Dunbrody Famine Ship

Since we are living in the Sunny South East of Ireland, whenever we think about trips to nearby locations one always comes to mind: The Dunbrody Famine Ship.

The original was built in Quebec in 1845. It only took 6 months to built and its future captain, John Baldwin, supervised the building of it. Dunbrody was intended to serve as a cargo vessel, however…

It was during that year that the potato crops failed and the food prices went way up — Great Hunger had hit Ireland. About a million people died during this period — the Great Famine. Another million people left the country between 1845 and 1852. There weren’t enough boats to transport all the people, though. That’s why on many of the cargo ships bunks were installed so they could carry passengers instead. Between 160 and 300 people were on board these ships. The Dunbrody broke the record, though. On its way to Quebec it carried 313 passengers.

The tour of the Famine Ship begins in a building next to it. Guided through an area filled with information panels, the history and the making of the Dunbrody is explained to the visitors. Next a short film reveals what it must have felt like to live in Ireland during that time and how desperately the people wanted to flee from these circumstances. The tour guide then explains a few things and the visitors are lead through a short hallway and unto the ship.

There is more to learn on board. Many bits and pieces from that era can be seen and touched. The tour starts on deck and continues below deck where some of the visitors can sit at the tables, while others may sit on the wooden bunk beds. The highlight is when the two actresses appear and — through their testimonies — take the people back into the 19th century…

dunbrody-acting-1               dunbrody-acting-2

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Irish Soda Bread

What comes to your mind when you are thinking of traditional Irish Food? Irish Stew? Irish Bread?

Don’t you just love the smell of stew that has been cooked for hours coming right out of the oven (or the slow cooker)? How about homemade bread to go along with it?

Back in the famine years there had been times in Ireland when all there was on the table was bread — often enough without Irish Stew. So this is going to be our recipe for today: Irish Soda Bread.

Irish Bread 2

The recipe calls for only a few ingredients: flour, buttermilk, salt and soda along with some honey and the egg. Some use all wholemeal flour, some use partially or only white flour.


  • 400g whole wheat flour*
  • 1 tsp soda
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 egg
  • 350ml buttermilk


  1. Put flour, soda and salt into a bowl.
  2. Pour honey and whisked egg into buttermilk. Mix well.
  3. Slowly add buttermilk mixture to flour-mix; stir well. (Dough will be sticky. If it is too dry, add some more buttermilk, one spoon at a time.)
  4. Sprinkle a little flour onto the workplace. Place dough on it, knead a little, shaping it into a ball.
  5. Put doug on floured baking sheet. With a sharp knife cut a cross on top of it.
  6. Bake at 200°C (180°C fan) for 45-50 minutes.

*Alternatively you can use wholemeal flour instead. I have a grain mill at home so I’m using wheat grains most of the time.

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Pudding is found in Ireland, too. But, beware, pudding is not like pudding! 😉 Many Irish are having white and/or black pudding (specific kind of sausage) for breakfast.

Today I’m talking about this kind of pudding, though:

pudding dreierlei-1

Yes, a sort of custard. As the Irish love theirs, we love our sort of pudding. 🙂

Living in Ireland you can either order pudding mix from Germany, buy it at a Polish supermarket (it’s called Budyn there), or make your own. Making your own is not that hard to do!


  • 1 egg
  • 250ml (1 cup) cold milk
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 500ml (2 cups) milk
  • 2 tbsp honey or 4 tbsp sugar
  • Flavoring: 2 tbsp brown sugar (butterscotch) or 1-2 tsp vanilla or 2tbsp cocoa + extra sugar/honey (chocolate)


  1. Whisk the egg and pour into 250ml (1 cup) of cold milk; add cornflour and flour, mix well.
  2. In a saucepan heat up 500ml (2 cups) of milk. Add the flavoring and stir, then add egg-milk-flour-mixture, stir continually until the pudding thickens.
  3. Spoon into pudding cups or bowls. Let sit to cool.
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Motor Insurance In Ireland

There are three different kinds of car insurances in Ireland:

  • Third party
  • Third party, fire and theft
  • Comprehensive

Third party is the minimum on car insurance that is required in Ireland. It’s the cheapest one, too. However, it only covers injuries of your passengers and the driver and passengers of the other car. It also covers damages of the other party’s property. Damage done to your own car by the accident, by fire, or theft of your car are not covered.

Third party, fire and theft will cost you more but it will also cover your own car incl. damages by way of an accident, fire and theft. This one is the most common in car insurance in Ireland, especially for older cars.

Comprehensive is the most expensive but also the most comprehensive one of the three. It covers damages done to the other party (car and/or property), injuries, fire and theft of your car. It also covers if your personal belongings have been stolen out of your car and/or your property has been damaged. This type of insurance often covers windscreen and glass breakage. Some policys even pay for a rental car when your own car got damaged or stolen.

When getting a quote things to consider are e. g.:

  • Driver: Age? Driving License for how long? What kind of license (Irish, EU, others)? Penalty points? No-claims bonus/discount: How many consecutive years without an accident?
  • Additional drivers (named driver)? Age? Driving license? Points? No accidents?
  • Usage of car: private only or also for traveling to work? Used as a business vehicle?
  • Where is the car being parked over night: public road or private property?
  • How high of an excess are you willing to pay?

This post is only a short description of what is important to get motor insurance in Ireland. More information can be found at:

  • Citizens Information
  • CCPC – Car Insurance (Consumer Help)


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Review – Spring 2018 – Part II

Missy and Rapsy at the beach  on 7th March 2018

No, this blog isn’t about The White Isle, Ibiza 🙂 It’s still about Ireland, The Emerald (Green) Isle. However, over these last eight days the isle has been covered by a mass of snow like the islanders haven’t seen in decades…

MapAlerter* and the weather forecast warned about a severe weather change for Wednesday, 1st of March. But the Beast From the East arrived early, just a day before spring (which, in Ireland, starts on the first of March). Missy remembers, that on Tuesday a couple of snowflakes made their way into her garden…

At night time road conditions were treacherous across the East, the drivers were advised to use extreme caution. Strong easterly winds made their way across Ireland on Wednesday and the next day the weather changed into a real blizzard.

That Thursday, the 1st of March, the people were told to stay indoors over the next 24-48 hours since it would be an extreme and life-threatening weather condition and not to be taken lightly. And it kept on snowing and snowing…  It didn’t stop on Friday!

Rapsy wasn’t going to watch that snow coming down any longer.

And both dogs weren’t so sure about going outside…

The County Council advised not to travel, as the roads were under a significant depth of snow and all routes were extremely hazardous. Another extension of the weather warning, code level red, was issued and to be valid until 9am Saturday the 3rd of March.

Guess what? Even during bad weather, dogs will need to go out to do their business. 😉 By Friday Rapsy and Missy started to like the snow and were having fun running on the snow-covered roads of the village.

Code red warning turned into a code orange by Saturday morning with just a few more snowflakes coming down. Later on the sun came out, the temperature began to rise and the snow stared to thaw. More roads were cleared of snow and many were accessible for 4×4 vehicles. However, the people were still warned to use extreme caution while driving as many of the roads were still only one lane wide. Living in Ireland, where from (beside radio and TV) can you get details of road and weather conditions? Check out:

*MapAlerter – You can sign up there and get free alerts from Irish local authorities by app, email and/or text messages. They are also on social media.

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Review – Spring 2018 – Part I

We are halfway into February and many are wondering if spring will ever arrive this year 🙄Not only are the evenings and nights still very cold but some days throughout the week are quite chilly, too. My friend, who usually leaves for Spain in autumn, says: „Never again!“ she will not spend another winter in Ireland. 🙂

Harbingers of spring are here…

… and they better be, because in Ireland springtime starts on the first of March! Yes, on the Emerald Isle, the timing of the seasons is a little different 😉 To learn more about the times of spring, summer, autumn and winter in Ireland, check out Fun Facts for Primary Students — Seasons

PS: When I wrote this post (on the 4inIreland blog) back in February this year nobody would have imagined what was about to hit Ireland… Read more about it in tomorrow’s post.

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Old Posts From 4 In Ireland

I’m copying and pasting some of the old posts over at 4inIreland* to bring them over here.

As I was working my way through them I thought I’ll “schedule” them for the old date so my readers will not be awash by loads of posts. However, I found out later that the readers who signed up by email will still get an email each time I publish a post – no matter what the date of it. So some of your inboxes have been flooded by a couple of posts all published on the same day. Sorry about that. I’ll be more careful from now on and publish the old ones bit by bit. 😉 Thanks for your patience!

*4inIreland blog has been shut down since October 2018 and therefore it is no longer available at its former site.

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