Hello from a beautiful Autumnal England where everything is looking wonderful and the temperature is above normal for this time of year. I was in Ireland this week and was blown away by everything and everyone that I encountered and would like to share a little of it with you.
I flew into Dublin from our local airport, a journey of 90 minutes. I admit to feeling a little apprehensive when I saw the propellers on the plane! Cannot remember the last time I flew in one of those tiny planes, 27 of us passengers on a 76 seater, very comfortable and a very smooth flight! The hotel was situated in Croke park, a famous football stadium where a big match was played yesterday….Dublin v Mayo……I have it on good authority that Dublin (The Dubbers) won!
The hotel was superb and rated 10/10 for me! The hop on hop off bus tours, of which there were three, were absolutely brilliant! The commentary on each one was both informative and amusing. No trip to Dublin is complete without a visit to the Guinness Brewery and an attempt to get me to enjoy the taste of this always so tasty looking drink but oh so nasty when I taste it. This was a little better as we were taught how to drink it to appreciate the taste and it worked, it tasted a little better! I now need to practise by drinking it more often. The tour was amazing, a seven storey building which is the original one in which Mr Guinness started out, and due to a clause in his contract all those years ago, he still only pays £45 a week rent!!!!!! Off to Trinity University and the book of Kells, amazing! Can you imagine manuscripts that old still in existence…awesome and so beautifully written and illustrated.
The bridges and architecture are fabulous, very attractive and very old!A drive to Belfast and The Titanic Experience on. Thursday proved to be very exciting, everyone is so intrigued by the story of The Titanic and this did not disappoint, it was a great experience, lots of interaction and stories and images……..very well done and extremely poignant.
A tour of the city by a local cab driver was eye opening in so far as we hear much about the troubles in Ireland and to see it and feel it through the eyes and commentary of someone who has been through it all was amazing. It gave a whole new perspective on it all. I was awed by the peace wall that divides the two factions, on one side the colours of the murals decorating this otherwise very bleak monument and on the other side, house living in the shadow of the wall with gardens surrounded by wire to protect from missiles of every kind being thrown over…..touching!
Friday saw us seeking out Bewlays, the oldest tea house in Dublin in which we sampled tea and cakes in the gorgeous opulence of this wonderful old place. Another hop on hop off tour showed us other parts of the city, including The River Liffy with it’s spectacular bridges and boats.
Our last evening was spent in Temple Bar where the atmosphere is lively, noisy and full of gaiety…there was music and dancing everywhere you turned, great fun! We ate at a most wonderful restaurant called Cafe Le seine, a cafe full of grandeur and stained glass windows, a protected building because of it’s age, something which pleased me because these buildings should be preserved. The amazing thing thing about this cafe is that at 11pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening it turns into a club with DJ and lots of loud music and dancing!
I met many Americans on this trip, all having fun and many of them visiting their roots or members of their family. My trip was most enjoyable, full of fun and interest, I fell a little in love with Ireland and will without doubt! be returning. The people were among the most courteous, kind, amusing and friendly people I have ever encountered, nothing too much trouble, no task too big or small with which to help, I would recommend it to everyone.
Just two more blogs and I become the outsider on the inside again, where does the time go? Enjoy the week ahead and have fun every second…..