The World Nomads Podcast: Ireland

In this episode, we explore Ireland, known for its dynamic music scene, quirky characters, love of Guinness, rolling green hills and a unique sense of fun known as the craic.

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The World Nomads Podcast: Ireland

Ireland is famous for its music, Guinness, green rolling hills, cliffs and castles, and men beating each other with sticks in the ancient game of hurling. This country has something for everyone including a county that sees itself as a separate entity even campaigning for its own passport.

What’s in the episode

00:33 Why a nomad would want to visit Ireland

01:19 Threatened by a hurricane

04:10 Sheltering in a pub

06:44 Introducing the Global Hobos

08:36 A pub crawl in Dublin

10:55 Having a head of a head

12:25 Calling Cork

17:00 Music scene

19:58 Travel News

23:00 Why Americans love Ireland

26:14 Checking out the Cliffs of Moher

29:15 Explaining Gaelic football

34:38 Our podcast milestone

37:54 Next week

Quotes from the episode

"It was a hurricane party. Just like in typical Irish fashion." - Jarryd

"When we went to the brewery in the Guinness factory, you can get your face printed onto the head of a Guinness. Nothing speaks more about Ireland to me than actually drinking a Guinness with your mug plastered on the top of it." - David

"The best way to summarize the Cork accent I think is, we sound like a hummingbird on crack." - Mark

"The very first time I visited it was super windy. The second time I visited it was like sunny and beautiful. And then the third time again it was like wind, rain, maybe a little sleet thrown in even though it was June." - Amanda

"Hurling is rough. It is a seriously dangerous sport." - Ronan

Who is in the episode

Jarryd Salem is one half of NOMADasaurus, Australia’s biggest adventure travel blog. Jarryd and partner Alesha Bradford are award-winning travel writers and photographers.

Check out their ultimate Ireland road trip here.

David Bezear is also a travel blogger. Together with his wife Tanya they created Global Hobos, “…taking you on our journey to discover an extraordinary life. With very little financial security we have set off to discover what life is all about, and in doing so, we are hoping to inspire others to make the jump.”

David’s ‘head on a head’ at the Stonehouse Brewery in Dublin.

Amanda Williams runs Dangerous Business and spoke to us about her site and trip to Ireland visiting the Cliffs of Moher. Amanda also a suggested itinerary for road tripping in Ireland here.

Ronan O’Connell is a journalist and photographer with 16 years' experience as a reporter. His travel writing and photography work has taken him to more than 60 countries. Read his story on Gaelic sport here.

Mark Allen is a Customer Service Consultant at World Nomads office in Cork. Mark is an avid traveler and has lived in Spain, France, Netherlands, Czech Republic and Vietnam. However, he says people get so caught up in traveling the world that they often forget to explore their own country.

“Cork is a wonderfully charming city and I would encourage travelers around the world to survey their own localities.” 

Our Cork team with Mark front and center.

Mark has his own podcast called 3BTS (3 Biys Talking shite) …best friends trying to solve the world’s problems. 

We took your suggestions from our Facebook group and compiled a Spotify playlist of YOUR favorite Irish songs.

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About World Nomads & the Podcast

Explore your boundaries and discover your next adventure with The World Nomads Podcast. Hosted by Podcast Producer Kim Napier and World Nomads Phil Sylvester, each episode will take you around the world with insights into destinations from travelers and experts. They’ll share the latest in travel news, answer your travel questions and fill you in on what World Nomads is up to, including the latest scholarships and guides.

World Nomads is a fast-growing online travel company that provides inspiration, advice, safety tips and specialized travel insurance for independent, volunteer and student travelers traveling and studying most anywhere in the world. Our online global travel insurance covers travelers from more than 135 countries and allows you to buy and claim online, 24/7, even while already traveling.

The World Nomads Podcast is not your usual travel Podcast. It’s everything for the adventurous, independent traveler. Don’t miss out. Subscribe today.

You can get in touch with us by emailing [email protected].

Phil Sylvester: Guinness beer. There now I have your attention. Yes, we are talking about Ireland. The Emerald Isle, because of its lush greenery and rolling hills sports are huge and contrary to popular belief, only about 9% of people in Ireland have natural red hair. Can we check that statistic, please? So why would a nomad travel there?

Speaker 2: Welcome to the World Nomads podcast delivered by World Nomads, the travel, lifestyle and insurance brand. It's not your usual travel podcast. It's everything for the adventurous independent traveler.

Kim Napier: Hi, it's Kim and Phil with you exploring our latest destination Ireland. And why, Phil would a nomad want to travel to Ireland?

Phil Sylvester: Good question, Kim.

Kim Napier: Because well you asked it, so therefore it is a good question because not only does it have history, a dynamic cultural and music scene and landscapes that take your breath away, it has the crack, which basically means news, gossip, fun entertainment conversation, banter, hilarity, all rolled into one.

Phil Sylvester: And there'll be plenty of that in this episode as we hit off on a pub tour of Ireland, learn about the quirky characters of Cork and celebrate a podcast milestone with some crack of our own.

Kim Napier: Let's get into it with a friend of the podcast, Jarryd, from NOMADasaurus, and look, I feel this could only happen to him and partner Alicia caught in a hurricane in Ireland.

Jarryd : Such is our luck, right? You know, we were in Ireland to speak at a conference and afterward like, oh, we might as well just hang out. He had never been to Ireland. It was a place that Alicia was desperate to go visit. So we're there and it was getting close to winter and at last go, let's just rent a cabin van and drive around and had a great time cruising around, exploring some really interesting parts of the country and then...

Kim Napier: So perfect for an RV kind of experience?

Jarryd : Look, I think Ireland for a road trip is just absolutely perfect.

Kim Napier: Cool.

Jarryd : I mean, a lot of countries are great for road trips, some are better for public transport and just kind of visiting the highlights. But Ireland for sure. You get a camp event or a car and cruised around because there are so many little peninsulas you can go and check out and the Ring of Kerry and the Ring of Beara and the Dingo peninsula's great slave leaders heaps of places, right?

Jarryd : And we went for campervan because we love camper van travel. Yeah, we've done that in Canada and New Zealand, Australia, and we were having a great time. And then we get word, we actually got a text message from the camper van company. It's like, oh, just a heads up. There's a hurricane coming your way. Say what? Yeah, a hurricane. I didn't even know Ireland got hurricanes. Apparently it was the first one in eighty years or something. Yeah, the text message is like, whatever you do, you make sure you're not anywhere near the Wild Atlantic Way. And of course we are like smack bang in the middle of the Wild Atlantic Way. And we're like, whoa, what the hell do we do now? We can't just leave here because we've only got halfway through. There's still so many places to go. And we're like, ah, it shouldn't be, it shouldn't be too bad.

Jarryd : Right. So we start chatting to some Irish people about it, Irish, nothing kind of perplexes them. And they just laugh, don't worry about it, it's going to be sweet. You know, like it'll, it'll pass. Nothing will come. So I'm like, all right, we'll just take their word for it. You know, we're ignoring all the weather warnings and the camper van company messaging. I'll make sure they don't screw up our camper with this hurricane, we were like no we're all right, we're all right.

Jarryd : So we find ourselves in this little town called Lahinch, I think, or Lenichl? Beautiful little coastal surf town. And the hurricane's coming, everything's starting to be boarded up and wow, I don't know what we're going to do. We drive past the caravan park and we call up our old mate right from the caravan park and it's closed. And he's like, oh look, there's a hurricane coming. I'll tell you what, I'll give you the code for the place and cruise on in. Just park out. You don't have to pay anything. But yeah, you, you better try and get out of this hurricane. So we do that. We spend the night, hurricane doesn't come. Went into town to get some breakfast and people are like, what are you doing here? You need to get out like it's coming at 11 o'clock.

Kim Napier: So it was a slow hurricane.

Jarryd : It was a very slow hurricane it probably had a big night on the Guinness and not before. Yeah. [crosstalk] So yeah, we ended up just jumping in the camper van and hitting inland and we ended up in this tiny little town called Ennis, typical Irish village, just beautiful old pubs and nice tree-lined streets. And we had this camper van and we couldn't just park up in one of the, like all the car parks they'd like, no camping and whatever. So we ended up driving around. We found this really, really fancy hotel that we definitely could not afford. Was living in a camper van. So we just like kind of snuck into the hotel, found the loading zone and we found a semi-trailer was parked up and a little bit of a gap in between where the semi-trailer was and this wall, this old stone wall. So we just nudged our camper van in there and figured, well we got protection now from if this hurricane actually hits, hopefully nothing will collapse on us and we'll be sweet.

Jarryd : And then only things open supermarket and the pub. Well, Supermarkets are kind of boring to hang out in. So we ended up in the pub along with every single person from Ennis.

Kim Napier: That's where you go when a hurricane's about to hit.

Jarryd : It was a hurricane party. Just like in typical Irish fashion. There was a fiddle band playing and everyone was down there and everyone was celebrating the fact that he didn't have to go to work cause everything was closed and the hurricane was happening. And sure enough rain started hitting pretty hard and the winds picked up. But the town Marion, and it's nothing was too crazy there. But I think Galway got hit pretty bad, I think Cork, and Ennis was fine. And this party just kicked off at about mid day six o'clock. Aaron was just absolutely hammered. We're all singing and dancing.

Kim Napier: So Irish!

Jarryd : Yeah, and the hurricane passes because no one wants to leave the pub at this point cause everyone's sloshed and so everything's clear and the roads are open again and everyone's not.

Jarryd : You got stick there to the pub and we couldn't leave everyone every time we tried to like get up and walk back to the hotel, we can't pay. People kept buying his drinks and we're the only tourists in this town.

Kim Napier: That's fabulous, what a great story. And did the hotel caught onto the fact that you use the loading zone for your...

Jarryd : Oh they must've picked up on it, but I think they were kind of chill about it.

Phil Sylvester: When that's happening though, that's fair enough.

Kim Napier: So the first hurricane in 80 years and you're caught in it. What a great story and memory it was.

Jarryd : It was a lot of fun. I'm glad we were there for her, that's for sure.

Kim Napier: What do you love about Ireland?

Jarryd : People. It has to be the people, right? Ireland is a nation of great storytellers. It's the only place I've been where you can get chatting to someone about their changing the light bulb in their grandma's lamp and it's the best story you've ever heard.

Jarryd : You know, like they can just talk for hours and hours and hours and make any mundane things sound absolutely amazing and hilarious. So we just love traveling around and hanging out with Irish people and just listening to them talk and drink and meeting them on hikes and like hanging out with them like the people there are just amazing. But then, of course, the coastline is absolutely beautiful.

Speaker 5: Yes spectacular.

Jarryd : The Wild Atlantic Way is like next-level gorgeous. The Viking history you get around Waterford's quite interesting as well if you're into that kind of stuff. I just loved Ireland we're can't wait to go back.

Kim Napier: You have sold me Jarryd , a link to NOMADasaurus in show notes. Well Tanya and David are known as the global hobos, the nine to five world zapping them of life. They set off to discover what life is actually all about without any financial security really. And in doing so, they hope to inspire others to make the jump. And of course among their travels they've been to Ireland and David tells us about it.

David: We arrived in Dublin. We haven't got a long time in Dublin cause we're heading up to Northern Ireland. So we thought how best to spend our time to get to know the city, begin to understand the culture. So first thing we did, we set off to the Leprechaun Museum, then onto Stone House, which is the brewery for Guinness and finally finished off at Temple Bar, which is probably the world famous bar in Dublin. And the only problem with that is according to the guy that took us on a four-hour walking tour around Dublin. Now probably the last three things that you should do to get a feel for Dublin in Ireland. We'd basically done the tourist Mecca of, of Dublin and learned nothing about the culture, but he also offered a 20 Euro pub tour. And so we thought, okay, all right, he's talking about this.

David: But I think Ireland's more about sharing stories or as they say having a crack. So we took him up on his pub tour and the whole thing changed. You know, we got, we got our way from the history and we've got to the roots of what Ireland's all about. When we moved to Galway, Galway is a very unique city. It's a city of music. It's a city of pubs. It's a university city. It's got an amazing, I went to say nightlife because the place is just, it's got a real festive spirit to it. When you walk through all the streets the pubs are open, there's music, there's buskers everywhere. So we thought it only right that we create a pub crawl. We picked five pubs. We thought we could do two pints at each pub. The third pub we saw side was our [inaudible] and this was a great little pub, this is considered to have the best Guinness outside of the Stone House in Dublin.

David: It's a little [inaudible 00:08:54]. It used to be a grocery store and now it's beautifully decked out. All the bartenders have vests on and ties. They're really well dressed well like anything, there's lots of locals. There's a mixture of locals and tourists that just flit in, flick out, but you go out the back and this big garden, the biggest big garden in the world, I'm sure of it. But it's like an old market place and it just keeps going and going and going from this little storefront. The big garden just opens up if you don't know about it you'd never go in, you'd never find it.

Kim Napier: All right, put that on the list.

David: Put that on the list. The other one, you can't miss it's the last pub we went to is called the Crane and it's just a nondescript building. It's just a white building and there's no flags. There's no leprechauns there's no best pub in town and the streets were empty. There was nothing going on. This was probably about 10:30 11 o'clock at night, we said, oh, it's Monday night, maybe it's closed. And we walked in and there's about 70 people there. They're all sitting down, there are about 15 musicians playing in the corner. The place is just pumping. They weren't a band there were individual musicians. Just jamming and no one was talking. Everyone was just enjoying the music, watching them, engaging with the musicians, drinking Guinness and gin and coffee, whatever they get from that pub crawl we did in Dublin. This was the essence of Ireland. It's just amazing. It's what you, if you, if you picture Ireland apart from the grandeur of its landscapes and its cliffs and it's many fables and leprechauns and so forth. This is the true Ireland.

David: This is when you, go to Ireland and you have to make point of finding locals, find those little bars that don't have all the facade that don't have all the flags and everything. I have to tell you one quick story about what really made Ireland and I was quite happy to settle on it and go, yeah, I'm done.

David: When we went to the brewery in the Guinness factory, you can get your face printed onto the head of a Guinness. Nothing speaks more about Ireland to me than actually drinking a Guinness with your mug plastered on the top of it. It's quite interesting how they do it. They just take this photo, they pour a Guinness off the tap, they stick it in this machine and it just prints this perfect photo across the head of the beer. Now if you drink Guinness correctly, this head actually holds its form all the way down to the glass until eventually the bottom and it just dissolves. Part of the art of having a Guinness is watching it being poured and settling and that's why when you're sitting in a bar and they pull you the beer, you sit there and have a chat because you're not going to get your beer straight away. Having a head on the head. As much as the history is important and we can't forget the troubles, ah, there, that's Ireland really.

Kim Napier: I linked to the Global Hobos in show notes. Thanks for that. And a pic of David's head on a head.

Phil Sylvester: We fade from a capital of Australia. It's so foreign. It's no surprises, both countries are quite closely linked. The first Irish convicts arrived in Australia as part of the first fleet in the 1700's like cousins and [inaudible] even has an office in Cork. So we caught up with Mark to find out why Cork sees itself as separate to the rest of Ireland.

Mark: Cork absolutely thinks it's different from the rest of Ireland we had the people's Republic of Cork. This is such a chosen title that we've given to our humble little County. Actually no, we're far from humble. I think we're more like charming in describing the words. So to best describe Cork and what makes us so different to the rest of the counties is basically the character sets when it's lightest, they're overwhelmingly friendliness, does compensate for the often underwhelmingly awful climate that we unfortunately have in the center of Ireland. What really kind of sums all this up for what Cork is is that back in 2013 we actually tried to obtain our own passports, despite being past of the Republic of Ireland. It was launched by the tourism board here and we started issuing passports. Just anyone from Cork, cause that's how proud we are about its locality and a wonderful city, and if that doesn't really sum up appropriately [inaudible] I don't know what does.

Kim Napier: Well you're about to share with us your thoughts on Cork, the anecdotes and characters. I have said, well no, actually I didn't feel Mark did. He said that he will slow down at any point that we don't understand, it is an international audience.

Mark: It's a difficult accent, a different accent, maybe a bit overly musical. The best way to summarize the Cork accent I think is we sounded like a hummingbird on crack. It's absolutely outrageous. It really is. I really, I have toned it down as best I could. The most wonderful viewpoints in Cork city but I want to try to tell everyone that goes is the top of Patrick's Hill. Patrick's Hill is the second biggest hill in a city in Europe. I heard that fact from a reliable source, an old elderly man in Nepal, so maybe you want to research that one possibly, but I haven't...not all facts can be Googled.

Mark: They just got to rely on the locals, which is the most nomadic way of traveling is relying on the locals on their information and trusting them. And then at the Top of Patrick's Hill you get a wonderful view of Clark city and it's right near local hostel a brew hostel or whatever a lovely blend of international and locals in there. And if I could have one word to summarize and kind of complete, what is the feeling I get from Cork, it would be cozy. I think Cork is a very cozy city with cozy warm characters cause we'll never live up to the expectation of metropolis and North America the aesthetic postcard that is Southeast Asia. We're just a cozy city. We do love it here. I want people to come to visit for all this area. It's just to speak them as much as we can.

Kim Napier: Tell us about some of the characters.

Mark: There's actually some famous people from Cork that you would know and some that you might not know. So from an international perspective, you would guess Killian Murphy, he played Thomas Shelby in Peaky blinders and [inaudible] Peaky Blinders.

Mark: If we have time, can I give you a little anecdote about the music history of Cork?

Phil Sylvester: Yes, please.

Mark: So the music scene in Cork is historic and it died for awhile in the mid-nineties but it's finally rejuvenating. So I want to go back to a year, I wasn't even born back then, but back in 1988 there was a club called Sir Henry's and this was a small rock club that slowly grew and became something much, much more. And it kind of encapsulated the soul of the city of the eighties and early nineties. It had a capacity for 400 people and [inaudible 00:17:38], if you know played there, Sonic Youth were actually supported by Nirvana in 1991 that's our biggest claim to fame. That Kurt Cobain was there in '91 playing to a crowd of 400 but if you ask local Corkonians if they were there, they're all going to say yes. So it has a capacity of 400 and 35,000 people were at that gig including my stepfather. So what you do is you got to ask them, have they got the ticket still? And my stepfather says he has but, I haven't actually seen it.

Mark: So that's the big one, their final was in Cork and then this club got taken over by a new owner and the Rave scene came to Clark and the Rave was huge in the 90s and this went on for three or four years. Some of the biggest DJs came to Cork with renowned almost as big as Berlin. That's what scenery was to Europe in the early nineties and then it eventually closed down and the music scene died in Cork City. And over the last two or three years, we're finally seeing it come back in the way of small artsy acoustic arenas.

Mark: So two churches have been renovated St.Luke's and [inaudible] have played there at Northern Irish artist called Silk. I think it's amazing that, I mean Ireland is not the same as it was 20 years ago. It's not the Catholic Christian country it was, it's still it dwells within us, but the fact that we can now, renovate a church from a spiritual home to now the home of the bring your own bottle, a music venue and it speaks volumes about how much we've transformed over the last few years and for any travelers and nomads to come to Cork, the music scene is the main reason you got to come here and it's absolutely it's getting better and better.

Kim Napier: Why don't you come to Australia? We would love to have you in our office.

Mark: It would be a dream come true guys. Honestly, I'd love to come to Australia at some stage and have a crack off.

Kim Napier: Thank you, Mark. He's a character. Doesn't he just sum up what an Irish person is all about?

Phil Sylvester: When you can understand him.

Kim Napier: Yes. We have created our own Spotify playlist of Irish songs as suggested by travelers in our Facebook group. Just search for the World Nomads podcast on Facebook to join that and we'll have a link to the playlist in show notes. Still to come some crack of our own as we celebrate a podcast milestone, but film travel news.

Phil Sylvester: Okay. Why we can't have nice things. Episode 342 taking photos of Geishas in Kyoto in Japan has been banned by local authorities because of people chasing them down the street to take a selfie. Oh, come on. Anyway, if you get caught doing it, 10,000 yen, fine, it's about a hundred American dollars. Look, I know we're about the experiences rather than the sights, but if you go to New York, you've been in New York?

Kim Napier: I haven't been to New York.

Phil Sylvester: You have to do the Empire State building. All right. It's what. ..

Kim Napier: Heights, heights, it's a height issue.

Phil Sylvester: You're in a building.

Kim Napier: Yes still.

Phil Sylvester: Look, the observation deck that you know the outside one is on the 86th floor, but there's another viewing platform that's on the top floor, which is the 102nd floor, but it's just undergone a massive renovation. They spent hundreds of millions of dollars doing it up. It's got a new sort of historical aspect about the building of the Empire State building, which was the first skyscraper over a hundred floors in the world and it's all, it's about to turn 90.

Kim Napier: It's a beautiful building.

Phil Sylvester: It is a beautiful building and on the 102nd floor they've removed all the internal columns. So while you're there you can get a 360 degree view of New York.

Kim Napier: Thanks so much for that, Phil. Amanda is a travel blogger. Now she runs a site called dangerous business, but she's different from a digital nomad.

Amanda: I have a home base in Ohio, in the U.S. I live near Cleveland and when I first started blogging I had a full time job, so traveling long term wasn't even an option. And then once I did kind of decide to devote some more time to blogging, I did think maybe I would become one of those digital nomad types. But I ended up leaving on a six month round the world trip and after three months I was like, yeah, no, this is not for me. And kind of cut it short. So the life on the road is tough. Like people think you're just on vacation the entire time. But for people who are digital nomads, you're not only living abroad often in like a completely different culture than you're used to, but you're also trying to work abroad.

Amanda: So you're trying to find time to work, you're trying to find good wifi, you're trying to hustle for jobs and sometimes it's just really tough. And I just was not about that hustle that was required. I'm also like one of those millennials who totally suffers from FOMO. So when I'm on the road I have a really hard time taking a break from the traveling part to actually work or relax or do any of the other necessary things you just need to do in day to day life.

Kim Napier: You clearly take time away from work to travel and you've been to Ireland several times, which is why we want to pick your brains about the country.

Amanda: Yes. I've been to Ireland at least three or four times now, including I celebrated a birthday in Ireland once. I've done road trips in Ireland and yeah, Ireland is a great travel destination and Americans especially really like Ireland.

Kim Napier: Why do they like Ireland in particular?

Amanda: For one, it's fairly easy to get to. It's a kind of safe and familiar feeling place because obviously everyone does speak English. Irish people are known for being very friendly, but most of all, I think it's because a lot of Americans have Irish ancestry, so it's just kind of natural to want to visit places where your family might may have been from.

Kim Napier: We mentioned earlier in the podcast about our connection, Australia's connection with Ireland. But again, yeah, you guys do have a connection with Ireland, don't you?

Amanda: Yeah, New York, Boston, a lot of the big cities on the East coast have big, big Irish populations. And then moving West, I mean pretty much every major city, you know, you had people from Ireland settling in throughout the Midwest.

Kim Napier: All right, that's a good setup Phil for the chat to come when we speak with Ronan about Gaelic football and hurling.

Kim Napier: Yeah. We're just wondering what, what you guys would get out of listening to us talk about guy like football, but all you're going to enjoy it.

Phil Sylvester: Okay. So on the bucket list of course and everybody that goes to Ireland, they're told you must go see the Cliffs of Moher. So tell us about your experience of that.

Amanda: I've actually been to the cliffs, I want to say three times now. So obviously yes, very iconic spot in Ireland and the fact that Ireland is so small, like the very first time I went to the cliffs, I did it on a day trip from Dublin. It's only about a three hour drive, like across all of Ireland from Dublin. So yeah, I've visited three times in three completely different seasons and weather conditions and Ireland is one of those places that's known for, you could have literally every type of weather within a day.

Amanda: The very first time I visited it was super windy. The second time I visited it was like sunny and beautiful. And then the third time again it was like wind, rain, maybe a little sleet thrown in even though it was June. So it is a very touristy place, but it's still also a very wild place in Ireland.

Phil Sylvester: I was going to ask you about that because there's like an, there's an entrance fee and there's a visitor center and stuff like that. Does that, does that detract from the experience much?

Amanda: I don't think so because obviously it's just cliffs and the cliffs kind of go along the whole coast of Western Ireland or at least that part of Western Ireland. So like once you get up on the cliffs, it still feels very kind of open and wild.

Amanda: And obviously again as an American, you know, going to a place like this, you are kind of struck by the fact that there aren't really any safety barriers or anything like that. So you could easily just kind of tumble over the edge if you get too close. And I feel like that makes it feel quite authentic really, because it doesn't feel super touristy once you leave the visitor center.

Phil Sylvester: When we travel, we obviously like to see spectacular things. But the essence of travel is not really about ticking off sights. It's about the experience that you have while you're there. So what kind of, I mean you say you did it on a day trip. What kind of experience did you have traveling to the cliffs?

Amanda: So when I went on a day trip, it was like pretty standard day trip fare. We got on a small bus and we drove from Dublin and we stopped not far from the cliffs for lunch in a pub, which was pretty cool. And then you go to the cliffs and you just have free time to kind of wander around. And the most recent time I visited, I actually went with my mom and my sister last summer. We did a girl's road trip around Ireland and the cliffs were actually the very first place we went. Like the morning we arrived in Ireland.

Amanda: We went straight there and it's like the experience is at first it seems touristy like you were saying, because when you're driving and especially you drive into the parking lot and you have to pay your entry fee and your parking fee and all that, and then you walk into the visitor center. But like from there it kind of starts to seem a little bit different from a lot of other touristy places, cause the visitor center itself is kind of built into this hill. So it's not just this random building on a cliff, it's made to feel a little bit more natural. And then from there you're free to just walk along the paths on the top of the cliffs and those paths go for, there's like a coastal trail that goes along the cliffs for, I don't know, maybe 10 or 15 kilometers I think. I mean theoretically speaking, if you went up there and you just walked for a while, you wouldn't feel like you were anywhere touristy

Phil Sylvester: Of the sunny day and the really windy and sleety day, which was your favorite.

Amanda: I mean, I think I'd have to say the sunny day because number one, easier to take photos for sure. And number two, not so concerned about being blown by a stray gust of wind into the ocean.

Phil Sylvester: You know, I actually like when I'm doing those sorts of my sort of connection to the ocean in a way. I mean I love a good sunny day, but I also love it when you're in a really blustery cold day as well.

Kim Napier: I totally agree.

Phil Sylvester: It has a sort of rural power and magnificence that really appeals to me.

Amanda: I mean the good thing about Ireland or Scotland or any of those places is that you could have sun, wind, cold rain all within about 30 minutes, so it's perfect.

Kim Napier: Thank you so much Amanda and I agree with you Phil, there is nothing like being in a place like that all rubbed up and wind swept and looking forward to a fire and a hot pie and a glass of brown ale.

Phil Sylvester: Fair enough.

Kim Napier: Did you just dismiss me then?

Phil Sylvester: No it's good.

Kim Napier: It looks like Amanda has given us the go ahead too, we can relax about our chat with Ronan on Gaelic football and hurling.

Ronan: One of the stories goes is that it was actually the inspiration for Australian football and anyone who would watch it for the first time and is familiar with Australian football would see a lot of similarities in that. You've got one ball, which a team is trying to advance down the field by passing it to each other either by foot or by hand, by running with the ball and bouncing it and then there is goalposts at the end, which you're aiming for to score. The one difference being that apart from in Australian football you've also got like a soccer style net at the bottom of the goalposts, like in Rugby when you that small gap at the bottom of the goalpost, there's a net in there like a soccer goal and that if you kick it past the goalkeeper there it gives you three points and if you kick it over the top of the bar in between the two uprights is one point.

Phil Sylvester: Well it seems most of our audience are American, they have no idea what we're talking about.

Kim Napier: That's the whole idea behind listening to a travel podcast. So you get to know a destination.

Phil Sylvester: Well, how about we say it's a cross between let's say soccer and Rugby?

Ronan: Yeah, that's not bad.

Phil Sylvester: Soccer and rugby without offside.

Ronan: You've got basketball I think mixed in there as well. You've got a team that is running down the field and you're passing it from side to side or forward and you're trying to get it close to your goal when one person then tries to shoot the ball towards the goal, except that in this case they kick the ball or they hit it with their hand rather than throwing it like they do in basketball.

Phil Sylvester: Whether you could get it or not. It's synonymous with Ireland, isn't it?

Ronan: Yeah, it is. And I mean there's two sports there that are, that are Gaelic games that are indigenous games to Ireland. There's Gaelic football, which we just talking about. And there's also hurling. So those are the two biggest games in Ireland. The two most popular games, which is a very unique situation because in most countries around the world, it's games that are played in many countries that are the most popular sports like basketball we just talked about, like rugby, like soccer or athletics or swimming. These are the most popular games in most countries around the world. Whereas in Ireland their two most popular games are ones that they invented themselves a long, long time ago. Hurling for example, is, is believed to be at least 3000 years old while Gaelic football dates back to the middle ages, they haven't pinpointed exactly, but it's at least 600 years old.

Phil Sylvester: I don't mind a game where, you know, it's a bit rough. I like seeing grown men smash into each other. It's not bad. Yeah. But hurling it looks brutal.

Ronan: Hurling is rough. It is a seriously dangerous sport everywhere. I mean guys are swinging a wooden stick as hard as they can and it doesn't matter who's around them. If you're trying to get near them and get the ball, which you are trying to do, they will just swing the stick. And if you're there and you cop it in the mouth, cop it in the shin, cop it in the elbow, that's all part of the game. It's a very tough sport.

Phil Sylvester: We mentioned, well Phil did, that if you're an American, you don't know what we're talking about with Gaelic football, but you actually had an...you did a session with experience Gaelic games with an American family.

Ronan: The kids in particular, there was a couple of young fellows, young lads there who were really into it. They were really interested by it. I think particularly the hurling Gaelic football is fairly easy to pick up straight away because you're just holding a round ball. You can bounce it off the ground it bounces predictably you're kicking it. Whereas hurling has got much more specific skills trying to hit a ball out of midair. So they were really interested in doing that and I think like a lot of people, they weren't quite sure of the rules but they were just, you know, in there having a go and they seem to have a lot of fun.

Phil Sylvester: And these Gaelic sports men and women too, a bit like in well universally with sports stars, whether it's America or Europe or Australia, they're well paid. They're celebrities.

Ronan: No, this is one of the really curious and controversial aspects of the Gaelic sports is the fact that you would go over there and you would watch it on TV as an outsider and you would see these huge crowds sometimes up to 80,000 people in Croke Park in Dublin, which is the main stadium in the country. You see it blanket coverage on the TV. It's a massive, massive deal there. Everyone is into these games.

Ronan: You would think that the athletes involved would be making some serious money out of it. They are big celebrities in the country, but they don't actually get any direct salary from the sport at all. It is an amateur sport or sports, I should say hurling and Gaelic football.

Phil Sylvester: I suppose it's the difference between college football and the NFL in the States. You know the college kids not supposed to be paid, but they get sponsorship deals and what have you.

Ronan: And it's the same situation that in America, you know, there's so many people that are very upset with the fact that college athletes don't get paid and that the colleges make so much money out of it and it's, it's this, it's the same in Ireland, but Ireland also is, it really values and cherishes its traditions. And I think they see this well a lot of people see this as one of their traditions that these are humble amateur athletes. And so, you know, I think that has preserved its status as it is.

Kim Napier: So just like having, a bit of a crack in a Guinness, Gaelic football or hurling is something you should experience if you visit the country.

Ronan: Absolutely.

Kim Napier: Thank you Ryan. And thanks to all our guests, in fact, because we couldn't make the podcast without you and there wouldn't be a podcast if nobody was listening, but you do. And we're very grateful for that because [crosstalk 00:34:47], I was trying to build up some anticipation here. I wasn't doing a very good job of it was I, as you hear very shortly, we've raked up a quarter of a million listens. In fact over a quarter of a million listens.

Phil Sylvester: I hope it's not the same person.

Kim Napier: Well, yeah, but it is remarkable given you and I often struggle.

Phil Sylvester: I don't see your audio showing up yet. Ma'am.

Caroline: Can you hear me?

Phil Sylvester: I can now.

Caroline: You're coming out of the computer not the [bleep] headphones. Okay.

Phil Sylvester: Well go into your settings and select a speaker. Make that the road.

Caroline: You there?

Phil Sylvester: Yeah, I'm here.

Caroline: You there?

Phil Sylvester: Yeah, I can hear you.

Caroline: You there? Hang on.

Caroline: I didn't have my headphones in. Let's start that again.

Kim Napier: Look, we reached out to Caroline because Phil, we often share stories of taking a Safari in Africa or even seeing the Wildebeest migration in Tanzania (laughter).

Speaker 11: Every time I was hitting a button, it wasn't like letting me, hit it, so I couldn't convert it to the earphones.

Phil Sylvester: But meanwhile, Kim is sending me a text message going, he's blind you (beep) idiot.

Kim Napier: I'm so embarrassed [inaudible] I wasn't sure how you were doing it.

Phil Sylvester: If you need proof that I don't discriminate. That's it.

Kim Napier: Our next episode, what's it about, mate?

Phil Sylvester: How about I have no (beep) idea, Kim. I hope you've enjoyed this episode on the Baltics and I'll also share some about other World Nomad stories including one on the [inaudible] do you know? [inaudible] All right, here we go. [crosstalk]

Phil Sylvester: Let's capture it, right? Let's start again. (beep) (beep)

Kim Napier: The amount of things that you and I have had to redo.

Phil Sylvester: But you've got to protect your reputation. It's complicated. I'm not a denier.

Kim Napier: Plenty and more. Plenty more bloopers where they came from by the way.

Phil Sylvester: And a couple of them making this episode.

Kim Napier: Yeah it took us a while. Thanks for listening to us from wherever you get your favorite podcasts truly, and you can also get in touch by emailing [email protected]

Phil Sylvester: Next week, have you ever picked up hitchhikers?

Kim Napier: No, but I've hitchhiked myself.

Phil Sylvester: Oh, were you worried?

Kim Napier: Yeah it was stupid.

Phil Sylvester: Next week we are speaking to a bloke who's visited all 54 countries in Africa, picking up hitchhikers along the way. Hundreds of them. You've got to listen. It's fascinating.

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