Saturday, May 20, 2017

Ireland 2017

Days 3-4

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars"
    Oscar Wilde

Day 3
After enjoying my own smooth flight over, the very next night, on the very same same flight, my traveling partner suffered a long delay.

We arrived to check into our AirBNB a bit later than we had originally contemplated, but it all worked out fine.

Barbara's Red Brick Cottage

The AirBNB check in was smooth. We dropped our bags and were off to do some preliminary sightseeing via one of Dublin's the hop on / hop off bus services. First stop was Temple Bar for a pub lunch with a pint of Guinness. The food was great and we had some live music to go with it. 

From there it was a trip to the grocery store to top off the Cottage's larder (which Barbara left generously stocked).

Living Room at Our Cottage

Nice Full Kitchen

So far Siri's solid "everyday rain" forecast has been gloriously wrong. There have been lots of sun breaks each day.

Day 4
This morning I had booked a Sandeman's "Free" walking tour. While these types of tours are free, it is customery to tip are at the end of the tour based on the quality of your guide).

Our guide Conor was excellent bringing his beloved city to life with stops at Dublin Castle, Christchurch Cathedral, Temple Bar and Trinity College.

The tours assemble at Dublin's historic Old City Hall.
Old City Hall Rotunda

 Winged Figure
(Anne Madden 2006)

Jusr before we the tour began I peaked into the City Hall's beautiful lobby rotunda. In it I was taken by a large painting (see above photo of the rotunda for context). It was painted during a time when she was troubled by political and environmental events. There are winged figures in front of what some interpret as the seven horses of the apocalypse.
 Our Walking Tour Guide Conor

Conor's animated 3-hour tour covered ancient and modern Dublin.

Dublin Castle
(This Tower dates back to 1288)

Bad Bob's Pub Temple Bar

After the tour ended near Trinity college, we had planned to see the famous Trinity Library. Sadly, it was closed for a special event.

So we turned and strolled up Dublin's high fashion Grafton Street shopping district toward St. Stephens Green.

We found a pub called the Hairy Lemon where we found the best vegetable soup in the world. Sort of a puree of cooked carrots, turnips, onions and potatoes with some butter and 1/2 and 1/2. I'll be attempting to make some of this when I return home.

 Street Art Near Grafton Street

After lunch we were good walking past temptation after temptation (bakery, gelato shops etc.) on our way to St. Stephen's Green.

Hard to Pass Up 
Rolling Donuts in Dublin

We really enjoyed St. Stephen's Green and Merrion Square home to Dublin's tribute to Oscar Wilde (Oscar is reclining on a huge boulder). Wilde's statue is about a block from his childhood residence and his alma mater; Trinity College.

Our tour guide had carefully explained the voluntary (and brutal) Trinity Foundation Scholars examination that first year students may participate in.

Since 1593 students able to passing the test become "Trinity Schol's". This distinction earns them meals, rooms, a stipend and pretty much a free ride for the balance of their academic career at Trinity. Schol's may even bring and graze their sheep on Trinity's pristine lawns.

Although Trinity schols have gone on to excel in literature, religion, politics, math and law only one has earned a perfect 100% score; Oscar Wilde.

 Oscar Wilde Pears Down at Passer's by at Merrion Square
From here we shopped a bit and then rejoined the hop on / hop off buses to complete a tour of Dublin. The city streets are really torn up for a major expansion of Dublin's trolley rail system. So watching these huge buses slink through construction, dodge pedestrians and intense traffic with such surgical precision was amazing.

Dublin is defined by the River Liffey that runs from the port into the city. Along the river are a series of very iconic bridges such as the Ha' Penney footbridge.

 The Ha'Penney Bridge 
Over the River Liffey

Some very full days!

Roadboy's travels © 2017

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