I just got back from a week+ trip to Ireland. It was amazing. And exhausting. But mostly amazing. Gorgeous country.
I was over there for the Notre Dame v. Navy football game (yes, two US college teams played in Ireland for some reason) and the number of tourists there was staggering. We wondered how the locals felt about that, but the general perception was “thank you for coming and helping our economy.” I can’t even imagine how much money came into the country over the past two weeks.
In reading a local news article about the event, one thing I found amusing was the discussion of the “uber-rich Americans” who came in for the game. Of course, they chose to profile the people staying in the highest of high-end hotels, the ones who took private jets to Ireland, etc. There was a note about a 15-year-old whiskey that a bar usually sells about half a bottle of per year and they went through multiple bottles in one night due to the celebrating. Which doesn’t seem like that big of a deal to me, but it was apparently newsworthy.
It wasn’t a cheap trip, but I certainly didn’t travel like the uber-rich! I stayed in normal hotels and flew coach the whole way (which meant it took me nearly 24 hours to get home on Wednesday). But it was sort of one of those once-in-a-lifetime things. I would love to get back to Ireland sometime, but I don’t know that I’ll ever be back for something of this caliber.