Ireland is an island in every sense of the word. It is located between Europe and the US. It has managed to sustain more of the American and the European culture, than neighboring Britain. Dublin's airport is surprisingly small for being the center of a developed economy. It is the American bridge to Europe and a home to the largest low-budget carrier of the old continent- the "Ryanair".
You will find the spirit of Ireland within the contrast of it's cities. And Dublin is a city of contrasts indeed - the contrast between the 7th financial center of Europe and the town of low buildings with brick facades in the XVIII century style; between the surprisingly calm center with it's hiking areas and the enormous traffic jams; between the carefree, casual look of the people on the streets during a certain time of the day and the prices in the establishments, which is close to a normal Bulgarian salary. At the crossroads of global business, Ireland has defined itself as the most globalized country in the world. I found that the romantic idea of the Green Island still thrives unspoiled among the French and Australian wines, Polish and Chinese workers,American SUV-s, Burger King and plasma TV.
I arrived with the belief that Ireland is all about U2, dancing, and bad weather. Since Bono apparently rarely drops by the country, Irish dancing is certainly not a popular activity in the pubs, and I didn't see any rain, I was pleased to discover just how fun it was to explore Dublin. From my Dublin apartment window I saw several large posters that invited for the exhibition of William Yates. While passing by them, I thought of the justification of the Royal Academy of Sweden, where the poet was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1926: For his truly inspired poetry, which essentially depicts the spirit of an entire nation.
How does one actually depict the spirit of a nation, that for half a century has had not one, but four literary Nobel Prize winners? Mathematically speaking, this means that for every one million of the Irish, there is at least one man that is a brilliant writer.
I also found a sculpture exhibition dedicated to Bernard Shaw. It was part of a literary fest under the name of "Samuel Beckett", covering a poster of the forthcoming show of Sinead O'Conner at a local club. Add to that the Monument of Wellington - the hero that defeated Napoleon.
The weather on the island is wet for most of the time. It is not too difficult to figure out why there is a place in the city, where one can find most of the popular pubs. Briefly speaking, the true Irish pub obviously represents a small place without enough seats, unlimited supply of beer, nice music in the background and a TV with "sky sports" on.
In Dublin, for example, there are more than 1000 pubs. And the "Temple Bar" is one that is definitely worth the visit.
The central area of Dublin is composed almost entirely of bars and pubs, ready to welcome you at any time of the day. For example there are 4 pubs next to my holiday apartment in Dublin. Besides its obvious advantages - a place which has more beer taps than visitors - Temple Bar is also near the pedestrian commercial area of Dublin. An area that is quite worth the straw, although the souvenirs' prices are sinfully high.
If your passion is not shopping, but is instead education, history and sight seeings, you will definitely not be disappointed.
Here you will find the most famous university on the island - the Trinity College. There are several cathedrals(in one of which are kept the British military flags of the Crimean war).
The garden behind the parliament houses the National Gallery, the National Museum and the Natural Museum. In fact, the latter is just a small, old building, with a stunning collection of animals inside. Hanging from the ceiling, there is a huge whale skeleton. You will also find all kinds of animals- from the giraffes and rhinos to the small African insects. The whole heritage of the Irish zoologists, who traveled around the world is there.
On the corner of the same street, which I recognized from a U2 video, I found the home of Oscar Wilde. There was just a humble sign before it. When I looked further in the garden, I stumbled upon a gorgeous statue of Wilde himself, resting upon a stone, grinning flippantly at me.
I took my time to pay the honor in the memory of one of the most famous world writers.