During this adventure I continue to learn the intricacies of boundaries, which I don't think I could have understood as easily without visiting this beautiful place. First of all the island of Ireland is divided into two different countries. The country of Ireland or, the Republic of Ireland, is the southern portion of the island. Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom and as the name implies, is the northern portion of the island. From my limited time there I felt a distinct difference between the two countries and the people that live in each... of course my only real exposure to Northern Ireland was Belfast and we stayed mostly in Dublin while in the Republic of Ireland, so I realize I would need to see more and stay longer to really make a true assessment of the differences between the two.
However, that aside this is an important difference when it comes travelers as it helps to understand when you will and won't get your passport stamped. For example, if traveling from London to Belfast, you won't go through passport control because you are in the same country. However, if crossing into the Republic of Ireland you will always go through passport control as it is it's own independent government.
Yes, there is a LOT more to Ireland than Guinness beer but it is such a symbol of all St. Patrick's day celebrations in America and we just had so much fun at this museum I had to start here. Hands down this is one of the best museums I've been to. Of course, I'm sure that it has everything to do with the fact that Guinness is a world-wide sensation and a privately run company making for the funding of such an interactive and fun place to be much easier, but I loved it all the same.
There were interactive components everywhere and all different types of media to keep you engaged.
Our Guinness Brewery Tour
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St. Stephen's Green is a beautiful park in the heart of the city. I have learned in our journey to appreciate really nice parks and though this wasn't as nice as Paris (I'm not sure I'll ever see a park that nice again) it was very lovely and there were lots of people enjoying this beautiful spot.