Today was draining. After three naps on the bus, I am still ready to sleep for a straight twelve hours. However, the exhaustion was worth it. We finally got to take a trip outside of the city and leave Dublin for several hours to visit the Cliffs of Moher and the town of Galway. We were extremely lucky to have such beautiful weather that allowed for a clear view of the cliffs and a very blue Atlantic Ocean (it sure never looks that blue from the East coast of the U.S.). While at the Cliffs it was clear that we were amongst the most amount of tourists that we have been on the trip thus far. We heard accents from all around the world and a woman even stopped me after she saw my Pitt sweatshirt to say she was an alum.
Before coming to Ireland, I felt like I was seeing a larger push for tourism here. I don’t know if it was because I was more aware of noticing things about Ireland since I knew I would soon be visiting, or if it was just a coincidence. The Science Center back in Pittsburgh showed a short film on Ireland for a while to encourage tourism, we saw billboards and ads around the city, and articles in the news all trying to inspire people to visit Ireland.
When people think about Ireland they think of the green landscapes and beautiful terrain. My family members were most excited to see pictures from our daytrips to the countryside and get a look at the “real Ireland.” Until recently, Ireland wasn’t known as an economically flourishing country and so they most likely needed to push tourism as a way to bring in money. Even as they have begun to form a hub for businesses, specifically tech businesses, they are known as a tourist attraction and will continue to attract tourists whether they need to or not.
I think an important attraction to highlight about Ireland in order to bring tourists in is the combination of its beautiful landscapes, but also its newly prospering economy. There is a lot to learn culturally by going between the smaller country towns and the bigger cities like Dublin and even though we think it’s not that different from America, after only a week of being here, we have already been proven wrong.