Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ireland rocks

Never normally one, as my younger daughter will attest, to indulge in cheap national stereotypes, nevertheless I have to say, where else other than Ireland would someone tell you "You need to go up two floors - you want the eighth and this is the fifth"?

The floor in question was The Source, though: the top level of the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin and the best place in the world to take a drink of the velvety brew (it doesn't travel) - so that may have something to do with the girl's innumeracy. But room 6524 being on the fifth floor of the hotel? Signs in the middle of nowhere saying 'Achtung! Drive on the left!'? Only in Ireland.

But also only Ireland: winners and losers walking back into town together after the final of the GAA Football, laughing and joking without a trace of animosity. The taxi driver assuring us that 'there's food and drink in an Irish coffee'. Little stone-walled paddocks and white-painted cottages dazzling in the sun against the emerald green grass. And the stones themselves in The Burren, a range of ancient terraced hills where the limestone has been exposed by glacial action and lies like silver icing over the slopes, cut here and there by random walls climbing straight up and over.

Ireland rocks? You betcha.

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