Impressions of Ireland - Kristen Odland

June 13, 2014Eimear Clowry

When I pictured Ireland previous to actually viewing it, I envisaged rolling green hills winding through a countryside dotted with small farmhouses. Yet, in Dublin I pictured a fully modern city. When I imagined Dublin, I thought there would be rows of tall skyscrapers and mainly modern buildings. I was shocked to see the street names in the native language, as well as hear them announced in the Irish language on the bus every day.

When I first flew into the airport, just as we got beneath the cloud coverage, I was looking for the tall buildings indicative of a city. However, to my surprise, the large majority of the buildings in Dublin do not seem to pass four or five stories. I also was surprised to see that the only disconnect between buildings in the city only seems to occur when the buildings are divided by roads. Unlike most cities in the United States, there are no allies or small gaps between buildings. Even the houses in Dublin are not buffered between one another with some strip of yard. I did not know that it is a Dublin tradition to differentiate one’s home or business with a different colored door.

One of the main differences between Dublin and American cities is Dublin’s attention to detail. In the US, a trashcan is a simple and plastic: with some luck it may not be overflowing and surrounded by littered articles of trash and gum. Here in Dublin, trashcans are painted black and gilded. If you look up from any of the gilded trashcans, one will see silver painted street lamps with shamrocks incorporated into their design. The doors on the Georgian buildings display oversized, gold doorknobs, which is juxtaposed with the variation of color between each of the doors. The painted doors must be carefully maintained but also epitomize the city’s attention to detail.