Remember: To retain in the memory, not forget, recall to mind, know by heart; convey greetings from one to another; bethink oneself of one’s manners or intentions after a lapse; make present to.
Today I am remembering Dublin. With great fondness, I am going to remember one lovely day and one lovely evening spent in Dublin town, Ireland.
Because I have with no good reason shared our trip somewhat haphazardly, I would like to clear things up a bit by saying that our day in Dublin followed immediately after Plate to Page Ireland 2013, which followed directly on the heels of London Calling 2013, but that Dublin was in fact the last stop before Paris in Spring. You got it now right?
We had very few hours to spend in this town whose history can be traced back thousands of years, but to the average anti-historian, Dublin is probably more famous for its pub culture and literary tradition. Did you know that Dublin was home to among others, James Joyce and William Butler Yeats? My reference of Dublin to this point had been the cast and film of The Commitments, so I was hardly what you might call the informed and prepared tourist for this part of our journey.
Having arrived at our hotel just off the top of O’Connell Street shortly after 1030 a.m. we promptly dumped our baggage at the hotel reception, grabbed our jackets and umbrellas (we were old hats at this Irish weather thing now) and headed off in the direction of Grafton Street.
I loved Dublin. Dublin is a busy city of Irish folk doing Irish life. We loved being served by Irish waitrons in Irish restaurants and pubs; it gave such an authenticity to the day. Quite unlike our time in London where the only actual British person I met was the young lady that stamped my passport at immigration.
Back to our walk then.
Along the way we stopped in at Trinity College. Imposing and majestic this beautiful university is the oldest in Ireland and it is impossible to walk past. Mesmerized by the buildings, we joined throngs of tourists to trespass on student life. Walking through the bicycle lined courtyards of the college we were an audible intrusion on the quiet hum of learning and tradition taking place all around us.
Shamelessly cheap we opted not to pay the ten euros required for the guided tour, and thus missed the opportunity to view The book of Kells, which so you know is an illuminated manuscript Gospel book in Latin, containing the four Gospels of the New Testament together with various prefatory texts and tables. We did however eavesdrop on another tour and learnt that the Jedi Archives in Star Wars are modeled after the Trinity College library. Cool Fact.
Walking is hungry work and we set off to find AVOCA, recommended to us by our most favourite Irish person ever Anne Marie Carroll. We found this wonderful 4 story store just before a thunderous downpour, so were more than happy to sit down in the chabby-chic like cafe on the top floor and eat the most wonderful flat-breads with falafel, hummus, beetroot pate, baba ganoush and tzatiki.
We ended off our afternoon with a trip to the Guinness Storehouse. Irish Amee had tried to warn us off Guinness, but when in Ireland…
Suffice is to say I went to Dublin, I ordered a half pint of Guinness and Amee was absolutely right. No sooner had I taken a few sips than I honestly began to doubt my ability to (after a lapse) bethink myself of my manners or intentions, so I stopped.
We ended the day in a pub. It was our last night together before Photogirl headed off to family in Jersey and me to Paris. To celebrate a crazy wonderful holiday, I drank Pimms while Photogirl who was still full from her Guinness very slowly sipped another much lighter pint. I ate fish and chips; Photogirl an enormous burger and we watched some Irish dancing.
It was a great albeit bittersweet end to our travelling adventure.