Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Clockwise from top right:
Georgian doors in Dublin, Irish pub, postbox (even the postboxes are green!), people outside a pub, Christ Church Cathedral.

One thing that never fails to amaze me about living in Europe is how close countries are! You can hop on a plane and in an hour, be in a totally different country with a completely different language and culture! Back in Australia, you hop on a plane and 1 hour later, you’re just in another city…though that can also mean totally different culture!

The other thing that I love about being in Europe…or at least Germany is the number of public holidays in May and the start of June! In May, almost every second weekend was a long 3 or 4-day weekend! Last weekend, we took advantage of our 4-day weekend and hopped over to Dublin!

Only a 2-hour flight, Dublin seems all at once, so far but yet, so near. Setting foot on Irish soil also reminded me of all the things that I missed about Anglophone culture, ie. the pubs! It was so refreshing to see people of all ages head for the pub for Friday after-work drinks. It wasn’t just seeing the people talking and laughing loudly (and also singing at one point!) in the pubs, but also spilling out of the pubs onto the footpath with pints in hand!

Dublin, despite being inundated with tourists and foreigners, still manages to keep that Irish charm. Service is friendly, taxi drivers always cheery (even at 5 in the morning!) and the Dubliners warm, helpful and always ready to have a chat! After 4 days, we were so ready to pick up and move over there!

Clockwise from top right:
Celtic cross at Glendalough, the Guiness lake (looks like a pint of Guiness on the side!), Upper Lake (Glendalough), view on the way to Glendalough, tower (Glendalough).

Habitant en Europe, une chose qui m’impressionne toujours est la proximité des pays! On peut prendre un avion et en une heure, être dans un autre pays avec une culture (et une langue) complètement différente. En Australie, une heure dans l’avion et on n’est que dans une autre ville…pourtant cela peut aussi dire une autre culture!

L’autre chose que j’aime de l’Europe…ou au moins de l’Allemagne est le nombre de jours fériés en mai et au début de juin. En mai, presque chaque deuxième week-end est un week-end de 3 ou 4 jours! Le week-end dernier, nous avons bien profité de notre week-end de 4 jours en allant à Dublin!

Seulement 2 heures de Frankfurt, Dublin semble assez loin mais en même temps très proche. En mettant le pied sur le continent Irlandais, je me suis rappelé de toutes les bonnes choses anglophones qui me manquent (c’est-à-dire, les pubs!).

C’était rafraîchissant de voir des gens de tout âge au pub le vendredi soir après une semaine de travail. Les gens parlant et riant joyeusement (et aussi chantant à un moment donné!) n’étaient pas seulement dans les pubs mais aussi sur le trottoir à l’extérieur de pub, pints à la main!

Dublin, malgré l’inondation des touristes, arrive à garder son charme Irlandais. Le service clientèle est sympathique, les conducteurs de taxis toujours agréables (même à 5h du matin!), et les Dubliners chaleureux, prêts à rendre service et toujours ouverts à une discussion conviviale. Après seulement 4 jours, nous sommes presque prêts à emballer nos affaires et déménager dans ce pays vivant toute de suite!


IslandGirl4Ever2 said...

Hi Fi...

Great shots... Looks like you had a very nice time and the weather was behaving properly for you!! I like that you put both versions of language in your post and look forward to more!!!
Take care... Leesa

Jennifer said...

I'd love to check out Dublin sometime. I have Irish roots, so that makes it all the more interesting to me! Glad you had a good time!

J.T. said...

Never been to Dublin. On my to-do list. :)

I agree with you about being in Germany. Lots of holidays in May and it seems so central in Europe that within an hour, by plane, you are in another country. I lived near the border of France, in my previous location. So it was fun to just drive over to a store there and say "hey, I am in another country." :D

Thanks for dropping by my blog. Appreciate it. :)

Bee said...

Hmm, I have not move outside of France yet due to the expensive train ticket, but I'm seeing more and more budget airlines operating here. Hope to be able to visit the neigboring countries one day. Hey, your written French is very good!!

The Late Bloomer said...

Nice recap of your trip to Dublin! I haven't been to Ireland yet either, but I do hope to make it one day. Sounds like a nice escape (respite) from life in France in any case! (Or in your case, Germany.)

And I agree: your written French is excellent. Very impressive!

ColourMeCrazy said...

Hi Leesa: We really had a great time over there and I totally recommend it! I put the post in VO and VF for my inlaws! Writing in French does my head in ;-)

Hi Jennifer: You should definitely go - it's so much fun!

Hi JT: Thanks for dropping by as well. Living on the border of France/Germany would have been weird - one language on one side, and another on the other side!

Bee: Sometimes you can find cheap tickets if you book early. The only problem with that is you have to be organised - I'm never organised enough! and thanks for the compliment.

LB: Thx for the compliment as well! I'm trying to write more in French but it takes soooo much more effort! And definitely check out Ireland. Ryanair flies from Paris Beauvais and they do really cheap deals...only problem, I think Beauvais is roughly 1.5 hrs from Paris!!

Cattiva said...

What wonderful pictures!! I have friends who live in Germany and they often comment on just "hopping over" to some country. I'm so jealous!

J.T. said...

It was actually kind of fun in my case. People along the border usually do speak both languages. But yeah, a little weird because suddenly all road signs change. Example 'exit' - from 'ausfahrt' to 'sortie'. :)

I am hopeless with my French language. My husband speaks that a little better. But he cannot get used to the German language, which I have (a little). So, we translate for each other when we hop between German-speaking and French-speaking areas. hehe

ColourMeCrazy said...

Hi Cattiva: Yep - it's such a luxury to be able to go away to another country on weekends! Everything is so close here.

JT: I'm struggling with German. I actually think French was a whole lot easier to learn! German is one complicated language. How long did it take you to learn it?

J.T. said...

That is what my husband says - French is easier.
When I was in the States, I took to Spanish easily. He said if I could pick up Spanish, French should be ok too. I think I struggled with pronounciation. That is why I could not get used to it.

Anyway, when I got to Germany, I attended a quick conversation course, arranged by the American community we lived with. That was good enough for me to get around a little. I bought some books and CDs and continued practicising at home. I am not fluent. I am still learning. :)

ColourMeCrazy said...

JT: I'm doing a German course now and struggling with it! Who knows, maybe in a month I'll be more comfortable with the language!