You Don't Appreciate it Until It's Gone

Signs are something we more or less take for granted. You get on the highway and you know there will be signs that help you find the right exit, the right street, even the right address. Signs warn us when the road up ahead is treacherous or if there's a traffic camera at the next intersection.

I have to admit that I didn't realize how much I relied on signs until I was in Ireland and in some cities, they simply didn't exist. It can become very frustrating to circle around a National Park that you can see on a road atlas, but there are no signs on the road to indicate the entrance to the park, the road you're on, the speed limit on the road, or even if you're in the right place going in the right direction. It's even more frustrating when you can see the landscape of the park and yet are unable to find a place to park to walk into it.

Dublin was another place where the street signs—supposedly on the side of the buildings near the corners—were simply…not there. It made for driving around in downtown Dublin during rush hour a much more interesting experience.

I do have to say, though, that wide-format signage in the various museums, heritage sites, and even on the street were well done. (Yes, even on vacation I was checking out the pop-up displays, the exhibit and museum graphics, and the informational signage at the various sites throughout Ireland. One of the ones that most amused me was a bus in Dublin. It sported a vibrant M&M wrap—on only one side of the bus. The one away from the sidewalks when on any major street. I'm not sure why that was, but it was odd to see a normal bus on one side and soccer M&Ms on the other.

I hope you enjoy the selection of signage images from Ireland--and the one that actually proves I was there on the edge of the Atlantic at the Cliffs of Moher.

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