Leaving France

As I leave France, I feel much richer than when I arrived. Travelling in countries where either you don’t know the language (Switzerland, Germany), or countries where they speak your first language (Ireland, Northern Ireland) (even if it feels like a foreign language!), just isn’t as much fun. It makes me very glad for having […]

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To put it mildly, I’ve been enjoying France a lot. After my eleven year absence, Orlean largely feels, and smells, the same as when I was here as a 14 year old. No, that’s wrong, it’s even better – it now has a tramline, many of its downtown streets are reserved for pedestrians, and there […]

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To be blatantly honest, I’ve never had an explicit desire to visit Switzerland. To me, it’s one of the subordinate European countries – without it’s own language, and without a strong international identity. Sure, it’s famous for it’s “neutrality” – but that’s like being famous for having the most beige house. Or so I thought. […]

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The Belfast Murals

Perhaps the most distinctive thing you will see if you visit Northern Ireland is the presence of Murals in communities. Murals here are not simply pretty pictures – they all mean something, whether they be historical references, representations of current or recent community members, or messages. Murals within a community express aspects of community identity […]

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What can we learn from Northern Ireland?

During my week in Belfast I’ve learned quite a bit about the history of “the troubles”, including how many splits, internal contradictions, different actors, and different ideologies played a part – it is certainly anything but a simple struggle of “Catholics” against “Protestants”. I won’t bore you will a historical analysis of the events I’ve […]

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Belfast and Northern Ireland

After TAPSS, I’ve headed up to Belfast in Northern Ireland, to stay with an old friend from Co-Op. Northern Ireland has been quite a different place from the Republic of Ireland, at least since 1921 when Southern Ireland separated from the United Kingdom. The armed conflict between nationalist Catholics and the unionist government in Northern […]

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This last week I’ve been at TAPSS – the “Theory and Philosophy Summer School”, put on by people at the University of Cork in the Republic of Ireland. The school took place in Castletownroche, in the Blackwater Castle after which the town is named. ┬áThe castle is a fairly important part of the program – […]

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The Trip So Far

My European tour 2010 promises to be quite an adventure. A Castle of philosophy in Ireland, a friend in Belfast, and then some mountainous adventures in Switzerland, and hopefully a little hop in to France at the end! But, my trip to the Castle in Ireland is a voyage in itself. Check here for photos […]

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