Dublin Trip – May 2008

May 11, 2008 By: erik Category: Partying, Photos, Travel 2,968 views

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First Guinness (with flash)As mentioned in my previous post, we spent this weekend in Dublin. Upon landing and boarding the bus for the city centre, Marga and I both had a strange feeling come over us. What was so strange was how so incredibly not strange Ireland felt. Nothing felt foreign. The cars driving on the left seemed perfectly normal. The style of the houses, buses, billboards, shops, etc. was all so completely familiar. It was just weird. Three years ago, we moved to Spain after spending four years in England, and the architecture and culture of Ireland is so incredibly similar to that of England that it was like going back home. Of course that statement will incense some Irish people, but I think they’ll have to agree that no other culture is closest to that of Ireland than that of the UK.

We didn’t really have much of a plan other than to walk around and enjoy the city for what it is. So we embarked on a cycle of building up thirst and quenching it with stout Irish nectar.Irish Flowers

The May flowers were in amazing form.

Irish Flowers

Irish Flowers

Trinity Church

A chapel next to our hotel.

Dublin Lamp Post

A lamp post on a bridge crossing the River Liffey, with the famous Dublin Spire in the background.

Palace Bar

Palace Bar, in Temple Bar, the district with all the famous Irish pubs that are imitated across the world.

First Guinness

My first encounter with Her Blackness.

First Guinness (with flash)

Same as previous photo, but with flash. I’m not sure which I prefer.

Irish Mosaic

A cool mosaic mural. Click through for detail.

Fountain Duck

A duck in a fountain.

Splitting Headache

This mannequin in a shop window had a splitting headache. Seriously, how awful…

Dublin McDonalds

Marga was craving some fast food since she hasn’t really had any in three years.

Orange Tulips

Orange tulips in St. Stephen’s Green.

New Leaves

Young leaves on a tree.

Pond

A pond. Urbanites really require peaceful parks like this to remain sane.

St. Stephen's Green

The greenskeeper for St. Stephen’s Green is amazing.

Irish Tulips

Irish tulips.

Walkway Petals

Flower petals line the walkway.

Park Lovers

Some young lovers embrace in the park.

Lady Bug

I didn’t notice the ladybug in this photo until after I got home. Can you see her?

There ain't no finer diner

For dinner, on Friday, we went to Eddie Rocket’s. There ain’t no finer diner.

Lotta Beer

From the hallway on the fifth floor of our hotel, we could see this respectable collection of beer kegs.

Ivy League

An ivy covered building.

Ivy Façade

Neat.

Viking Tour Boat/Bus

The viking tour that Simon told me about. It was just ending, otherwise we might have done it. Check out the Scottish kid with the kilt disembarking.

Okay, now the following photo requires some explanation. One of my blogroll-mates, Andrea, recently took a vacation to Dublin. Among the few photos she published online was the one to the left. When she posted it, I viewed the large version of it and left a cheeky comment about the “Far too much Bertie” stickers on the lamp post. So, imagine my surprise as we are aimlessly walking around Dublin, when I clearly recognize the wrought iron gates across the road. I said to Marga, “Ha! You’ll never believe this, but I happen to know that there are some stickers on that lamp post across the street.” Thus, I was obligated by coincidence to take this photo.

Far Too Much Bertie

Judging from the difference in angle, Andrea (or her husband) is considerably taller than Marga. A little googling informed me that Far Too Much Bertie is a political movement, and you can print the stickers on their website.

Trinity College Spire

The obligatory Trinity College spire shot.

Trinity College Architecture

Some Trinity College architecture.

Famine Dog Statue

Down by the docks, we found a monument to the Irish potato famine. For some reason, statues of canines always intrigue me.

Sad Potato Famine Statue

A gaunt famine victim.

Famine

Plaque.

Liffey Reflection

Reflection on River Liffey.

Later, we walked through some residential areas.

Christmas in May

Christmas spirit in May. I hope they turn them on at night.

Entre Ommunity

Entre Ommunity

Paper Mache Body Parts

This group of papier mâché body parts was peering out of a school or art studio or something.

Angel's Best Friend

A dog is an angel’s best friend.

Bank Robbery

Thousands of people walked casually by as this man tunneled a hole into this bank. Invisibility by obviousness is a pretty clever cloaking technique for a bank robbery. I wasn’t fooled, though. A few hours later, the hole was covered with a small wooden board, poorly wedged into place.

Pints at Messrs Maguire

On Saturday evening, we spent a few hours in what must be my favorite Irish pub. I realized that I’ve been to this pub all three times I’ve been in Dublin. It’s called Messrs Maguire, and I’d love to know how to pronounce that. It’s completely unassuming and I would walk right by it if I didn’t already know what it was. Inside is all standard dark wood Irish pub decor, but the bar is separated into many different levels with stairs running between them. It’s quite like a tree house, really. I adore it.

Tall Danish Blonde

A leggy Danish blonde.

Curvy Brunette

My wonderful pint o’ joy. Are you thirsty yet?

iMacs in Best Western

Our hotel had two gorgeous iMacs in the lobby. They were almost always in use. I took this photo as we were leaving the hotel at 4:00 AM Sunday morning. The few times I did use them, I found that people had left instant messaging programs still logged in. And the silly Windows users had tried to make the Safari windows fill the entire screen. The receptionists all had nice, stylish Apple cinema displays, but I could see that the cables ran to ugly PCs down below.

We got home at 9:15 AM on Sunday morning, and I was one of the first customers in Colindres at the bakery to buy our daily bread and some breakfast pastries. After breakfast, we took a nap until early afternoon, exhausted from walking so many kilometers around the gorgeous city of Dublin, Ireland.

 
  • http://www.erik-rasmussen.com/ Erik R.

    I just remembered an anecdote I forgot to include in this post. We had conversations with two different Irish residents. The first was a Spanish woman from Madrid, named Ana, who had lived in Dublin for seven years. The second was with an Irish man, named Macho (really), who was staying at a B&B near our hotel. I asked him where he was from, and he said Dublin. To the obvious, when why are you in a B&B question, he explained that his landlord had evicted him, but that he’d get a house as soon as he could.

    Anyway, my point is this. Both of these people, upon learning that I am American, said, “Do you have any Irish heritage? All the Americans I’ve ever met in Dublin immediately leap into a discussion of their Irish heritage.” How odd. I knew that Americans with Irish ancestors tend to be particularly proud of that fact, but I’d never thought about what the native Dubliners must think about it.

    Just interesting, that’s all.

  • http://www.smattery.com andrea

    Nice! I wish I’d gotten my trip photos and refections up in such a timely fashion.

    I must have taken my version of that photo from much farther back because I’m not particularly tall.

    Everything looks so much greener and more lush than when I was there a month ago. I wish the plane tickets in May hadn’t been so much more expensive than the ones in April.

  • http://www.smattery.com andrea

    Also: a lot of the Irish people we talked to asked us if we had any Irish heritage. So I wonder how much of that is that Americans start talking about it, or that the Irish ask us about it. Or it could be that I look stereotypically Irish (even though I’m not Irish at all).

  • http://www.banglebangle.co.uk Hubbers

    Yeah the USA/Ireland things is huge because hundreds of thousands of Irish emigrated to the USA to escape grinding poverty and famine.

    The even have the Ulster American Folk Park up North to show what life was like on both sides of the journey.

  • http://www.banglebangle.co.uk Hubbers

    As a Kiwi they Irish don’t ask if we are Irish even though thousands of Irish settled in NZ. They ask about the All Blacks and what we think of the current Irish side.