Bernd Biege, a native of Germany, moved to Ireland in the late 1990s. Living in the province of Ulster and working as a writer, he has witnessed Ireland's transformation through the "Celtic Tiger" period and the following downturn. Remaining fairly optimistic throughout that "somehow we will muddle through".
He has never ceased to be amazed by the country he lives in - in many ways.
He has written the book on travelling in Ireland - literally. As author of the "Stefan Loose Travel Handbuch Irland", maybe the most comprehensive travel guide available in German, running to 620 pages.
Bernd started out in journalism in the 1980s while still at university, first writing for a local newspaper near Stuttgart, later for German and international print magazines. In addition he has authored four books and worked on several video films. Since moving to Ireland he has concentrated on writing about his adopted home country - from tourism matters to political commentary.
Bernd's first personal encounter with Ireland was during trips in the early 1980s. He has travelled extensively both in the Republic and in Northern Ireland since then, using (nearly) all modes of transport and staying in all sorts of accommodation. And surviving all sorts of weather.
Bernd holds a Master's degree from Stuttgart University in English, German and History.
By Bernd Biege:
Céad mile fáilte, a hundred thousand welcomes - let me be your Guide to Ireland and I will try to help you make the most of your visit.
Not an easy task, as I know. Even after living here for years I still think that Ireland has so much in store that a lifetime of travel could be filled with a tight agenda. Pick and mix is my advice, read up on Ireland, the take some standard destinations and some places out of the well-trodden way. Then come back for more.
And take your time. Let Ireland impress you instead of pressing on to see more. Contrast the hustle and bustle of Dublin with a day of whale-watching on the Atlantic coast. Leave the main road and take the scenic route (more than often signposted). Enjoy Ireland with all senses, not just through a camcorder lens.
And if you get wet in a shower - always remember that a sunny moment is just a few moments away. Irish weather being what it is, the proverbial vice-versa is (unfortunately) true as well ...