Friday 29 November 2019

10 THINGS TO KNOW: Northern Ireland & ROI

  1. Have a raincoat of some kind. Weather is cold and unpredictable. But be tough like the locals and go out there anyway. 
  2. Northern Ireland measures their distances in miles. Republic of Ireland in kilometres. Be aware of this if in a car rental as you cross those two borders. 
  3. Republic of Ireland have great highways and most have shoulders marked by yellow lines. Use these shoulders while driving to let others pass - don't hold up traffic and not use the shoulder. We don't know if this is their purpose but most are wide enough to fit a car and have seen them being used by tractors and other cars so why not also use it to not hold up traffic behind you. 
  4. Irish drivers are... just as unpredictable as their weather. We were warned (by a Scotsman though) to be careful of their driving. He wasn't wrong. Not as crazy as Italian drivers but still not as rule following as the Scots or Croatians. 
  5. If renting a car, have some money spare on a credit card to the amount of NZ$2000 or more. Just be prepared. 
  6. On that note, we have been to enough European countries and paid for groceries with our foreign cards to know there are different rules in different countries. We were surprised in Scotland when they asked for a signature - when using Paywave - but in Ireland, we were also asked for ID in some places and a signature as well. So don't be alarmed if it happens to you!
  7. All signs are in both English and Irish Gaelic. It is awesome. Love it like we did. 
  8. Food and petrol are expensive - even relative to NZ costs. But their meat is cheaper than mainland Europe and their food very similar to what we're used to. And another cool thing is that they encourage Irish-made products and will mark them on your receipt what was Irish-made. 
  9. There is no hard border between each country. But this is pre-Brexit so it may change. It's a subtle change from one side to the other and towns close to the borders give you options to be charged either in Pound or Euro. 
  10. The people are as friendly as you can imagine... and they love their Rugby so will have no difficulty knowing where you are from. 

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