Home Dilmun to Dublin Tour Diary Ireland Come to Ireland and find a friend
Come to Ireland and find a friend
Written by Ali Mushaima   
Friday, 18 July 2008 22:14

A replica of the 19th century ship that brought many Irish families to America during the Great Famine of the 1800s 

On Wednesday, we drove to the Scottish coast and took the ferry to Belfast, Northern Ireland, en route to Ireland.

While in Belfast, we visited Giant's Causeway, a world heritage site. The skies were pouring rain right through from the time we got off the ferry, but the deluge ended almost on cue as we arrived at our destination.

It was still cloudy, but our tour guide kept the mood light with one funny story after another.

After the tour, we set out for Cork, our destination for the weekend. Once on the road, the rain returned with a vengeance. As we entered Dublin, the sun suddenly made a welcome appearance and the air filled with light again. Since then, my friends said I brought the sun from Bahrain with me.

We stopped in Bray, a small town just past Dublin, to rest for the night, before leaving the next morning for Glindelagh, a pretty settlement with an old church and two lakes. We went for a walk, had lunch there and then got back in the Land Rover.

About 140 km before Cork, we stopped in a small (but famous) town called New Ross. A new attraction with historic significance had just been opened here a couple of weeks earlier. It was a replica ship, similar to the one that  transported so many Irish families to America during the Great Famine of the 1800s, all of them seeking a better life in the New World. Among the families from the area who moved to America were the immediate ancestors of John F Kennedy, one of the greatest Presidents of the United States.

We took the tour which was absolutely fascinating, right from the opening DVD that explained the history behind the ship. The replica has been 11 years in the making and is true to the original.

In the ship, we were shown how a family of five or six would stay in a very small cabin for the six to eight week sea voyage. The tour is a real eye-opener to how the people of Ireland must have suffered through that famine that they would subject themselves to such a torturous journey. Some of them died during the voyage. We heard the story of a family of seven who took the ship, but sadly, the father died on board, and his wife passed away three days later, leaving the five children to make the rest of the journey alone.

After the tour, we continued the drive to Cork, where we were invited by Gabriella Beuchert, an art teacher, who teaches art and gives pottery lessons.

Dining with the Beuchert family 

Gabriella was fascinated to know about A'Ali Village in Bahrain, where many potters still fashion works of clay the old-fashioned way. She accepted our invitation to visit Bahrain and will also give general art lessons to school children in the kingdom.

Today, we enjoyed a bus tour of Cork and also visited the main centre.

Ireland is an excellent travel destination, and speaking from the viewpoint of an Arab traveller, it has everything they seek - greenery, shopping, rain, good food and not forgetting the very friendly people who go out of their way to make visitors feel at home.