Ireland is a whole lot more than it's dramas. Irish people are down to earth, yet feisty. They have a wicked sense of humour and something they call - craic. A good sense of fun. Colourful characters abound in Irish history like the canny brewer - Arthur Guinness - who had 21 children. Apparently his dark stout gave him and his wife stamina. Oscar Wilde was a character and half. His quotes are legendary. My favourite is vegetarian writer - George Bernard Shaw - who died at 94 after he fell off his ladder while trimming the trees outside his house.
|Guild Hall Derry|
Ireland is full of magic and folklore. We heard it in the songs they sang at Bunratty, saw references to - Druids - magical powers at the stone circles and we saw warnings for us to beware of - Leprechauns.
|Queens University Belfast|
Roads in Ireland are good and in the south road signs are in English and Irish. In the cities, as in most European cities, having a car was a bit of a nuisance but we left our car at the hotel or guesthouse and used public transport.
|St Stephens Green Dublin|
|St Mary's Church in Dublin - now a bar|
Look out for - wall murals - in Northern Ireland which have clear Loyalist and Republican themes.
We found well priced and - surprise - vegetarian food near Queens University. And that's a tip worth mentioning. You are far more likely to find budget friendly, healthy food near universities. Maybe students are more open minded? For more ideas on what to do in Belfast - click here. Allow around two days in Belfast.
|Old wall around old city of Derry|
|Leaning clock Belfast|
Next week in - Part 3 - I give ideas for what to do in Dublin, Galway, Aran Islands, Kerry, Cork and mention the druids.
|Hanging backwards off the side of Blarney Castle to kiss the stone|