Once upon a time, I saw the movie “PS I love you” at my best friend’s house. We both cried a river and shared a whole bar of dark chocolate. At the end of the movie, not only did I wish to find a love like Holly and Gerry but I also wished to travel to Ireland some day.
Eleven years later I finally spent a week riding on a bus across the island. The grass was even more green and juicy than on the television screen and there was something about the Irish accent that even I could listen to people talk forever. As I peeked through the smudged window of our bus for hours and hours, listening to Irish folk songs, I saw endless meadows and beautiful hills, sprinkled with fluffy sheep. From time to time the bus stopped and we walked above Giant’s causeway’s breath-taking cliffs towering over the rough sea. Listening to stories and fairy-tales, the driver slowed down every once in a while as certain roads are known to be leprechaun crossings.
Ireland hasn’t had a comparably hot summer in over forty years and we were told that the country completely shut down (shops, schools) if the temperature rose to 30 degree Celsius. The same occurs if snow piles up to only 2.5 cm, making me wish I had spent my early school years on the island. Another reason I might have had an even more enjoyable youth, is the large amount of Irish beer consume, lying by approximately 131 litres per year. Famous Irish breweries include Guinness, Smithwicks (Kilkenny), and Harp Lager. An afternoon in the distillery was an absolute must and after a short while, we already felt tipsy from breathing in the fumes and were ready for the next best place for burger and fries. The combination of long sitting and constant fast food was ideally fatal. Everyone gained around 3 kilos.
Truth be told, what impressed a wannabe pop-star like myself the most, was the fact that Ireland had won the Eurovision Song Contest SEVEN times (in 1970, 1980, 1987, 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1996). Although the local people seemed extremely down-to-earth, they obviously knew how to make a performance.
Finally – against all myths – the weather was milder and sunnier than back home in Austria and even though my luggage got lost, I had experienced moments that never would.