Please don't go to Northern Ireland AROUND JULY 12th - for more details about the parades for july 12th see my pages of Londonderry and Belfast !
Go there ANY OTHER DATE OF THE YEAR ,for the great landscapes, for Giant's causeway and for the big majority of the population, who voted for peace some years ago !
Local people will know about the specific dangers, BUT tourists will not : there are places of "historic importance" for some people and you might get into a demonstration or protest-march on a major highway and then you are stuck there and a single wrong word to the wrong person...
I had such a situation, when after a nap on a parking, suddenly the highway to Belfast was completely empty, only police-cars standing on the side, BUT they did not warn me at all, that I was about to drive towards trouble at the next street-crossing....
I was aware of the date, but had no idea where Dumcree would be, it is too small to be mentioned in a map, BUT in the memories of some weird people it is an important place of history and still has to be defended...
Northern Ireland with the Giant causeway and many other attractions is not very far from County Donegal and hopping over the border may be done easily and without any controls !!
As you might know the drinking in Ireland is rather big problem and sometimes non-hardened travellers might not take the quantities to well.
Just as in the UK - the "BINGE DRINKING" culture is a real issue ...
My suggestion is to take it easy with the pints of Guinness ---- trust me you will NOT be able to drink the locals under the table... not even the girls!!!
:D Slainte! & avoid the hangover!!
The Cliffs of Moher are a beautiful sight, especially in the evening when the setting sun illuminates them or (more often) the rolling fog enshrouds them. But don't be fooled by their beauty. The winds can be strong and about 6 people in 2003 died in falls from the Cliffs of Moher. Don't be paranoid -- given the number of visitors, I'm sure your probability of death is low. Just don't tempt the Cliffs -- especially after too many pints!
I really wanted to get a good picture down the face of the Cliffs of Moher, I was going to climb over the fence that is put up for people like me -- when I saw another silly soul walking along the cliff's edge and slip on the wet grass. He climbed back over the fence without a picture. I didn't try it!
Pickpocketing may be a problem even though a minor one in large cities in Ireland especially Dublin. It is not so serious in Dublin compared to many other larger cities in Europe especially London, Madrid and Athens. It is still better to prevent it when you can. Pickpocketing will be reduced to a minimum if and when we prevent it. Don't carry your rucksacks or backpacks behind your back in crowded places such as over-crowded public buses and crowded pedestrian streets especially Grafton Street, Temple Bar, Henry Street and O'Connell Street. Carry them in front of you so that you are able to notice what is going on in front of you. Leave behind your wallets and your passports in hotel's safe deposit boxes. Bring along only one credit card and enough cash for the day. This will also prevent you from unneccesary excessive gambling.
Ireland has the third highest % of alchaholics in Europe and Dublin was confirmed a few months ago as having the highest % of Ecstasy and Heroin users in Europe and one of the highest in the world.
Obviously this brings a high crime rate and a high porportion of stoned/plastered nutters all over the country.
Also some other warnings about Ireland in general
- Dublin, as previously mentioned has a huge drugs problem
- Limerick is lethal!!!
-In more rural parts of the country, signposts are twisted around in the oppisite direction!
-Don't trust the Dublin bus timetables!
-Galwegians always seem to be p*ssed
-Avoid Ballymun and Tallaght districts in Dublin
-Dublin is the least friendly of the Irish cities
-Ireland is very much a 'one city country' in the sense that virtually EVERYTHING is based in Dublin and most of the job opportunities are in the capital unlike in other countries like England, Italy, USA etc.
- South East has the best weather, which aint sayin much!
-Although a lot of British & American people(no offence intended!) think that all Irish people talk the same with real 'boggery' accents, accents vary hugely and Dubliners will be hugely offended if you suggest they talk with a country accent!
The Gardaí claim that crime is down in recent years
in our little country of 3.8 million, but some
sources say that they are juggling the statistics!?
Anyway, Dublin is a big city, with a relatively big
drug problem, so caution and vigilance is required.
This especially applies in quiet areas of the city
late at night and in shops and bars where handbag
snatching is common. The recent economic boom has meant less unemployment, so it is felt that this has
helped improve the overall situation - so don't
worry, violent crime is still very rare.
Regarding hitchhiking, not advisable for women alone
because of a number of unsolved disappearances of
local girls in the last few years. Otherwise, you
should be fine, a sign with your destination is
always good (as a lot of people will just be
travelling locally and indicate this by turning their
hand over the steering wheel) and it's a great way
to have a chat with the natives and hear stories and
Apart from that, there are no dangerous animals
except maybe the odd crazy dog or bored bull, but
you shouldn't have to contend with these unless
you wander on to anybody's private property. The
big danger is drinking too much Guinness in a short
period of time (say 10-12 pints over 3 consecutive
days). This can lead to a strange sight when you
eventually have to sit on the toilet. Don't worry,
it happens us all and the only cure is to stay off
the Guinness for a few days!
Dublin is a large city. Very beautuful and full of history. If you must go do a guided tour so you can get all of the history. We were on a guided Pub tour and a fight broke out near us. Rocks whizzed by our heads. It is because of all the pubs near and people had too much to drink.
We got out of there and headed back to the country.
We saw the BOOK of KELLS. It was a beautiful thing to behold but would I go again, NO WAY.
But I like the off the beaten trails and getting to know the locals and local lifestyles. THat is why travel intrigues me so much.
If you are a dark colored, not necessarily black, be careful. Most foreigners in this country are racist people, I'm not talking about Irish, but foreigners. I hear everyday "Where are you from, go back to your country" by all kinds of foreigners from Europe. The normal human behavior is a its lowest in this country. And if you reply to them, they may stabbed you or be more aggressive. I live this everyday. So be very careful with these people.
If you are in Dublin, a pint of the black stuff is Guinness, as brewed by the Liffey. In Cork a pint of the black stuff is Murphy's. Drink the right one in the right town.