Impressions: A Corsican recently visiting Ireland !

It is not every day that you meet a Corsican who has just returned from spending a short stay in Ireland, and I was naturally very interested in finding out exactly what her thoughts were as regards to my native Emerald Isle.

May I introduce Stephanie. She also runs a page ‘Trésors de Corse’ on Facebook and on Instagram – displaying the natural beauty of the island, with her chosen personal images, from her travels around the island.  
Now, brushing up on English can be a time-consuming process, and the best way is (by far) choosing to spend time in an English speaking country. 

So, why choose Ireland ?  Culture, heritage and identity are more than ever shared between the two islands. 

A definite and constant visible/invisible bond links the two islands, a natural attraction in other words.  And, like many people, she had heard very positive accounts relating various aspects of the island. Undoubtedly, coming from another island opened doors immediately, creating a mutual understanding. Stephanie set off for fifteen days of discovery and immersion.                                                    

Dublin, Cork, Galway and Belfast were pinpointed – with a definite preference for Galway, where she felt that well known Galway atmosphere – soaring mountains, friendly pubs, beautiful beaches and some of the most wildest and haunting countryside – here our thoughts fly to Connemara. 
As for understanding the language, it wasn’t always that evident – the fact of the matter is, each region having a distinct accent, sometimes it can be quite an ordeal even for the islanders themselves, at times. I myself, if I had to choose, would agree that the Dublin accent would be the most understandable, and less difficult to ‘decode’. Conversations with her teachers and taxi drivers were particularly interesting – then again, we know how taxi drivers love to chat, and the Irish themselves are naturally born orators, who will always find the time for a conversation. 

In answer to the question, would she suggest Ireland to those wishing to travel to an English speaking country, she immediately and positively responded. The beauty of the country-side and landscapes, along with the spontaneous generosity of the Irish people came to mind instinctively, and how the people in general take their time to help and explain, when necessary – accepting foreigners with open arms, and also transmitting a notion of security. This is indeed what we are very often used to hearing and reading about referring to the Emerald Isle – and I for one, would certainly back this up with complete confidence. 
If she had to choose three words describing Ireland, they would be :
‘kindness, rain and love of life’
Indeed, out of her fifteen days, half were spent with the rain – then again, you don’t go to Ireland for the sun ! and the weather can be very changeable within twenty-four hours. 
Visiting the pubs was of course a necessity. And, when one speaks of ‘pubs’, the familiar warmth and sharing comes to mind automatically – for these are spots where conversing and exchanging ideas spring genuinely, between friends, family and all present. 

It’s natural to find similitudes between the two islands, although we must keep in mind that Corsica is ten times smaller than Ireland. I myself have often thought that if Ireland had the advantage of receiving more sun, it would be near to perfect in many ways.                                       
Stephanie noticed the large variety of producers and their products, accessible to all, and an important point to underline – just how the Irish have managed over the years to make sure their natural production is well taken into consideration for the benefit of all.                                

All in all, it was a memorable stay and Stephanie added that she hopes to return there some time in the not too far off future for a longer period of time. 
Let’s hope she does ! 


Images: Stéphanie ‘Trésors de Corse’ 



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