Grand craic in Bray
Have you ever thought about wandering along the tracks of JFK? Think you need to go to the US to do that? All wrong! Quoting JFK’s “Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try”, the 3b and their two teachers Prof. Hintsteiner and Prof. Knorr-Kohlhofer tried to accomplish the goal of heading to Ireland and successfully completed this mission. You might ask yourselves, “What does this have to do with JFK? Isn’t that an error?” – Well, as JFK would have said, “An error doesn’t become a mistake until you refuse to correct it!” So keep on reading and do your corrections!
High noon September 21st, 2017. Bags packed. Backpacks packed (including some things that definitely don’t belong neither into bags nor into backpacks). Doesn’t sound exciting? Wait for it! BM – VIA – DUB - BRÉ. Once we arrived in Bré or Bray for our readers who are not familiar with Irish-Gaelic, our host families took a picture … I guess, Lederhosen sure do have a certain charm.
Speaking of charm: did you know that all the doors in Bray are differently colored just to rebel against the English? Or that the most famous building in Bray is a McDonald’s? Have you ever had a puddle experience along the Cliffwalk? What about DART? No, we’re not talking about the game! If this report could actually teach you some Ceili, that would be great! Speaking of which: dancing right under the bell of Trinity College is a REALLY great idea … if you want to fail all your exams, that is. But don’t worry: if you voluntarily hand in your sword, the college authorities might be willing to offer you a glass of wine. Problem: you are not allowed to have a sword in Ireland. However, this does not seem to matter since you definitely get Viking helmets everywhere and should you decide not to wear one, there’s always the option of buying a green wooly hat with Viking horns. Promised, you’ll be an awesome tourist attraction when walking through the world famous dahlia collection at the Botanic Gardens. If you want to have some in-depth knowledge, try the Irish National Museum but make sure you have a very difficult questionnaire with you since without it, it’s only half the fun looking for longboats, grails, brooches and mummies. Once you have successfully written your name in Futhark, Hieroglyphs and Ogham you are ready for having one of the most famous Irish drinks – water! “What’s the craic?” you might ask yourselves. Well, of course there is water in every single Irish drink – might it be in whisky or the omnipresent Guinness – where the same water is going to be used at exactly the same spot for the next 8,742 years. “My goodness, my Guinness!” you will be screaming stumbling into Bono when doing a Dalkey harbor walk.
Okay, this isn’t really JFK-related. However, once you’re standing right in the center of Dublin where JFK proudly announced that he was to first American President to visit Ireland during his term of office and that his presence and the Irish welcome only symbolized the many and the enduring links which had bound the Irish and the Americans since the earliest days then you can feel it! You can feel the spirit of a man – a pure visionary. His visions of a better future also led to the creation of one of Ireland’s most precious wonders: the JFK Arboretum which was opened to the public in 1963 shortly before JFK’s visit. Since then, hundreds of chainsaw-maniacs have visited the arboretum only to find out that some trees are better left uncut. The quest for the perfect tree – be it pest-resistant or weather-resistant and thus perfectly suitable for Irish conditions, seems to resemble the quest for the Holy Grail. An adventure. An ongoing task. A love for life. A passion. And this finally is it: Ireland is a passion. A grand passion where every single person involved can’t but feel the craic and become a visionary like JFK. And since visionaries never go out of style, neither will Ireland nor will our memories. Tabhair aire. Saol fada chugat!