I have landed at two Irish airports: Shannon International, a Dublin. But, at very different times in the reality of air travel. Shannon was done in the early 1970s when air travel was much different. There had been a couple of skyjackings by the time we were first raveling overseas, but for the most part, they were yet to come. Airports were pretty open. In the US, you could walk to the actual airport gate where the plane was without a Ticket until September 15, 2001 (when the first airport opened after 9/11). In the 70s, things were different. I even remember flying on a plane where people smoked on the airplane. That was one of the first things to go after the Surgeon General warning in the US about Cigarettes.
The second trip was 30 years later, and I landed in Dublin. My third trip was also in the 2000 era and landed at Dublin. I know that Ireland is a place that fits me. I love wandering Dublin and have many wonderful memories of Galway by the Bay. On my third and first trips we were there over a weekend, so we had time to see the country. Ireland is green, often called the Emerald Isle. It is the brogue though that makes me happy. I also know, having had one now, that I could never eat a full, full Irish Breakfast. The layer of sausage, potatoes, and eggs was much more than my stomach could take. I ended up ordering a ½ Irish the next time that came up for breakfast.
I was also amazed by the difference in drivers. In Ireland, you can have a learner’s permit, and if you are over 21, drive without someone else in the car. In the US, you cannot drive without a licensed drive rin the car regardless of age. You can have a learners permit for 20 years in Ireland. All you have to do is have the sticker in the rear window of your car. The other thing that amazed me my first Saturday in Dublin was the kindness of the people. I got lost twice, walking around on Saturday. I was kindly told where I had gone wrong and pointed in the right direction. Twice when I got lost the person walked with me for a while to make sure I had my bearings. Nice people visit better!