Dubliners For a Day

Friday, May 26, 2017
Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland
It has long been a fascination of mine to discover some of my history. I don't give it that much thought, but it is interesting to think about our history and those people who came before us. Why are we the way that we are? Is it because we share a bit of the personality and character of our parents and grandparents? Are talents passed down from generation to generation? The older I get the more I feel the desire to find these things out. At a certain point in my life, my family discovered that there was Irish in our background. For that reason, and the fact that the pictures I've seen of the country and amazing, I have wanted to visit Ireland.

When we arrived (a couple of hours late - plus wading through security and baggage claim) we were met by our good friend Luke McTighe . He's used to big city living. He has spent most of his life in New York City and really knows how to navigate trains, busses, subways, streets, alleys. He's been living in and around Dublin for a few years now. Luke's family came to the US from Ireland when he was (at least I think that's how the story goes). He has direct links to the island. I am so glad that we were able to visit our friend, and that he was able to spend some time showing us around a beautiful place.

I could go through and name each of the places that we visited, but then I would have to look every one of them up. Our trip was broken up into two separate parts since we managed to travel to England for a day in the middle. The first day alone, we saw enough sights to fill at least a week. Thankfully the day we arrived was the most gorgeous day that Ireland has seen, I'm sure. Except that people told us that the whole month of May was actually pretty pleasant as far as weather goes. The typical weather there involves clouds, drizzle, and more clouds . I've lived in places like that before, and when the sun comes out they are usually some of the most beautiful places.

Dún Laoghaire is a smaller suburb of Dublin, South along the coast of Dublin Bay. This is where Luke lives at the present. It's a small town by the sea with everything that anyone could want or need. There are plenty of shops, cafes, restaurants, a library, accommodations, a train station easily accessible to many other places. Who could ask for more? And then there's the Dún Laoghaire Harbour and the island of Howth off in the distance. This is where we chose to try our first and only Irish fish and chips. They were not bad. The fresh air from the Irish Sea, the water dotted with sailboats, the islands, blue skies. It was delightful!

The next leg of the trip involved trying not to fall asleep on the train back into Dublin. Once we got there, we walked around for hours and hours, visiting places where James Joyce's character from the book Ulysses, Leopold Bloom, had gone in the novel . This included shops, a pharmacy, pubs, parks, and a hundred other places. We also saw famous churches, buildings that were crucial in Irish history, row houses, bookstores, a college campus, and of course three or four coffee shops for coffee breaks and to rest our weary legs.

Towards the end of the day, as the sunshine was just thinking about setting, we headed back South to a town smaller than Dún Laoghaire, Dalkey. It's a very quaint place. The main street is full of shops, restaurants, cafes, and even a castle. The side streets have some of the most amazing houses of all shapes and sized that sit just above the coast overlooking Dalkey Island and the Irish Sea. We ended the day in Dalkey with a tasty meal in an old pub called The Club. A taxi took us back to Dún Laoghaire where we prepared for our next trip the following morning.
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