Just some quick notes on Dublin....
Great, Great city!! We encountered the nicest people, so far, in europe. From the old man taxi driver that went on a ten minute rant about Tiger Woods to the people at our hostel, everyone was so sweet and welcoming.
Dublin is definitely just as expensive as London. A pint of Guinness will cost ya about 4.50 Euros ($6.70). They just raised the min. pay to 9.20 Euros an hour, so many of Dublin's business has been outsourced to crummy Poland. Boooo We went through a town that had a 70% unemployment rate (it was famous for making some crystal)! So sad... Dublin takes in most of its money from tourism with 7.8 tourists a year. Second is pharmaceutical, then software production (even more than the US).
Meghan and I were a bit confused when first arriving at the airport and seeing English (what a nice change) and some other language written everywhere. Then we realized it was Gaelic, or Irish. 27% of the population speak fluent Gaelic, and you have to be fluent in order to work in the government or in the police force.
One day we spent most of the day traveling through three different counties surrounding Dublin city. Wicklow was the main one... Where they film the show "The Tutors" and where they also filmed scenes from Saving Private Ryan, Braveheart, and PS I Love You. The reason many movies are filmed here is because there is a tax free grant and free use of the Irish army.
It was so beautiful and soooo green! The pretty part about the green landscape is that its all different colors of green. From palm tree looking things to pine trees- all different colors of green. Twice during the bus ride, the Paddywaggon had to stop for sheep to cross the road. We drove through many small villages, including one called Hollywood (meaning Holy Water Well) and Roundwood (where Daniel Day Lewis currently lives). These villages usually have one church, one post office, and 6 pubs. With an aveage population of 120 people, this is one pub for 30 people. According to our bus driver/ tour guide this is important for when you get kicked out of one you have another to get pissed at.
The monk tower and graveyard was in Glendalough (meaning valley of two lakes), and dates back to the 11th century. The first door is ten floors up from the ground. They used to think it was for protection, but recently they've determined its a beaken for light. Many of the cemeteries have the celtic crosses. The celtic cross is a mix between the pagen circle of the sun and the roman catholic cross during that transition time.
Well I think the pictures explain the rest- enjoy!!!
I'm coming home for the holidays on Saturday, so hope to see everyone! Thank you for all your comments and support- I really appreciate it!