As mentioned in my previous post, we spent this weekend in Dublin. Upon landing and boarding the bus for the city centre, Marga and I both had a strange feeling come over us. What was so strange was how so incredibly not strange Ireland felt. Nothing felt foreign. The cars driving on the left seemed perfectly normal. The style of the houses, buses, billboards, shops, etc. was all so completely familiar. It was just weird. Three years ago, we moved to Spain after spending four years in England, and the architecture and culture of Ireland is so incredibly similar to that of England that it was like going back home. Of course that statement will incense some Irish people, but I think they'll have to agree that no other culture is closest to that of Ireland than that of the UK.
The May flowers were in amazing form.
A chapel next to our hotel.
A lamp post on a bridge crossing the River Liffey, with the famous Dublin Spire in the background.
Palace Bar, in Temple Bar, the district with all the famous Irish pubs that are imitated across the world.
My first encounter with Her Blackness.
Same as previous photo, but with flash. I'm not sure which I prefer.
A cool mosaic mural. Click through for detail.
A duck in a fountain.
This mannequin in a shop window had a splitting headache. Seriously, how awful...
Marga was craving some fast food since she hasn't really had any in three years.
Orange tulips in St. Stephen's Green.
Young leaves on a tree.
A pond. Urbanites really require peaceful parks like this to remain sane.
The greenskeeper for St. Stephen's Green is amazing.
Flower petals line the walkway.
Some young lovers embrace in the park.
I didn't notice the ladybug in this photo until after I got home. Can you see her?
For dinner, on Friday, we went to Eddie Rocket's. There ain't no finer diner.
From the hallway on the fifth floor of our hotel, we could see this respectable collection of beer kegs.
An ivy covered building.
The viking tour that Simon told me about. It was just ending, otherwise we might have done it. Check out the Scottish kid with the kilt disembarking.
Okay, now the following photo requires some explanation. One of my blogroll-mates, Andrea, recently took a vacation to Dublin. Among the few photos she published online was the one to the left. When she posted it, I viewed the large version of it and left a cheeky comment about the "Far too much Bertie" stickers on the lamp post. So, imagine my surprise as we are aimlessly walking around Dublin, when I clearly recognize the wrought iron gates across the road. I said to Marga, "Ha! You'll never believe this, but I happen to know that there are some stickers on that lamp post across the street." Thus, I was obligated by coincidence to take this photo.
Judging from the difference in angle, Andrea (or her husband) is considerably taller than Marga. A little googling informed me that Far Too Much Bertie is a political movement, and you can print the stickers on their website.
The obligatory Trinity College spire shot.
Some Trinity College architecture.
Down by the docks, we found a monument to the Irish potato famine. For some reason, statues of canines always intrigue me.
A gaunt famine victim.
Reflection on River Liffey.
Later, we walked through some residential areas.
Christmas spirit in May. I hope they turn them on at night.
This group of papier mÃ¢ché body parts was peering out of a school or art studio or something.
A dog is an angel's best friend.
Thousands of people walked casually by as this man tunneled a hole into this bank. Invisibility by obviousness is a pretty clever cloaking technique for a bank robbery. I wasn't fooled, though. A few hours later, the hole was covered with a small wooden board, poorly wedged into place.
On Saturday evening, we spent a few hours in what must be my favorite Irish pub. I realized that I've been to this pub all three times I've been in Dublin. It's called Messrs Maguire, and I'd love to know how to pronounce that. It's completely unassuming and I would walk right by it if I didn't already know what it was. Inside is all standard dark wood Irish pub decor, but the bar is separated into many different levels with stairs running between them. It's quite like a tree house, really. I adore it.
A leggy Danish blonde.
My wonderful pint o' joy. Are you thirsty yet?
Our hotel had two gorgeous iMacs in the lobby. They were almost always in use. I took this photo as we were leaving the hotel at 4:00 AM Sunday morning. The few times I did use them, I found that people had left instant messaging programs still logged in. And the silly Windows users had tried to make the Safari windows fill the entire screen. The receptionists all had nice, stylish Apple cinema displays, but I could see that the cables ran to ugly PCs down below.
We got home at 9:15 AM on Sunday morning, and I was one of the first customers in Colindres at the bakery to buy our daily bread and some breakfast pastries. After breakfast, we took a nap until early afternoon, exhausted from walking so many kilometers around the gorgeous city of Dublin, Ireland.