The Irish experiences as an American who has traveled numerous times to Ireland are as varied and different as the Irish people, whom you chanced to meet on the way. As a frequent guest of the emerald isle, I neither have the naive blissful ignorance first time vacationers to Ireland have, nor the full blown acceptance of an Irish local. Instead I tread the border of both, depending on the company and the situation.
The nice part of making several trips to Ireland is that I have learned a lot of the ground rules that insure a person can enjoy their trip.
- The little things like which way to look when crossing the street.
- Knowing not to rent a car in Dublin.
- The proper way to cue for a cab.
- Offering a lady a lift not a ride.
- The differences of pubs and clubs and wine bars.
- The huge influx of Eastern European and middle eastern immigrants.
- When and where to expect Irish folk music or traditional Irish music.
- Knowing Irish music is a novelty not a mainstream phenomenon.
- Chicken salad is a salad with chunks of chicken
- Burgers will be served well done
- What is a sausage roll or a stuffing roll, and where to get a good one.
- Black and white pudding are two types of sausages (blood,oatmeal)
- A trip to the pub is not to be rushed, use pub etiquette , learn form my mistakes in Irish pub tutorial.
What’s nice about your first vacation to Ireland in many ways is the blissful naive ignorance that allows you to be filled with wonder at the pure beauty of the sites of Ireland, the Cliffs of Moher, the Inch strand, the patchwork fields in their legendary forty shades of green. Take the time though to visit some small non descript Irish villages, be polite follow common courtesy and you may see a side of Ireland that is unique. Remember that these folks are busy living their lives and they are not there as entertainment. You’ll be amazed how some simple politeness will lead to some interesting and memorable chats.
OK some answers, since the Irish cars drive on the opposite side of the road you look the opposite way you think you should. The proper way to get a cab is to call ahead for a cab to pick you up or get in line at a taxi stand, you don’t as a rule hail a taxi down in the street as you would in America.
A pub is a public house where you can just as easily see a family enjoying some time out as well as the local rugby team. A club is a night club, where you will find modern music and people dressed to the nines. The contrast is awesome, you come out of an old pub and see a group of girls heading to the club in tight sometimes revealing dresses and six inch stiletto heels. The pubs as a rule close around 11 or 12, and the clubs can be open to 3 or 4. The wine bars serve wine, some are restaurants, in Dublin there are late night wine only bars, where you’re just as likely to see japanese tourist mixed in with dutch tourists,dancing the night away.
You can expect to find Irish folk singers busking on the streets of Galway city, or during the tourist season, in the bigger spots, Pubs in Galway city, Dublin, Cork city, tourist hot spots like Dingle or Doolin. Irish tune and sessions are more prevalent and can be found in most decent sized towns during the tourist season, for a real Irish music treat check out a Fleadh.
A sausage roll is pastry stuffed with sausage and can be bought at the local bake shop as a to go morning treat, I had a stuffing sausage roll in Tullamore, County Offaly which reminded me of a compact Thanksgiving dinner if you served sausage instead of turkey.
So besides tracing your roots, trying your first pint of Guinness, and finding Blarney castle, learn by my irish experiences and enjoy Ireland. Oh an I almost forgot since your in Ireland for a short time you will want to avoid politics
The best part of traveling to Ireland more than just a few times is you get to have friends on both sides of the Atlantic, you have favorite places that seem to change little from year to year and your need to see to many things in too little time disappears. I am not a local but have friends who treat me like I was. The simple pleasure of a pint in an empty pub watching the drizzle falling on a Dublin street has a soothing effect that’s hard to describe.
Plus you don’t feel guilty about ordering chinese food, mexican, or pizza.