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Across the divided island

Back from a short trip to Ireland, where we managed to squeeze in a concert with Explosions In The Sky in Dublin, soaking up Titanic memorabilia in Belfast and finally got to jump around at Giant’s Causeway in the northernmost part of the country.

Passing the border to northern Ireland is a breeze compared to the ordeals only ten years ago, and the only indication along the road is a sign declaring that the speed limit unit just changed to miles per hour. But at the heart of it all, Ireland is sadly still a land in conflict. Passing through the infamous Sandy Row in Belfast is an emotional experience, as well as walking past Europa Hotel at Great Victoria Street, also known as “the most bombed hotel in the world”.

Europa Hotel Europa Hotel in Belfast.

We had the privilege to meet some colorful characters. At the Brazen Head, oldest pub in Dublin from 1198, we found a bitter man at the bar who bought us several pints and told us how much he hated everything. Especially the French, as he still was angry at Napoleon. But he didn’t hesitate to spit on Englishmen, Germans, Swedes, Americans, Italians, Switzerlanders and pretty much everything on two legs except for velociraptors.

For contrast we later had a pint of Guinness with another Dubliner, the day after the Queen visited Dublin as the first British monarch since 1912. The whole of Dublin was shut down, traffic closed and people mostly kept off the streets by an army of policemen. The old lady with a thousand hats even had the guts to visit the Garden of Remembrance site, but the Dubliner just shrugged and called it an unique event in history which probably was for the greater good.

The people are as divided as the island itself. How long will this conflict go on?

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1 comment

  • avatar
    09 Jun, 2012

    I live in Dublin, and Personally think its the best City in Ireland, especially for New Years Eve. I dont think Dublin is Expensive, its avagere in comparison to other cities (eg. London, Paris, New York etc.), but it is probably the most expensive place in Ireland.In the City Centre, Temple Bar is great for pubs and restaurants. The areas around Grafton Street and Henry Street are good for Shopping. There is also many tours to do in the City like Guinness , Kilmainham Gaol , Trinity College(TCD) where the book of kells is, Phoenix Park etc. If your into site seeing, get the Tourist sightseeing bus (i think you see a lot on it) and the viking splash (looks like fun).Hotels in Dublin:Clarence HotelWestbury HotelShelbourne HotelBurlington Hoteland alsp check out http://www.D4hotels.ieYou could also go and get a hotel in One of Dublin’s Suburbs Howth and Sutton (where I live) Have good Hotels and great connections by DART (train) to the city and by the bus routes 31/31b Check out Deer Park Hotel (howth) and Marine Hotel (sutton)Clontarf has Clontarf Castle Hotel which is great which is close to the city, some good bus routes and is on a dart line. South Dublin has good Hotels too4 Seasons HotelBewleys Hotel are right beside th RDS and are quite close to the CityHerbert Park Hotel is close to the City too.FitzPatrick Castle Hotel in Killiney has good Dart Connections. Hope that HelpsMaybe try http://www.visitdublin.com to see what Interests you

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Reine is a web developer who enjoys caffeine-fueled urban traveling. More...

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