I have always kept a record of my travels. It used to be with a pen and paper and 35 mm film. Now it’s all digital. On Flashback Fridays I reflect back on some of my past travels and travel mishaps before I started this blog.
Let’s go to Ireland, shall we? I first visited Ireland way back in 1997, and I always thought that I’d be back. 20 years later, I still haven’t made it back to the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland. Such a shame; I must remedy this ASPA. Dublin is a fun little town, good for a night out
So like many native South Carolinians, I have Irish ancestors [along with Scottish, Cherokee, and English that I know of]. I also though it would be cool to look up my family history and see where I came from. I have not done that yet, and who knows if I will ever get around to doing it. I was planning to just go to Dublin, but my plans always change and I ended up seeing Dublin and its sites, but also Killarney National Park, but first up Dublin.
Guinness Brewery: I’ve had a total of one Guinness beer in my life and it was in Dublin. The Guinness Storehouse opened in 2000 and if you are into beer and brewing, it’s a good stop. Otherwise, not so much. A beer person I am not, nor have I ever been, but Irish Whiskey is a slightly different story.
Some of my first alcoholic drinks were in Dublin, and while the taste of a Guinness never took, Irish Whiskey most certainly did. Especially in the form of Irish Coffee…There’s a reason Irish Breakfasts are a thing, and Irish Coffee (with whiskey added) is a great addition to it. Jameson’s distillery was the first distillery I ever visited and those smooth triple distilled grains are like sweet honey and even though I’m not a huge coffee drinker, the combination of whiskey, Irish cream, and coffee is pure magic.
Trinity College: Nowhere in America is there a 400 year old college much less a 900 year old book. Trinity College is a contemporary college still accepting students; its building are a mix of architectural styles from 400 years to present. And during spring and summer, it’s elegant gardens are truly a sight to behold. I love visiting college campuses…especially well done ones, and ones with spectacular libraries. The Old Library at Trinity is amazing: stack and stacks of ancient wooden bookshelves filled with ancient (and not so ancient) books that seem to go on endlessly.
Kilmainham Gaol: Irish revolutionary history in living color. The uprisings of 1798, 1803, 1848, 1867 and 1916 ended with the leaders’ confinement here. Robert Emmet, Thomas Francis Meagher, Charles Stewart Parnell and the 1916 Easter Rising leaders were all visitors, but it was the executions in 1916 that most deeply etched the jail’s name into the Irish consciousness. Of the 15 executions that took place between 3 May and 12 May after the revolt, 14 were conducted here. As a finale, prisoners from the Civil War were held here from 1922. The jail closed in 1924.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral: Became a cathedral in 1224. Yep, it’s nearly 800 years old…kinda makes the 400 year old college [Trinity]look like a spring chicken, and most surprisingly [at least to me] it’s not a Catholic church. The most famous church in a country known for Catholicism is Anglican.
Dublin Castle: another building circa 1200. According to its guide, it has been in continuous occupation since 1204. Now it is a government site and banquet hall.
Pubs and bars are the heart of Dublin:
and the really cool random falling down building