Quick Trip to Dublin 2019
Ireland and Scotland were on my bucket list for years. In my mind, these were mysterious European places I had no clue about. Not exotic enough to move them to the top of my list. Foreign enough that I was curious. Probably the main reason for putting them off was my fear of encountering fairies and spirits in castles and legends of things that can’t be explained. I do enough of this in my every day life and work! I didn’t need paranormal encounters while on vaca.
Over the years I’ve gotten better at protecting myself. Armed with my ‘ghost oils’ I took the plunge only to learn I was fine and should have explored more of these magical realms. This is my trip…
After 10 hours and 9 time zones, my 16 year old nephew, Will, and I arrive. Will surprised me by agreeing to join “Aunt Anita on her 62nd birthday extravaganza adventure!”
Our first night, we strolled down the popular Baggot St to Matt the Thresher for seafood which started Will’s daily ritual of eating fish and chips. By the end of the trip I thought he might swim away! He couldn’t stop talking about Guinness so I bought him a beer (drinking age is 18.) Two sips and he was over it. Decided he is not a beer guy!
The pub is a place of Irish cultural exchange.
We went to listen to authentic Irish pub music at O’Donoghue’s. I was told there may be a long line to get in and the pub may not even let him in. I put on my leather jacket to look hip and told Will to put on his black jeans so he could look a little older. I was determined to get in.
On the long walk over I told Will that I really wanted to experience Irish music and if they wouldn’t let him in he could walk back to the hotel by himself because I was going to stay! As it turned out – no line and they even asked him what he wanted to drink. We stood in front at the bar by the band and learned they were local guys with day jobs at the gas station, etc, and played here at night. A 22-year-old from Minnesota shared her Jameson whisky with Will, which I probably should have discouraged because drinking from a stranger’s glass in a bar is not something I should be teaching him. But she was cute (she took this photo of us) and it did loosen him up! Fun was had by all….
A building boom between 1714 and 1830 built a ton of Georgian buildings. named for the British monarchs of the House of Hanover – George 1, George 11, George 111 and George 1V. Symmetrical proportions – block-like. Not very ornate on the outside but the interiors had high ceilings and ornate trim. Balance and simple mathematical ratios. Irish cities would have knocked them down and rebuilt – but money was always an issue so now they remain as historical gems.
From Joyce to Yeats – Dublin is a city of literature
Some of the famous Dublin writers include:
Syge who wrote “Playboy of the Western World.”
RB Sheridan aka Sean O’Casey writer of “Shadow of a Gunman”‘ that Alfred Hitchcock turned into plays and films
Jonathan Swift wrote “Gulliver’s Travels”
Richardson wrote 1st person narratives “Pamela and Clarissa”
George Bernard Shaw won and Oscar and a Nobel
Samuel Beckett wrote “Waiting for Gadot”
WB Yeats was more spiritual
Thomas Moore was a balladeer
Oscar Wilde had extraordinary parents who held salons that included the intelligentsia of the day
“Be yourself – everyone else is taken.” – Oscar Wilde
Sweny Chemist Shop is where Leopold Bloom buys his lemon soap in the epic “Ulysses.” Sweny remains pretty much in tact from when Dublin’s famous writer James Joyce set a scene from his book here. “Ulysses” is about a day in the life of Leopold Bloom as he wanders about Dublin on June 16, 1904. It’s a puzzle and enigma and difficult to truly understand. We gathered with a group of South American students learning English and went around the room reading passages from the novel. I was surprised to hear that Will actually enjoyed that experience!
What I learned are that Irish people are hardworking. They love their music, their literature and their pubs. Next trip I would like to venture outside the city to the countryside to truly experience Ireland in all its majesty.