Unexpected Sights

I was walking down the foreign and intriguing streets of Dublin yesterday when something unexpected caught my eye. Four small palm trees were firmly planted in large pots in the center of the sidewalk that I was strolling along. I asked Dr. Hinds about the nature of palm trees in Ireland, and he said that there were plenty of them in the country, especially in the southern parts of Ireland.
I was fairly surprised about this development in my understanding of the country. Of course, practically speaking, the odds of there not being at least a few palm trees in Ireland were very high, but I was not thinking about that at the time. I pictured Ireland as a land with rolling green hills mixed with large patches of forestry. Whenever I think of palm trees, my mind travels to a completely different environment. I generally picture any environment with palm trees to be hot and tropical.
This sighting has reinforced the lesson that the perceptions that one has regarding a country are not always completely accurate. I was under the impression that Ireland would not have been a warm enough place to be able to harvest palm trees, but I was certainly proven wrong on that account. Making these types of discoveries is why I am beyond glad to have chosen to study abroad in Ireland this semester.