The Cliffs of Moher, Adare Village, Lough Derg, and The Burren in County Clare. You might as well enjoy the breathtaking views while in the Shannon Region.

Shannon

Dublin

OK, the first thing to get used to in Dublin is that everyone walks everywhere; you’d best be prepared to do some walking. I walk five miles a day, so it wasn’t out of the ordinary for me. Second thing is that pretty much everybody hates Americans. Yes, you read that correctly, everybody hates Americans, so the baseball caps and obnoxious behavior do not go over that well. Another thing is that not to many people are willing to help you, but that is the same in any big city. Also, don’t expect to see an Irish majority in Dublin. Dublin is a cosmopolitan city, with many races and nationalities. A third of the population would have to be Asian, not that I have a problem with that, it was just a surprise to me. You also have tourist (ME) from Germany, Spain, Italy, Mexico, Canada, and many, many others. I thought that since I am Irish and I look Irish, I could get by without much anti-American bullshit, but that was simply not the case. They hate us, and they have the right to hate who ever they wish to hate.

Perhaps they have good reason to hate us Americans, because of the Bush presidency. However, let no country forget the sacrifices that Americans made during World War II. My grandfather, which would be 93 if he were still alive, had two of his fingers blown off by a German Grenade. Now, I did not sacrifice anything, and I’m certainly not expecting any special treatment, just genuine human respect, that I give everyone.

If you want to meet people and make friends, go to the Pubs, even if you don’t drink, you will still have a grand time. I met some interesting mates from Wales, Cypress, and Ireland of course. I almost got kicked out of the Temple Bar, because I had one too many pints and a bloke said some Anti-American rhetoric. Normally, I would just blow it off and go on, but that night I had had enough anti-American crap, and I slammed my hand down on the bar, which you don’t do, and said a few words back to him and left. Don’t get me wrong, I love Ireland, but it took a while to get used to the Anti-American sentiment. I understand why they are mad, to a certain extent, but I can’t understand why they have to be an arse to me.

Dublin

Belfast

First, let me say that Belfast was fantastic. Of course, I do have friends there and I did meet an enchanting Northern Irish Woman, while in Belfast. It is a small city, compared to Dublin, but a vibrant and colorful city. The people are welcoming and genuinely kind to everyone, even us Americans, which I needed by the time I got up there. The woman are beautiful, especially when the sun shines on the city. However, they are beautiful in Dublin and all over the country, but they seem more talkative in Belfast. There are several tours running out of Belfast. There is a city tour, which shows you the sites, including Queens University, Ulster Museum, and where the Titanic was built. They also offer a tour to Giants Causeway, which I recommend anybody taking. Three days is more than enough in the Belfast area. I had a wonderful time and hope to go back one day soon.

Belfast

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