Anthony Bourdain: Ireland and looking forward to Emilia-Romagna!

Every Monday I will break down one of my favorite Episodes of No Reservations and talk about what I learned from it and why it is my favorite.

Then you’ll definitely want to join in the conversation on Tuesdays as we talk about what happened the night before!

Also, you’ll want to follow me on twitter @sojournerabroad so that we can talk live during the new episodes!

The Ireland episode is easily one of my favorites!  You can see our top places to go in Ireland from our previous post, but here’s the breakdown of the episode:

Cool Places Bourdain Travelled:

1. The Rock Bar – This is an old IRA watering hole in Belfast, the capital of North Ireland.  A very storied history in the middle of the conflicts of Northern Ireland, the Rock Bar even has scars such as a crater where an RPG once took out a piece of the exterior!

2. Murals – there are many murals in Northern Ireland that pay tribute to those lost in the violence. I believe the neighborhood was called shanksville, but Tony suggests hopping in a cab and asking the cab driver to take you on a mini tour of the murals around the area.  Here is an example of one:

3. The Crown Saloon – This is commonly thought to be the most famous pub in Belfast. Dating back well into the 1800s, this is a place where Tony stops to have some genuine Irish stew and meat pie.

4. St. James’ Gate – Moving on to Dublin in the Republic of Ireland (no longer Northern Ireland) is the world famous brewery of Guinness, St. James’ Gate.  This brewery is easily the most popular tourist destination in Ireland.

5. Moore St. Market – Tony always says that markets are where you will most learn about a culture, and it is no different with Ireland.  Moore St. Market is among the biggest in Ireland.

Important Lessons Learned in Ireland:

The most important lesson I could grasp from Tony’s trip to Ireland is to be mindful of the past of the place you are visiting.  Ireland has a very volatile history surrounding religion, statehood, and freedom issues.  It is important to know of these things beforehand for three reasons:

1) It allows you to respect your surroundings in a way that would otherwise be impossible.  Some places, like northern Ireland, are so scared by the recent past, it is important to know how to handle yourself in that situation before hand.  I’d be familiar with the IRA and the Conflict before going there…. just to avoid ignorance or awkwardness.

2) It changes the way you sojourn around the area.  You’ll know to look for things such as the murals dedicated to those lost in the conflicts, and it will enhance your experience in the region overall.

3) Keeps you prepared for anything.  I’m not saying it would be unsafe to be a traveller there, but the conflict in northern Ireland is technically still at a stalemate.  When going to a place with a volatile past, its always better to be prepared and conscious of your surroundings than the opposite.

Expectations for tonight when No Reservation goes to Emilia-Romagna:

1. Cars.  We already know that Tony will be driving around in a Ferrari during the episode just from the description. This part of Italy is well known for their high end luxury cars, including: Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Maserati.

2. Wine.  Let’s be honest… it’s Tony in Italy.  Need I say more?

3. Fantastic looking pasta dishes! Again, Tony. Italy. Food.  Need I say more?

4. Soccer… or I mean Football… But Italians live for football!  Plus Tony played soccer in High School (I believe he mentions it in the New Jersey episode saying something like the cool kids played soccers and the hippies played soccer) and we already saw in Sydney that Tony enjoyed Rugby, so why not hit up a game while in Italia.

5. …and the spirit of making a bold prediction… Tony gets arrested for driving his Ferrari too fast in Italy!


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