Certainly one of the most epic parts of our Irish tour was the trek across the Moher. It was impossible to regret our expensive journey to Ireland because of it.
The differences between the Irish, English and Scottish were starkly apparent this trip. Culture, finance – even physical appearance. Most of us know that the three do not like to be compared to each other, but did you know that they are actually wildly different?
I like to make the Canadian/American reference whenever discussing the UK and Ireland. Though we are side by side and both quite multicultural, sharing the same land mass even, the similarities all but stop there. Our economy is different, our belief systems different, goals, dreams, ideals and even our family lives differ.
I do not want to be referred to as American (though I do have American friends whom I adore) and I am sure many Americans (the same friends!) do not want to be referred to as Canadian – though I do know more than a few who have pretended to be Canadian while travelling!
In many ways, I think it is a (sadly negative) way to confirm our separate identity – a way to differentiate ourselves from our more populated (and popular) neighbour. A way to show our beliefs and point out our polarities.
And it is also a way in which we hold on to the negative in our histories – more examples of this can be seen through France and Germany. You might recall my previous mention of our experience driving with German license plates through France? Not entirely pleasant!
Though we don’t plan to make another trek to Ireland (at least not before we have made it to all of our other proposed destinations), we did appreciate its incredible untamed beauty, its unchanged countryside, white painted homes, ancient ruins and politically (and religiously) intrenched history.
Indeed, Ireland is like no other place I have been. I would recommend you take a look, particularly if you have a little Irish blood (as so many North Americans do, thanks to the ‘great famine‘ I mentioned earlier), and if you have not yet been – it’s quite an experience!
- Escaping Ireland (IRL ’10 Prt 7) (habitualrunaway.wordpress.com)
- Belfast (IRL ’10 Prt 1) (habitualrunaway.wordpress.com)