Delicious Fried Haddock at Bank on College Green in Dublin, Ireland
“Ireland is where strange tales begin and happy endings are possible” ~ Charles Haughey
I don’t know about the strange ones, but we certainly have many happy tales to report!
We just returned from a 10 day summer trip to Ireland. Sean and I agreed this was one of the best trips we’ve ever taken.
Everything just clicked. The weather was nice. The exchange rate was good. It was easy to get around. Everyone spoke English (Just kidding… I love foreign languages)
But I’m not kidding that some local Irish people couldn’t understand Sean. I had to translate from English to English a few times.
We arrived in Dublin early in the morning and in typical fashion, hit the ground running. We quickly checked into our guesthouse, Donnybrook Hall and dropped off our stuff. I highly recommend this B&B… they let us park our rental car for free and Terry, the proprietor, was the friendliest guy, constantly trying to give us fruit and scones.
After chatting with Terry for a while, we headed to downtown Dublin to the Trinity University district and Temple Bar area. The streets were so colorful with flags, brightly painted doors, and flower boxes.
Our first order of business this day was visiting the Trinity University Library Long Room. This was a beautiful space filled floor to ceiling with old dusty books, spiral staircases, and rickety wooden ladders. I had seen pictures of this on Pinterest, and let me tell you, it’s breathtaking in person.
You really needed to see not one but three photographs of books, didn’t you?
After spending some time there, we were dehydrated and exhausted so we headed to the nearby Bank on College Green. This historic restaurant was – you guessed it – a bank at one time. It was even a Viking hangout before that (many many years before). Now it’s a beautiful space with tile floors, stained glass, marble, and antique fixtures. This is where we were initiated to fish and chips and Irish beer. Sean went for a Smithwicks and I sampled my first of many Irish ciders.
Feeling revived, we walked around the city center some more.
We found the General Post Office, pictured below.
Here I am pointing to the bullet holes in the columns, made by British Police when Irish nationalists took control of the building during the 1916 Easter Uprising. Apparently there is some controversy over whether these are really bullet holes, with at least one side very emotional about it.
I even found a quote online from an Irish tour guide saying they would “leave Ireland!” if those weren’t real bullet holes!
We also visited St Patricks Cathedral, established in 1192. This immense cathedral also features gorgeous tile floors inside and a wonderful surprise to us (we didn’t know!) – the tomb of Johnathon Swift, famous author of Gulliver’s Travels.
We continued to walk around the city for a few more hours in a jet-lagged daze, but we did make a few observations.
1. In Ireland, it’s perfectly okay to drink big cans of beer in the park and display all your empty cans around you.
2. In Ireland, you should never ever insult a small boy’s sister. We witnessed the prelude to a street fight … small pale freckly boy to larger boy… “What’d you say about me sistah?”
3. In Ireland, it’s pretty cool for teen boys to drive down the street windows rolled down blasting Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”
That night when we got back to our guesthouse, there was a BIG party going on next door. But it didn’t matter one bit.
We collapsed in bed and slept 10 hours.
Stay tuned for the next post in which I show pictures of our trip to Northern Ireland to see the Giant’s Causeway.