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Happy birthday indeed

Posted 19 LISTOPAD 2007 - Barcelona (ES):

Hello all! Thanks for the SMSs and thoughtful messages! I had a fun birthday in Barcelona, in good company, with a nice glass of champagne and a tasty dinner as well! Also a nice moment to think back of how long I have been away for by now. This photo datums back from the first day of my trip, when I walked from Cork Airport to the city centre. Check the speed limit!

(© Cork - IE, Augustus 2007)
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Going East!

Posted 16 August 2007 - Kaunas (LT):

Hello all! I have reached the second country on my list! It`s Lithuania and I am quite excited about moving on. Ireland has been treating me well just like it did during the previous 5 times. It`s a cool country and I can recommend everybody to pay a visit. But more about today...

I got up early this morning to be in time for breakfast, then went back to bed for another hour`s sleep, then took a shower and headed for the bus stop. On the way, I has a stopover at the Irish National Photo Archive, where an exhibition by Colman Doyle was taking place. The photos showed the transition of Ireland from 1950 up to today and the photos were very impressive. They were realistic, with no added flavours: the way I like it.

I then got on the bus and to the airport. I thought I would grab some of my fellow travellers on the flight to interview them at the gate, but the first 5 I approached were all reluctant to collaborate. Fortunately, things got better as time went by. See the results at Us Europeans!.

Below is a last photo from Dublin, I will not see Ireland back for at least one year...

(© Dublin - IE, August 2007)
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Planning completed until 01/08/08

Posted 15 August 2007 - Dublin (IE):

Today is my last day in Ireland. I am leaving for Lithuania tomorrow and before going there I completed the itinerary for the remainder of the project (26 countries more to go, 350 days). Up until 1 Aug 2008, it should not be a problem for people who follow this website to trace me: check out this map. I will also post it on Us Europeans in a few days, but I thought I`d give my loyal Daily Photo audience a preview :)

I still have to go outside today to collect my stories and will post them in the evening.

(© Cobh - IE, August 2007)
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Dublin day 3

Posted 14 August 2007 - Dublin (IE):

Today is the last day of my second week of travelling. Two more days and I will leap to the second country on my list. I am still enjoying Dublin for as long as I`m here. I have been receiving quite some feedback on the Us Europeans project, some of which was very helpful. Some stories may not have been the most exciting so far, especially to Dutch people, because the similarities between here and back home are not of the giant kind. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, because after all, this project is just as much about European integration as it deals with the cultural differences. In interview normal people, mostly of my age, because I think they will ultimately decide on the success of the European Union. I could also interview for example fishermen who are so old that they`d almost fall apart, but I have found other subjects more influential on people`s daily lives. I expect that Western European readers of Us Europeans will find more exciting stuff when I make it to Eastern Europe, where the things people do and the way they think about it is probably more different.

Where my personal objectives are concerned, I think that before leaving Ireland I will have a fair understanding of how the country is made up, which forces decide on what`s happening and which values are or importance to people. I am confident that whenever I read about Ireland in the newspaper in the future, I can fit that in with what I have experienced and found out whilst here. That means the objective for Ireland will have been achieved.

(© Dublin - IE, August 2007)
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Dublin on a tight budget

Posted 13 August 2007 - Dublin (IE):

I left Lenka and Pavel this morning and moved my stuff to the youth hostel. I arrived there well before check-in time so simply left my backpack and went for a walk in the city centre. I was looking for people to tell me about the Celtic Tiger and managed to find quite a few. I enjoyed the lunch that Lenka had prepared for me in a jar, although I was not sure what it was. A mixture of beans and cabbage, and I will try to trace the name of it.

Until today, I had been able to mess with the electricity sockets to charge my computer, but in the hostel I stay in now, I have not been able to. So I sent myself on a mission across town to find the cheapest possible adapter, and one that worked as well. It took my one hour and I found one costing just 2 euros. Good news, but I will exceed my budget today because of the pint of Guiness I am having tonight with two Dutchies I ran into today (for the third time during this trip!) and I sent out three postcards. And a new 2 euro towel, because I unintentionally left the other one on the heating radiator in Derry. Nothing more to tell. I will have covered my first country within only 3 days from now and am satisfied with the way things have been going so far.

(© Dublin - IE, August 2007)
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Foot tennis and Hurling

Posted 12 August 2007 - Dublin (IE):

I safely arrived in Dublin last night and am staying with Pavel en Lenka until tomorrow morning. They are Czech and I met Pavel in Killarney, a week ago. Today in the morning, we played tennis-football with Libor, who is also from Czech Republic (photo). It was a nice replacement for my usual Sunday morning tennis. In the afternoon, we had a nice pasta meal and then I went into town to look for a youth hostel for three more nights, and to do my daily interviews. The weather has been sunny all day and I had some time left to wat the All Ireland Hurling Semifinals between Limerick and Waterford. Limerick won, and hurling is a crazy game.

I then prepared a salad for dinner at Lenka`s and Pavel`s place and played a game of chess. It resulted in an unfortunate loss, but it was still nice to play.

Four days left in Dublin. Time flies when you`re having fun...

(© Dublin - IE, August 2007)
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Sligo part 2

Posted 8 August 2007 - Sligo (IE):

Another day in Sligo has ended. Sligo is certainly not the most exciting town I have visited so far, and my main reason for staying here another night is of budgetary nature. I hope to move on to Londonderry tomorrow, even though it seems like al hostels are full. I have for the first time tried to apply for a couch but that has not been successful either. Too bad, it's nevertheless time to move on.

I spent most of this morning fixing some informatics trouble with outgoing mail. It took a while but it's working now. Sending out e-mails was complicated before today, now it`s easy again.

I thought I was going to write about the average Irish working day but I decided it would be sports instead. I attended today`s local horse race in spite of an evil black man who did not want to allow me onto the car park so I could secretly watch the race.

I still have issues getting used to my digital camera. It somehow doesn`t fully obey to me yet like the analog one used to do. Also the type of photos are different because I can`t play with depth of field as much. In order not to end up talking about techie details: it means that most photos I take now are sharp from the foreground to the background. For portrait photos, that is not the most suitable and it influences my other photos as well. I am not sure whether that is a bad thing, it`s just different. And it makes me feel less at ease with my camera, sometimes to the point I get angry with it. Nevertheless, I yesterday received an email saying that the wedding photos I took before I disappeared on this trip were very satisfactory to the people photographed. A good start, because it may sound strange but that was still the first wedding album I ever produduced...

Today was the first time I thought back of my street in The Hague and walking to the supermarket with no backpack on and/or on slippers. I have now been away for a week but if I look back, home is really far away. I hope tomorrow will bring some interesting new stories about the issues between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. And find a place to sleep...

(© Sligo - IE, August 2007)
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From Limerick to Sligo

Posted 7 August 2007 - Sligo (IE):

I slept well last night and was taken to the bus station by Sinéad's dad this morning. The day commenced lots sunnier than yesterday ended, which was definitely good news. OK, I would spend most of today on a bus, but the landscape is still much prettier when the weather is nice. I received some critics on the format of Us Europeans and last night, and decided that I would use the bus ride to contemplate on how I could improve it. I will make a first effort to do that tonight. Don`t expect massive changes - it will just be differences in the detail, aiming to increase the overall legibility of the articles.

Beside thinking, I also planned to use the bus ride to interview people about language: the Irish language, foreign languages, expressions and words. I met some nice people during the ride and got to Sligo by three in the afternoon. My first impression was not too positive and neither was my second. The city was a bit smelly and the hostel in an industrial area of the city. I was lucky again, securing the very last bed in the hostel. Both for tonight and the night after. I then walked back into town and got a bit sad because I didn`t know how to make the Us Europeans reports more attractive and then started to think that the whole project was not very useful either. But I turned off those voices before they started insisting and then met some nice people, did some good interviews and took a nice photo.

I had white beans with sausages for dinner, together with a yellow pepper (grown in Holland). Wireless internet is provided by the hostel, so I have some more time to be online and chat to people.

I will stay here until Thursday and will then head for (London)Derry and after that I think I will go to Dublin in one go. There I will spend my last days in Ireland and then go on to the next country on the list: Lithuania. Time flies... by tomorrow I will be away for a week but it almost feels like forever. There`s forever behind me and forever in front of me - a wonderful feeling!

Today`s photo is from the second day of my trip. I will concentrate on new photos tomorrow, but for now I am posting this one. Just a window in a street with an airplane and a bull on the shelf. Nothing special, yet touching.

(© Cork - IE, August 2007)
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Reflections from Killarney

Posted 5 August 2007 - Killarney (IE):

Sunday in Ireland and I have once again been a lucky bastard. I arranged to stay for another night in Killarney, in spite of my initial plan to leave for Limerick. That trip has been postponed to tomorrow and after that, I intend to continue to Sligo and Donegal in the North-West, then off to Londonderry and in a slow descent towards Dublin by next weekend.

Since it`s Sunday, I thought it would be a nice idea to write about the influence of the church on people`s daily lives. That led me to attending three different masses: a methodist one, an anglican one and a catholic one.

The mass in the catholic cathedral appealed to me most as the others abunded in either praising the lord for every tiny thing (methodist) or focusing on the everlasting sins of mankind and related appeals for forgiveness (anglican). I wish for both to get familiar with the words Nelson Mandela used during his inaugural speach in 1994:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, `Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?` Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won`t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It`s not just in some of us; it`s in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

The catholic mass was attended by a huge crowd. The priest partly followed a set protocol, familiar to most of the public, and told a few anecdotes on the way. It was pretty down-to-earth and lighthearted, while centered around everyday reality. More so than the catholic masses I was attending as a child.

After church, most people went back into town. I went for a walk in Killarney National Park, which was on the other side of the street. It was partly sunny, partly drizzly, pretty much like all of the past few days. I ended up at Ross Castle, scenicly situated on the lakeside. When I had enough of it, I walked back to town to work on my interviews. I did find quite some people prepared to talk, fortunately :) One of them was a lady selling bread and pastry on the market and when I returned to her stand to buy a giant chocolate dip cookie, I got three for the price of one! On the way back to the hostel, I sat in with a Dutch daughter and mum I had also met earlier on. The daughter had lived in Belfast for a few months back in 2005 and she told me lots of interesting details about the situation in Northern Ireland. That is a topic I intend to cover later on, so it was helpful to already gain some information in advance.

Back in the youth hostel, I cooked my little bag of Bolognese sauce which unfortunately did not include any pasta! A German girl advised me to take some pasta from the `undefined owner shelf` in the kitchen to make up my dinner and so I did. And now I`m typing away my stories, hoping to post them in a short while.

For those people who have not received e-mail from me yet: I have some problem sending out e-mails from Outlook Express and sinon I simply do not have a lot of internet time to write personal messages AND most of what I want to tell people can be read on this side. I hope that will do. I do like receiving e-mails and that bit of the program works fine so if you like: don`t hesitate. I`m not particularly feeling lonely (yet) but it`s nice to read about what is going on back home and/or in your lives.

(© Killarney - IE, August 2007)
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Moving up north

Posted 4 August 2007 - Killarney (IE):

Today was not the easiest day so far and at the time of writing this, I am still not sure where I will spend the night. I`m in the town of Killarney, which is certainly a wonderful name but not the best place to find a spare bed at this time of year. I`m sitting in the pub next to one of the youth hostels in town, trying to secure myself a place for the night in case somebody doesn`t show up. I`ve become friends with the Polish manager and should be alright. I`m tired though and there have been a few difficult moments throughout the day.

The day started out bright and sunny, contrary to yesterday`s weather forecast. A group of thee Spanish friends allowed me onto their mini-bus tour to the ring of Beara. I only paid a shameful 10 euros to them, but got away with it and the ride was wonderful. Views over cliffs, lakes and the Atlantic Ocean were highly enjoyable and photogenic. We arrived at Kendare around 3 in the afternoon and I still needed to get 35 kilometers further north because there was no place to stay in Kendare and I wanted to get further up anyhow. That was too far to walk so I felt obliged to take the bus. Another 10 euros off the credit and I started to worry about the countries to come. And about a place to stay for the night, which was not obvious given the affluence of tourists all over the south-west of Ireland. Spent some time contemplating on all that while being transported to Killarney. When I arrived, it had started raining and the outlooks were not at all positive. More rain expected for the night, nowhere to stay and expecting to spend more than the daily budget. And not sufficient input on the subject of the day: music in Ireland.

I tried a first youth hostel and a second one, but without success. I then decided to try and make myself some friends in the pub next door, where I am still sitting now. Martin, the manager of the pub drove me around neighbouring streets to find me a B&B but none of them had any vacancies, so here I am. Polish Marcin of the hostel next door is playing cards here with his Polish friends and told me not to worry: he suspects that one person who had made an advance reservation will not show up. He assured me not to worry so that`s what I`m counting on now. Tomorrow, I intend to take a bus to Limerick, hoping that I can visit Sinead's mum who is still living there. It`ll be a visit with conflicting memories, but I`m prepared for that and will deal with it.

Updatum: I can stay in the hostel next door - Yeehee!

Updatum 2: The European Union website is publishing my reports, go here to check out the link.

(© Castletownbere - IE, August 2007)
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Faire l`Autostop

Posted 3 August 2007 - Bantry (IE):

My first day of real backpacking ended just fine. I'm staying in a youth hostel in the small town of Bantry, about 80 kilometers south-west of Cork. Getting here was not easy but I had sufficient luck to make it. I got up this morning around 8 o`clock, packed my stuff and walked to the city centre to buy some bread and chocolate - my diet for the day. My water bottle was full and everything was ready for a good day.

Things started to become a little more difficult when I found out that I left Cork in the wrong direction. A truck driver at a gas station warned me and I had to walk back all the way I had just gone. I then found the right way and then got allowed into an Audi A8 - not bad at all for my first individual hitchhiking activity ever.

Desmond (62) and his Audi brought me about 10 kilometers out of the city and after that I was invited into a Fiat Cinquecento driven by Sushi-seller Tom (23). He was on the way to a local market, seeing if he could start selling his products there. The local market was taking place in the village of Bandon, exactly halfway to my destination: Dunmanway.

With 35 kilometers covered, I was left with another 35 kilometers to go. I had no luck and walked for about two-and-a-half hours before I got picked up by a man who had already seen me walking when he was on his way to Bandon. Now on his way back to Dunmanway, he picked me up at about 20 kilometers from that town and I happily accepted his invitation to drive along with him. This man called Dennis (62) even wanted to take me to the youth hostel, another 5 kilometers out of the city and away in the countryside. Then faith decided that the hostel be fully booked and I was granted a return drive into Dunmanway. What to do now? I thought it be good to secure a nice departure position to travel further north during and after the weekend and caught a bus to Bantry, another 25 kilometers away. The bus was quite full and I kept falling asleep when we started driving. In the back of the bus, three girls had drawn my attention so I walked up to go and speak to them. They were surprised by the un-detailed map I used and thought of me as a funny person. Two of them were Swiss, one was French. I took a glance at the Lonely Planet guidebook carried by one of them and found out that there was a youth hostel in Bantry. That cheered me up, because I was getting afraid that I would have to just knock on somebody`s door and ask if I could stay for the night. Although nothing was sure Yet. With the weekend approaching, there was a fair chance that this hostel was also booked.

And that's where luck struck again - when we arrived in Bantry, I easily found the hostel and a bed for the night! Relieved and all, I walked back into the city centre to complete my interviews for the day. Then bought dinner in the supermarket, had a pint of Guiness and prepared some sandwiches back in the hostel.

Reflections of the day:
1) interesting how songs pop up in your head unconsciously. "Keep your head up, moving on" was one of them, and it`s not even a song I like. Then "Another 45 miles" from Golden Earring.
2) The exhibition 1000 Families is promoted throughout Cork county. It`s an interesting photo project and if you like, I`d recommend you to have a look at it.

Plans for tomorrow: Getting to Killarny, about 70 km from here, then to Limerick on Sunday and up along the river Shannon after the weekend.

(© Cork - IE, August 2007)
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Discovering Cork

Posted 2 August 2007 - Cork (IE):

The second day of my trip has been just as great as the first one. Walking up to people and asking them all sorts of things is already becoming easier. The photos are going alright as well, but I still miss my old Olympus which forced but in a way also allowed me to take some more of people`s time. I spent the day walking around Cork and also visiting nearby Cobh, which was recommended by an author I met yesterday. The Cobh trip was interesting but took too much out of my budget, so next time I won`t travel without my luggage and/or intention to stay in that place or transit it on the way to another place. If that makes sense.. The 30 Euro budget does not allow for strange escapades. It`s really limited but I am trying to get the best out of it.

Tomorrow, I will be travelling (walking/hithchiking/bussing) in southwesterly direction, towards a place called Dunmanway. I have been invited to join some people going to the horse races that are taking place this weekend. Not something I would do at home, so that is why I am doing it here!

(© Cobh - IE, August 2007)
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Aer Lingus gets you there

Posted 1 August 2007 - Cork (IE):

Hello all! Thanks for all the warm support messages and confidence in my project! As planned, I took off this morning from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, not to return before Christmas. I had a nice dinner with my family and Bas present as well, then slept for a few hours and got up to catch my flight. The alarm rang at 5h30 in the morning and everything ran smoothly inbetween then and now.

My flight was marvellous. A sad but equally exciting goodbye at Schiphol, followed by a perfect take off leading the plane right over the city centre of Leiden - goodbye friends - and The Hague - streets clearly recognisable and all. It was a clear and sunny morning, so I could follow all of it in the most precise detail, including the Deltaplan and the whole Zeeland province. Shortly after, I fell asleep. Woke up a very short moment upon reaching the shore of England, then over Cardiff and then only when we started our descent into Cork. We flew around the city centre and I noticed that downtown Cork was within reasonable walking distance of the airport. It took me about an hour or two to get into town and, upon arrival, I started to look for people to interview. I quickly noticed that it was not by any means easy to walk up to somebody and get the whole thing started. But that is what the project is like, so there was no choice but to get started. How it went, you can read on Us Europeans in a minute! All I can say here is that I spent most of the afternoon in a pub drinking Murphy`s Stout. Altogether, it has been an amusing and fascinating first day..

(© Cork - IE, August 2007)
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Stage 1: Ireland

Posted 3 July 2007 - The Hague (NL):

Now that 'Us Europeans' has officially become a Project, I might as well tell some more about it :) My journey will start on the (very) 1st of August, when I'll be flying to Cork in Ireland. I have been to Ireland before: twice in 2003 and once in 2006, but never to Cork and the southwestern corner. In about two weeks time, I will travel west along the coast, then cross the island towards Northern Ireland, ending up in Dublin on 16 August to catch a flight to Kaunas in Lithuania. So far, I have not sorted out any places to stay so any (budget) recommendations are welcome.

I like Ireland a lot. The people are friendly and hospitable, they speak a lovely accent and they coutryside is quiet and peaceful. Even in Northern Ireland, except for some neighbourhoods in some cities, one would assume that peacefulness was invented there. The green and grey colours are very typical, although I prefer to 'record' Ireland in black and white.

Many people have asked me how I am planning to get around. There will be a lot of walking, some hitchhiking, bussing and training involved. It's all on quite a tight budget, but since this is a Serious Project, I don't mind the efforts. I will use the remainder of this month to try and sell some editorial concepts to Dutch magazines and see if I can compensate for some of the required spendings in that way.

Good additional news of the day: I will be able to keep my apartment in The Hague when I get back. That is a huge relief, especially for the reason that I can leave all the big stuff: furniture, fridge, bed etc. The contracts were signed yesterday and I am happy to have been so lucky to get this all covered before leaving. It will help me concentrate on the job ahead!

Tomorrow: about other projects similar to this one and how I intend to do it differently..

(© Ballymahon - IE, September 2006)
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Ireland shows the way

Posted 18 May 2007 - The Hague (NL):

One problem the EU is facing, in my view, is its incapability to sell its successes to the European people. Why would we (Dutch and French) vote in favour of a European constitution if we know nothing about it, get told nothing about it except to vote 'for' and do not hear about things that actually work out well thanks to the EU.

One example of a country where the EU-progress is clearly visible is Ireland. It has grown from Western Europe's poorest country to one of the most successful ones economically. It would be nice if that information reached us as well, even if it were only to balance out the stupidity of moving hundreds of people back and forth from Brussels to Strasbourg and back every month.

(© Navan - IE, September 2006)
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Work and Irish pubs

Posted 8 May 2007 - The Hague (NL):

While some of my friends wonder if I ever work, some others suspect that I never stop working. It probably all depends on whether people accept photography and travelling as work. I do, it's all work to me. But I'm happy that it's fun most of the time, just like keeping this daily photo log running.

My news item for today is about Irish Pubs. They are flourishing abroad, but gradually disappearing from their birth ground: Irish countryside villages. Unfortunately, I already 'spent' all my pub photos on earlier postings so below photos are only distantly related to Irish pubs...

If an Irish habit dies, what happens to it? Bury it on an Irish cemetery I'd say. After all, it's a catholic country. Hence the first photo. The second photo shows somebody who could very well be a potential pub visitor, possibly. All other pub photos can be found under the Ireland link in the menu on the righthand side.

(© Boyne - IE, September 2006)
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Talking with the Amazone

Posted 8 April 2007 - The Hague (NL):

"Just because I feel like it" is oftentimes not accepted as a motivation to do something random. Which is strange, because it should be the easiest and main reason to kick your own ass and do something exceptional. A Slovenian guy chose to swim the Amazone river - an amazing 5268km. Unfortunately, I only found out about his project after he completed, but here's a link that allows you to read back to the day he started his voyage, voyage.

Below photo shows an open air swimming contest in Dublin's River Liffey. Not exactly the same thing, but it's at least something..:

(© Dublin - IE, September 2006)
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Poem of the day

Posted 25 February 2007 - The Hague (NL):

I wrote a small poem this morning, mainly to myself but the end result sounds acceptable from a literary point of view so I'll post it anyway:

Be brave, courageous, true to your heart
And conscious yet naive
Open-minded, free of fear
That things will turn out right

Work with dedication
Enjoy the small and pure
Share the best, forgive the worst
And cure
The pain of dreams - cherished in vain

(© Western Ireland - IE, September 2006)
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Leprechauns & Shamrocks

Posted 25 September 2006 - The Hague (NL):

Before this trip to Ireland, I was unaware of the Leprechaun phenomenon. It seems to be a quite well-known story so for all the ignorant people along with me, here's a short explanation.

A Leprechaun (Modern Irish: leipreachán) is a type of male faerie said to inhabit the island of Ireland. They are a class of "faerie folk" said to have inhabited Ireland before the arrival of the Celts. Leprechauns usually take the form of old men who enjoy partaking in mischief. Their trade is that of a cobbler or shoemaker. They are said to be very rich, having many treasure crocks buried during war-time. According to legend, if anyone keeps an eye fixed upon one, he cannot escape, but the moment the eye is withdrawn he vanishes.

Some more Ireland: if you like the Irish accent, listen to this local radio station or have a look at this poem:

For each petal on the shamrock
This brings a wish your way
good health, good luck and happiness
for today and everyday

(© Dublin - IE, September 2006)
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Above and Along the Liffey River

Posted 24 September 2006 - The Hague (NL):

Dublin (Irish: Baile Átha Cliath - The Town of the Ford of the Reed Hurdles) is the capital and the largest city of the Republic of Ireland. At least half the people in the streets seem to be Polish these days. Unlike the UK, Ireland is warmly welcoming their fellow Europeans from the East. This may have to something to do with historical similarities between Ireland and Poland. Both have been suppressed by their neighbours for a long time (Ireland by UK, Poland by Germany and Russia) and both have successfully managed to integrate into foreign cultures (Irish mainly in the United States, now Poles in Ireland..)

Anyway, below photos were shot from above/along the River Liffey, which runs through the very centre of the city. It was no surprise to see so many pubs all scattered over the city, it WAS a surprise to see a whole cloud of swimmers rush through the river.

(© Dublin - IE, September 2006)
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Ireland photos online!

Posted 14 September 2006 - The Hague (NL):

More photos from the rough Irish countryside: "Sláinte - Ireland Views 2006" is now online! I still have some colour photos on roll, but for those it may take a while before I have them processed.

(© Costelloe - IE, September 2006)
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Inclined & Tilted Guinness

Posted 13 September 2006 - The Hague (NL):

First photos from Ireland are ready. Here's already some Guinness-and-pub ones. You may notice that the photos I have taken are all a bit inclined and/or tilted - not on purpose, maybe because of that exact same Guinness..

(© Throughout Ireland - IE, September 2006)
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Crossing Ireland

Posted 5 September 2006 - Westport (IRL):

I've been cruising Ireland in a small car, trying to match the target speed on the very narrow roads. It's been fun trying to find the way from Dublin to the west coast.

(© Middle of Ireland - IE, 4 September 2006)
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Gone for the week:

Posted 3 September 2006 - The Hague (NL):

If anybody's looking for me this week, try Ireland... I hope to return with some pretty photos, all shot in the wonderful analogue way.

(© Adare - IE, July 2003)
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Posted 20 May 2006 - The Hague (NL):

During my relocation away from King Square Villa, I came across some Photo CD's which I had not included in my usual negative albums. Which made that I hadn't looked at those photos for quite a while, especially those from the summer of 2003. This photo is from one of the Irish Aran Islands and makes me think of a specific quote from "Le petit prince". It refers to the moment the golden-haired little Prince becomes friends with the fox:

Le blé, qui est doré, me fera souvenir de toi. Et j'aimerai le bruit du vent dans le blé.

'The grain, which is also golden, will remind me of you. And I will enjoy the sound of wind going through the wheat'

(© Aran Islands - IE, July 2003)
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Posted 22 February 2006:

Language news: German is winning terrain and French is losing despite artificial efforts to keep their language clear of foreign influences. The best strategy to become multilingual is to get born in a small country where English is not the native language and external contacts are essential to the economy. Number one: Luxemburg, and that for sure is noticeable. Many people I met in Luxemburg could speak French, German, English, oftentimes Dutch + Spanish and/or Italian. Very impressive.

Which countries are lagging behind? Everything on the southern and western extremes of the continent. Worst pupil is Ireland, where 66% indicate that they do not speak any foreign language. But then, you only need one language, or even one word, to order a pint of Guiness and what else can one need...

(© Bunratty/Bunnyrat :) - IE, June 2003)
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