Ireland
The Coombe

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    • Day 1

      Dublin

      September 10, 2019 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

      Nachdem wir gestern Nacht in Dublin gelandet sind, haben wir heute ein wenig die Stadt erkundet. Weil wir recht früh los sind, hatten dir meisten Geschäfte noch geschlossen also sind wir zuerst in den riesigen Phoenix Park gegangen. Dort haben wir uns ein Fahrrad geliehen (ein sehr guter Tipp von Franzi🥰) und sind 3 Stunden durch den Park geradelt. Im Park selber wohnen total viele Rehe, die schon etwas an Menschen gewöhnt sind und man somit recht nah ran gehen kann!🦌 Danach ging’s wieder in die Stadt rein, wo ich mir dann erst mal ein neues Tattoo hab stechen lassen👼🏼 Anschließend sind wir noch ein bisschen rumgelaufen, unter anderem zur berühmten Temple Bar und schließlich zur Universität, die ein bisschen wie bei Harry Potter aussieht, richtig historisch und gewaltig! Den Abend haben wir dann noch im Irish Pub „The Celt“ ausklingen lassen mit -natürlich- einem Guiness Bier.🍻Read more

    • Day 4

      A Day in Dublin

      November 3, 2023 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 8 °C

      We decided to take in the sights of Dublin today on a ‘Do Dublin’ hop on/hop off tour. We got to cross Dublin’s most photographed bridge - the Ha’Penny Bridge over the River Liffey on our way to the tour bus. The Irish are amazing storytellers and each of our tour bus drivers put a different spin on the city. We got to see places that great writers like Oscar Wilde and James Joyce lived, we learned about important leaders in Irish history, and we took in so much of the city on an amazingly sunny day in Dublin.

      The bus tour was perfect because it had a stop at the Guinness Storehouse and we had a tour booked there at 11. The beautiful thing about the tour is that it is self guided and we were able to take in each floor at our own pace. It was interesting to learn about the brewing process and the history of Guinness. In the building is also a copy of the 9000 year lease that Arthur Guinness signed for the site of the brewery 150 years ago.

      The tour culminated with a free pint at the “Gravity Bar” on the 7th story of the Storehouse with 360 degree panoramic views of Dublin and into the countryside. We were all grateful that the weather afforded us the opportunity to see so much of the country.

      After the tour and our pint we had worked up an appetite and hopped on the bus to take us to our next stop - Nancy Hands for some lunch. We commiserated on our next move and decided to take in Trinity College, The Book of Kells & The Old Library/Long Room. It was well worth the stop. It was graduation day on campus and there were a collection of graduates taking photos in front of the Bell Tower. We were awed by the history of the Book of Kells - and stunned when we walked into The Long Room with its rows of books.

      What a fine day we had in Dublin.
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    • Day 2

      Tag 2: Dia dhuit und Sláinte!

      October 6, 2023 in Ireland ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

      Free walking tours sind einfach klasse! 😍Ich habe vorher schon mal davon gehört, aber habe sie noch nie selbst ausprobiert.
      Man trifft sich einfach in der Stadt und bekommt 3h etwas zu der Stadt erzählt und gezeigt und am Ende gibt man einfach wie viel man möchte oder wie viel einem die Tour wert war.
      Jack war ein super Guide gewesen und hat uns mit seinem trockenen Humor und seiner ironischen Art oft zum Lachen gebracht. Ich war ganz entzückt (und doch auch überrascht) wie leicht es uns fiel, ihn zu verstehen. 😄 Der irische Dialekt (oder sein irischer Dialekt, es gibt ja sehr sehr viele) war auf jeden Fall cool! 😄
      Wir haben heute so viel über Irland und Dublin im Speziellen gelernt. Am spannendsten fand ich die Geschichte. Mir war gar nicht bewusst wie viel dieses Land durchgemacht hatte... So viele Kriege, Rebellionen, eine schlimme Hungersnot und viele weitere Schicksalsschläge sind auf dieses Land eingeprasselt. Sehr überraschend für mich war auch, dass das Land von den Wikingern eingenommen wurde und erst durch sie die größeren Stadte wie Dublin entstehen konnten. Dublin wurde aus dem Irischen "eingeenglischt" und hieß ursprünglich soviel wie "Furchtbar dreckiges schwarzes Wasser". 😂👌 So sah es hier zumindest zur Wikingerzeit aus.
      Von diesem "Furchtbar dreckigem schwarzem Wasser" sieht man heute zum Glück nichts mehr. Die Stadt ist cool und lebendig, überall befinden sich süße Pubs und Bars, die Architektur ist auch sehr besonders, ständig fahren Doppeldeckerbusse (und auch Kutschen! 😄) an einem vorbei. Uns ist auch immer wieder der leckere Geruch der Stadt aufgefallen: Oft roch es (für mich und Tamer) nach gerösteten Kaffeebohnen oder nach Maronen (für Linda). Wie sich am nächsten Tag herausstellen sollte, war das der Geruch des Röstens der Gerste für das Guinessbier, welches dem Rösten von Kaffeebohnen erstaunlich ähnlich sei. 😜 Die Leute sind auch so höflich und lieb, überall wird man herzlich begrüßt und bei jedem klitzekleinen Anrempeln wird sich direkt entschuldigt. Zuhause kennt man das ja nicht gerade so... 😆
      Nach der Tour und dem Besichtigen vieler interessanter Spots gönnten wir uns das erste Mal hier Fishn' Chips. Mein Gott war das mächtig! 😂 Dazu gab es giftig grün aussehende (aber leckere! ) Mushy Beans. Sehr exquisit. 😄👌
      Nach dem Essen gingen Ezgi und Philippi noch zu einer berühmten Bibliothek mit einem besonderen Exemplar der Bibel aus dem Jahre 800. Tamer, Linda und ich wollten die Stadt aber noch ein bisschen auf eigene Faust erkunden und besuchten noch ein paar lustige Läden.
      Wir trafen uns anschließend in einer Bank, die eigentlich ein Pub ist. Es war wirklich sehr edel... 🤩 Dort gab's dann auch den ersten Irish Coffee und Baileys Coffee. Es war teuer aber unglaublich lecker! 😍
      Anschließend liefen wir noch ein bisschen weiter durch die Stadt, gönnten uns eine gute Vitaminbowl (zum Ausgleich für die gefühlten 1L Frittierfett 😂) und fanden uns in einem süßen Pub wieder, wo ein tolles Live-Konzert stattfand. Wie probierten wieder verschiedene Biere; Craftbeer, Guiness und auch Irischen Cider. Alles sehr, sehr lecker! Die gute Stimmung der Musiker steckte uns schnell an und schon bald sangen wir laut mit und führten in den Pausen tiefe Gespräche. Ein perfekter Abend! ❤️
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    • Day 3

      Day 2 in Dublin

      September 26, 2023 in Ireland ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

      National Museum of Ireland's Decorative Arts and History, Audoen's church (Church of Ireland), Dublin castle, The Beatty library and the Teeling Irish whisky distillery. And I managed to find a cat! We leave for Porto in the morning.Read more

    • Day 89

      CÚIG GHRIANGHRAF-Ireland Day 24

      July 11, 2022 in Ireland ⋅ ☁️ 23 °C

      Today was our last road trip as we made our way to Dublin, our last destination of our three-month European road trip.

      One of the sites we were interested in visiting was Newgrange, a 5500 year old Neolithic burial mound. It's older than Stonehenge or the Pyramids of Giza. We learned that the entrance into the mound books way in advance so we were unable to get tickets. Jim C suggested that we instead go to Dowth a lesser known Neolithic passage tomb located in the Boyne Valley, County Meath, Ireland. In my research, I learned that Dowth is one of the three principal tombs of the Brú na Bóinne World Heritage Site – a landscape of prehistoric monuments in the area.

      Unlike Newgrange, Dowth has no visitor center. It's announced by a simple gate, in a mostly unkempt cow pasture. When we arrived, there was only one other visitor. The structure is cratered in the center. I assumed that the structure just collapsed, but learned that it was subject to an "unprofessional excavation" in the mid 1800's. More specifically, the Royal Irish Academy used dynamite as their excavation tool.

      We saw some closed passages to the chambers as we dodged cowpies to go up the ridge. When we made our way to the top, we could see Newgrange in the distance. Dowth Hall, a stately manor with a adjacent cemetery, could also be viewed on the property. On one of the kerbstones, we could see carvings representing the sun. This is fitting as the entry points of the cave are perfectly aligned with Winter Solstice sunset light. In reflection, we think of ancient peoples as primitive. Perhaps, we're the primitive ones as we too often fail to celebrate the simple gifts available to us with no cost.

      We left Dowth and headed to Drogheda, an industrial port town north of Dublin. I had a bit of macabre interest in viewing two sites there: St. Peter's Church of Ireland and St. Peter's Catholic Church.

      The first site has a cemetery with an unusual memorial to its departed: two cadaver stones. These stones are seven-foot veiled skeletons carvings. We talked to a man who was enjoying his lunch in the cemetery, and he told us that he sang in the church choir when he was a boy. He mourned the deterioration of his town which he attributed to growing drug addiction and the availability of heroin. He remarked that he hardly knew anyone in town anymore, and that he was surprised to talk to out-of-toen strangers who spoke English. We thanked him for the conversation, and we made our way to the Catholic Church a few blocks away.

      I have been using the website Ireland Before You Die (IBUD). St. Peter's Catholic Church houses the relics of Saint Oliver Plunkett. More graphically, the church houses some of his bones and his mummified head in full view inside ornate cases. While the gruesome display draws curious visitors like myself, this is also a place where Catholics visit to honor the most recent canonized Irish Saint in the last 700 years. Saint Oscar was known for promoting Catholicism in Ireland. He was the last victim murdered as a result of a Protestant conspiracy campaign known as the Popish Plot where he was accused of conspiring with the French to kill the Protestant King. This church also purports to house a piece of wood from the cross used to crucify Jesus. The church is quite beautiful, and I'm glad that we were able to visit.

      We left Drogheda and made our way to Dublin. The last two miles were a bit slow due to traffic, but we made it to the flat we're sharing with Peter & Jarek. They are a lovely, engaging couple. We joined them for a pasta dinner prepared by Jarek, and we enjoyed our conversations.

      We watched the news about the upcoming celebration of July 12th by Unionists in Belfast. One of the traditions is to burn massive bonfires reminiscent of football homecoming celebrations. I couldn't help noticing that at the top of the pyre in one piece of footage was Ireland's tri-color flag, a reminder that the internal strife remains. I'm grateful to miss the disdain "festivities".
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    • Day 90

      CÚIG GHRIANGHRAF-Ireland Day 25

      July 12, 2022 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

      Today was our first full day in Dublin. We started with breakfast with Peter and Jarek, and we decided that this would just be a "get a feel for the" city day and we would select attractions as the mood called us.

      Today was overcast, but the temperatures were pleasant. We passed by St. Patrick's Cathedral an Anglican Church where Jonathan Swift once served as its Dean.

      We decided to explore Christ Church Cathedral which was built under Viking in the early 11th century. My first impression of the church was the sense of how old it was. We learned that the roof collapsed in the 16th century and it was rebuilt from a wealthy distiller of whiskey hundreds of years later.

      Besides the church, one of the first things that captures your eye is the prone monument over the resting point of Strongbow. The name Strongbow gives the image of a strong soldier, but he was not known by that nickname until several hundred years after his death and it might be more of a loss in translation. We found it funny that he was described as "...a rather gangly, effeminate and softly-spoken man with ginger hair and freckles who had ‘more of the air of a man-at-arms than a general-in-chief".

      I couldn't help think of the fierce queens of Stonewall. Don't underestimate their strength or determination.

      Despite the depiction, Strongbow was known for leading an army of Normans in an invasion of Waterford, and he was promised the hand of the Irish princess Aoife and subsequently considerable land. Traditionally business deals signed over his resting place were considered a sign of sealing the deal.

      The cathedral was otherwise quite beautiful. Purportedly the choir of Christ Church were among those who first performed Handel's Messiah in 1742. Having sung that piece in a church choir, I imagined the honor of performing in the choir lofts here.

      After our visit to Christ Church we decided to make a visit to the EPIC museum which celebrates Irish history and documents the hardships that caused Irish immigration as well as the influence of Irish immigrants in world. I took the opportunity to work with Maura, a genealogist, during our visit to EPIC. She was very helpful in unlocking some family tree mysteries where I had been stuck around my maternal grandfather's lineage.

      After our visit we had the pleasure to connect with Frank who I sang with in the Portland Gay Men's Chorus. Frank is originally from Dublin and he returned a few years ago. We enjoyed a few pints at The George, a stately gay Irish pub, and we enjoyed dinner and catching up at an area Italian Restaurant. It was a very fine day, and we are really enjoying this last leg of our journey.
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    • Day 91

      CÚIG GHRIANGHRAF-Ireland Day 26

      July 13, 2022 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

      Today our destination was to see the Book of Kells and the Long Hall at Trinity College. I had not really known much about the book and first heard a reference to it in an animated fiction movie that our son-in-law told us about, "The Secret of Kells". Our granddaughter's middle name is Aisling and her parents parents chose it because her piercing blue eyes reminded her father of that character.

      The Book of Kells is an illustrated manuscript of the four Gospels and its thought to have been created by monks around the beginning of the 9th Century. The calligraphy is intricate and supposedly given more attention than the actual text accuracy. It's name comes from a monastery in Ireland where it was housed for centuries.

      We had a timed entry to set the exhibit, and we were first led to a maze of background displays before entering the room where the book is displayed. We found the prefacing displays to be a bit random and unclear about sequencing. I did like seeing the example of parchment although purportedly the pages were not paper, but made from tanned calf skins(vellum) cured with excrement.

      We were not allowed to take photos of the displayed portion of the book displayed. It was pretty amazing to see how vibrant the colors were given that it is around 1300 years old.

      We proceeded to the Long Hall after leaving the display. It was one of the most magnificent libraries that I have ever witnessed. The rows of books packed in two levels of ceiling high bookshelves was really spectacular. Both the visual display and the smell of the woodwork and books created a memorable sensory experience.

      I'm reminded that an e-book is no substitute for the feel and smell of a book. I could have just sat and meditated in that beautiful library for hours. I'm grateful for the books that we have at home.

      After enjoying burritos outdoors on a sunny afternoon, we made our way to St Patrick's Cathedral which is near where we are staying. St. Patrick's Cathedral was founded as a Catholic cathedral in 1191 A.D. It is currently the national Cathedral of the Church of Ireland. One of the Cathedral's most notable deans was Jonathan Swift, author of "Gulliver's Travels" and other works. The Cathedral is known for its choir who also participated in the first performance of Handel's "Messiah". The church was in considerable disrepair in the 19th century, and the famous brewmaker Guinness contributed funds for its restoration. It's interesting that both Cathedrals in Dublin were restored by brewers.

      We took a rest in the afternoon and we enjoyed a return visit to The George for a beer. We went to a nearby Japanese restaurant for dinner, and we returned to our flat. We wrapped the evening with a nice conversation with our hosts. It was another great day in this beautiful city.
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    • Day 92

      CÚIG GHRIANGHRAF-Ireland Day 27

      July 14, 2022 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

      We checked out Phoenix Park today which is also the home of the Dublin Zoo. The park is massive and well kept with beautiful garden beds and trees.

      We enjoyed our trip to the zoo. We sometimes go to zoos with mixed feelings as we worry about the enclosures where animals are housed. The Dublin Zoo was a nice exception, as the areas where the elephants, lions and gorillas were kept were quite spacious, and efforts to match habitat were notable. The zoo walk is pleasant, and it's fun to listen to the kids with Irish accents. It reminded us of missing our zoo time with Olive.

      After leaving the zoo we walked back toward the city and stopped at the Brazen Head Pub for wings, chips and a pint. The Brazen Head is the oldest pub in Ireland dating back to the late 12th century. This underscores our experience in Europe: In the states we consider something very old if it is over 150 years old. It's been hard to fathom witnessing sites that are thousands of years old as well as staying in neighborhoods from Medieval times.

      We had no plans this evening, and we went to a movie, something we haven't done the whole trip. Jim C and I went to see "Everything, Everywhere, and All at Once". He hadn't seen it, and it was the last film that I saw in a movie theater right before we left for our trip. We found the showing at the Irish Film Institute, and it reminded us of the smaller movie theaters back home. It was another good day in Dublin.
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    • Day 2

      Geführte Sightseeingtour durch Dublin

      June 16, 2022 in Ireland ⋅ ☁️ 17 °C

      Bissle Kultur und Geschichte zu Dublin..
      Ein paar Eindrücke
      - Samuel Beckett Bridge -> Anlehnung an die Harfe im Wappen.

      - Christ Church Cathedral

      Gewöhnung an den Linksverkehr… (hilfreiche Botschaft für Fußgänger) 😂😂Read more

    • Day 63

      Guinnes Storehouse

      July 7, 2023 in Ireland ⋅ ☁️ 21 °C

      Wenn schon Dublin, dann muss man auch zur Wiege eines der berühmtesten Biere der Welt pilgern. Athur Guinnes kaufte hier 1759 eine kleine Brauerei, erwirkte einen tausend(!)-jährigen Pachtvertrag und heute steht auf 27 ha eine Stadt in der Stadt, die weltberühmte Guinnes Brewery, mit großen Produktionsgebäuden, Lagerhallen und unzähligen Biertanks.
      Der Eintritt von 28,- £ schockte uns zwar erst, aber Augen zu und durch! Aber die machten wir dann auch schnell wieder weit auf - die Augen!
      Die Brauerei selbst kann nicht besichtigt werden, dafür aber das Guinnes Storehouse, das zum Einen sehr anschaulich in den Vorgang des Bierbrauens einweiht und andererseits mit vielen Ausstellungen und Events für ein bleibendes Erlebnis sorgt.
      Ich als Baumensch (das wird man auch im Rentenalter nicht los) war fasziniert von der gigantischen Konstruktion aus überwiegend Stahl und Mauerwerk - selbst die Decken bestehen aus gemauerten Bögen zwischen Stahlträgern. Und das Ganze bis zu einer Höhe von gefühlt 50 m! Was für Visionen muss der Mann gehabt haben oder was für ein Organisationstalent war er, um in derart großem Stil zu wirtschaften!
      Neue Architekten setzten dem Gebäude noch zwei Geschosse über dem Buntglasdach auf und so konnten wir uns in der Gravity Bar auf Ebene 7 beim Glas (natürlich) Guinnesbier nicht satt sehen am Rundumblick über Stadt und umliegende Landschaft.
      Nach der Busrückkehr fuhren wir wenige km stadtauswärts und fanden neben einem Dorffriedhof ein Plätzchen, wo wir den verlorenen Schlaf der vergangenen Nacht in aller Ruhe nachholen konnten.
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