Good afternoon everyone. Let me introduce myself, I am Marion and I am coming from the west side of France near the city of Angers. I have finished my third year in University in France where I am studying LEA: Languages Applied to Trade and Law, where I learn English, Spanish, Chinese, and to validate my diploma I have the opportunity to make my work placement abroad. I am really passionate for culture, history, historical monument and art. I therefore choose to go in Ireland: a country I really wanted to discover, and here I am for three months. Why Ireland? first because I really love nature and Ireland has plenty of wonderful landscapes that change every time of colours because of the light and rain, second because I was told and I read in several books that Irish people were very kind and friendly and third because I wanted to know more about the culture and traditions of the magic Emerald Isle.

Guinness Cork Jazz FestivalHere I am in the country of those famous writers such as Oscar Wilde, James Joyce and of the famous politician Michael Collins, the very green country of beers and whiskey, Leprechauns, beers, folklore, rains, green clothes, Celtic Crosses where shamrocks brings you luck, where people love to tell stories to explains things, where one of the symbols are the claddagh and the Irish harp, where musics, traditions and patriotism take a huge place. These are the stereotypes I bring with me when I first arrived in Ireland. In my opinion all those strong symbols are part of the Irish identity, these symbols are the first images that appear in our mind when we are coming from abroad and when we think about Ireland, but Ireland is not just that, it is much more… and we’ll see if I changed my mind in three months… probably. Ireland is above all the country of warm welcome that attracted every year a lots of tourists coming to discover the wonderful landscapes, the historical monuments of the green Erin, the famous Connemara with it sheep, the Giant Causeway, the Cliff of Moher, the Aran Isles ,all the castles and abbeys: inheritance of the passed history. People are also coming for the famous festivals of Dublin, Cork, and for the good vibes of Irish pubs. Ireland is also the country where were born famous actors such as Liam Neeson, Brendan Gleeson, Kenneth Brannagh and Cilian Murphy.

One of the first things I notice when I get off the plane in Cork airport and took a taxi is that Irish people are really cheerful and welcoming. Here is a quotation I find very funny: Irish people seems to really enjoy life, they really like to have good time.

Celtic CrossAn Irishman’s Philosophy

In life, there are only two things to worry about
Either you are well or you are sick.
If you are well, there is nothing to worry about,
But if you are sick, there are only two things to worry about
Either you will get well or you will die.
If you get well, there is nothing to worry about,
But if you die, there are only two things to worry about
Either you will go to heaven or hell.
If you go to heaven, there is nothing to worry about.
And if you go to hell, you’ll be so busy shaking hands with all your friends
You won’t have time to worry

This is one of the first pieces of paper I was given when I arrived, this is a very practical and interesting map to be better aware of the layout of Fota Island Resort. One of very few luxury hotels in Ireland, Fota Island Resort located near the cosmopolitan city of Cork.This weekend I went to Cobh with one of my roommates for the Titanic 100 festival, I was hopping to see ancient cars but we did not see any, but there was a nice costume contest: approximately 10 peoples wearing in 1900’s costumes, at the time of the Titanic. What is really nice is that the houses are painting with lots of colours .We went to a bar and I drank my first pint of Guinness, that’s a very good drink and furthermore good for your health. The atmosphere was very festive and full of soccer supporters.

Guinness stout is made from water, barley, hops, and brewer’s yeast. A portion of the barley is roasted to give Guinness its dark colour and characteristic taste. It is pasteurised and filtered. Despite its reputation as a “meal in a glass”, Guinness only contains 198 kcal ” according to Wikipedia. “Studies claim that Guinness can be beneficial to the heart. Researchers found that ‘antioxidant compounds’ in the Guinness, similar to those found in certain fruits and vegetables, are responsible for health benefits because they slow down the deposit of harmful cholesterol on the artery walls”. That’s an other good reason for drinking Guinness. In three months I am quite sure that I will be in better health! Now the fact just remain to know how much better?

Concerning the weather it is not a myth that it use to rain a lot, the weather is very changeable indeed. It is due to the temperate oceanic climate. On Sunday we went to Cork for shopping, it is amazing that stores are opened on Sunday. In France everything is closes on Sunday except the bakery in the morning. One of the attractive things to do is to go to the English market located off Patrick ‘s Street , unfortunately it was closed, I am hopping to see it open next time. I expect to find there local product, local home made products of excellent quality .I’ll check if I was right next time I go. It is open from Monday to Saturday from 9.00 am to 5.30 pm. Here is a picture of cheese from the English market, it is really appetising don’t you think? For someone who come from France it just miss the red wine, or the Guinness pint. I am really eager to taste the Durrus , a speciality of Cork. Furthermore I was told that the Chef from the Fota Restaurant always goes to The English Market to buy excellent ingredients to prepare it’s dishes.

The English Market“The English Market has entrances on Princes Street, Patrick Street and the Grand Parade. It is a covered market for fish, fruit, meat and vegetable. The origins of the market can be traced back to James 1st in 1610, but the present building dates from 1786. In 1980 it was destroyed by fire and was refurbished by Cork Corporation to an award-winning design by the Cork city architect T. F. MacNamara. Foods from all over the world as well as traditional Cork foods can be purchased. Meat eats, fish, breads, organic fruit & vegetables, you’ll also find as hot buttered eggs, cheese, olives, crubeens (pigs’ feet), and the Cork favourite Tripe & Drisheen”

Anyway, that’s all from me for now. I will wrote to you each week to let you know how I am progressing and what I have discovered. Until then… À bientôt!