Location: Sheffield, South Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Dublin trip 4-5 May

The Oval
Originally uploaded by jennywren146.
Perhaps, at last, a photo that doesn't clash?

Well, at long last I made it to Dublin. The shortest flight of my life - 40 minutes - on the worst airline ever (only the price was good). I'm going to give a summary of what we did there and what I remember most of the 26 hours we spent in Ireland's captial city.

The Oval (pub - see photo - on the corner of O'Connell St and Abbey Road Middle) was recommended to me by Akiko. And if anyone reading this ends up in Dublin, I seriously recommend this place. Although it doesn't look much from the outside, you can see from the pitcure how amazing it is on the inside. In the company of the locals, we ate the most wonderful lamb stew (although generally speaking I'm not a stew fan), and soaked up the atmosphere of a real Irish pub. The rest of the evening was spent wandering the streets, including around Grafton Street and Temple Bar, walking along the Liffey (or the Sniffey as Dubliners call it), and drinking coffee in a pavement cafe. End of day one.

Had a traditional 'Irish' Breakfast, which, basically is identical to an English one, except that we had not only the delight of black pudding, but, also, WHITE pudding (yes, such a thing exists!). No, really, it was a great breakfast, except for the black and white stuff. I did try the white stuff, which tasted exactly like sausage, but wasn't prepared to risk more than one mouthful. Met some lovely Australian women on the table next to us, who were absolutely taken aback by the fact that we'd come to Dublin for a day. It is quite remarkable really, when you think about it, although not so amazing as going to Iceland for the day (Jane).

So, off we went to Kilmainham Gaol (yes, Wanyu, it is quite bizarre going to Ireland and end up looking round an old jail), but it was so interesting, and cleared up some of the gaps in my Irish history. Not all, but a few of them (for example, I can now tell you about the Easter Rising and about the road to independence, which I only vaguely knew about before). I was totally shocked to learn that Ireland only became fully independent from us as recently as 1949, a result of the general dissastisfaction with the creation of the Irish Free State. Anyhow, we had a tour of the building, saw the cells of ex-prisoners like Eamon de Valera etc etc. Chilling stuff, but well worth the trip.

Trinity is lovely. I wonder what it would be like to be student there... The Book of Kells was ok to see, but the Long Room (which holds 200,000 of Ireland's oldest books) is incredible - all those ancient books in one room... No pictures were allowed unfortunately, but I don't think I'll forget that place.

The last few hours we spent in St. Stephen's Green, and in Wagamama *yay*. What a lot we packed into a few hours (I think I'm turning Japanese - no offence intended, Koji!). Well, that's another place I wanted to go to crossed off the list. Where to next I wonder...


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