The Coasts Of Ireland
Beautiful landscapes, living tradition and welcoming people – this is Ireland. One thousand miles of impressive cliffs, natural beauty and long-living traditions. The massive waters of the Atlantic thunderously surge against the rocks of the Irish coast – the cliffs being amongst the highest in Europe.
Take a journey around this green island, and through numerous encounters with typical and atypical islanders, also get to know Ireland from the perspective of the Irish and discover how well the Irish integrate their ancestry into modern day living.
This five-part series portrays the wide variety of landscapes and culture, from the traditional pubs in Dublin to the philanthropic dolphin of Dingle, from the intelligent Connemara horses and Rathlin’s sailboat carvers to the sorely afflicted city of Belfast.
Part 1: Dublin And The East
The cradle of the Irish culture lies in the east of the island. Whether history, literature, cuisine, mysticism or the traditional way of life: Dublin is everything that makes Ireland unique. In Carlingford Bay we visit an oyster farmer who grows the world famous oysters at low tide. In Dublin we meet the tap dancer Joseph Comerford and are swept away by the Irish Dance. The literature professor Joseph O’Gorman takes us on a tour of Dublin and brings us closer to the story of his city.
Part 2: The Irish Riviera
In the south of Ireland the landscape is anything but harsh: medieval castles surrounded by lush forests, quaint fishing villages and exotic gardens. The warm Gulf Stream creates an almost Mediterranean atmosphere. Plants from around the world thrive and make for vibrant gardens such as Phemie Roses’. Every day the passionate gardener tries to improve her garden even more. The region has become a haven for people who have fulfilled their dream of a simple but happy life – be it as a dedicated gardener such as Phemie, as a tourist guide for a famous castle or as a recluse on a deserted island.
Part 3: The Wild West
The western part of the island is wild and primeval. In some places the cliffs rise hundreds of feet above the Atlantic Ocean, such as the imposing Cliffs of Moher; the back country is nearly treeless. County Connemara has enough green hills for Connemaras mysterious wild horses. The people here are firmly rooted in their country and its traditions. Some residents swear by fresh seaweed baths while others love the wayward life on an island 15 kilometers off of the mainland. Hundreds of couples get married each year by Ireland’s most successful matchmaker.
Part 4: The Stormy North West
The sparsely populated north-west of Ireland is one of the last bastions of the Gaelic tradition of sheep keeping; sheep are part of everyday life. The secrets of playing the fiddle are passed on from generation to generation. In many places Gaelic is still spoken. In Sligo, Donegal and Leitrim the visitor finds historic ruins, old churches and cemeteries that bear witness of a lively past. But even here, modern age has arrived: In some places women play the popular sport of rugby more passionately than the men. Who in turn learn cooking and are taught the culinary specialties of Ireland.
Part 5: Belfast and the North
For centuries Northern Ireland has been the scene of bloody battles. Nearly all residents of Northern Ireland have a personal relationship with the conflict between Catholic Republicans and Protestant Loyalists. But the north of Ireland offers much more than separation and street battles. Along the impressive cliffs rare birds can be seen and one can climb the enigmatic Giant’s Causeway. In the back country we meet people who pursue unique activities. And in Northern Ireland’s capital Belfast the wounds of the “troubles” are gradually beginning to heal. Belfast with its impressive seaport, lively city life and modern architecture is one of the most exciting cities in Europe.