The Gypsy Wanders Dublin!

Our first adventure in Ireland started with a visit to the city of Dublin.  I did not spend as much time in Dublin as I would have liked, or the rest of the Rock Star Tour participants did, because my flight arrived tardy.  My original travel plans were to fly from RDU in North Carolina to JFK in New York and then on to Dublin.  Sigh, even the best laid plans go awry at times.  By the time I made the 2 hour drive to RDU the plane was delayed.  No sweat, I can still make the connection.  By the time I cleared security and reached the gate, the plane was delayed past the point of making my connecting flight from New York to Dublin.  Instead I jumped on the flight leaving RDU to Heathrow in London.  Once there, I was stranded until my connection to Dublin left many hours later.  Made for a very cranky me, especially since it was an overnight flight.

Temple Univ  Govt bldg

Since I had such a long layover in London, I did miss some of the sights in Dublin.  I missed accompanying the group to National Museum Kildare St. & Collins Barracks, and Trinity College Library to see the Book of Kells.  I will rectify this when the students and I return for our Study Abroad Ireland trip next year.

Once in Dublin, I checked into the Camden Court Hotel.  It was lovely.  The room was comfortable and pretty and they served us a proper Irish breakfast the next morning.  A traditional Irish breakfast is large with eggs, rashers, pudding, assorted breads, and fruits.  Rashers are what the Irish call bacon and it is similar to what we call Canadian bacon here in the states.  It is much meatier and less fatty than American bacon.  Puddings can either be white or black, and both are made with pork and I think oatmeal as a base.  (Niamh correct me if I’m wrong about the oatmeal)  White pudding also contains pork fat and black pudding  has blood.  They are shaped as a sausage and the one’s I tasted were sliced into little rounds.  I was brave and tried 1 little round of each.  While not my favorite part of breakfast they were okay.  My favorite part of breakfast was the brown bread.  It was a dense whole grain bread that was absolutely delish.

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Once refreshed from traveling, I met Niamh, my new Captain and leader from the Institute of Study Abroad, Ireland and we headed off to Temple Bar to meet the rest of our group, listen to some “trad” music, and sample a pint of Guinness.  Trad music is how the Irish refer to traditional Irish music. Trad music is performed live in pubs and is great craic!  This is where I meet the people who were to become my new found friends by the end of the week, although I didn’t know it at the time.  All I remember was that I had been awake for 2 days and I was looking at a group of strangers, and I could not hear anyone over the music. By the end of the week we had become a herd.

After my Irish breakfast the next morning, I wandered around Grafton Street, one of the 2 main shopping attractions in the city center.  It is full of high end shops and places to sample some tasty Irish cuisine.  I had a few hours before we were due to leave for Bundoran, so I wandered around.  As I wandered, I became obsessed with the Georgian architecture.

Georgian architecture (circa 1714- 1830) developed in the residential areas of Dublin and consisted of colorful doors, sweeping terraces, rich elaborate plasterwork, ornate fireplaces, graceful staircases, and craftsmanship in woodworking.  This style of architecture was for the rich.  Many of these wealthy families left Dublin during the famine of the 1800s and these buildings turned into tenements.  They later became restored as family homes.

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I fell in love with the doors as I wandered to and from Grafton Street.

Teachers Club 3

Teachers club 2  Teachers Club

I also had the opportunity to see some of the interior features when our group visited the Teacher’s Association Club the night before.  We had dinner there and were treated to some lovely trad music and Irish poetry.  Our hosts from the teachers club were gracious and charming.  I could tell they loved performing for us.  I even met Niamh’s dad.  I almost met her son as well, but he escaped before she could capture him.  🙂

It was a wonderful way to spend our first day or two in Ireland.  It gets even better from here, once we travel West.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: The Road to Western Ireland « The Random Musings of a Gypsy Archaeologist…

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Chair of Social Science, Humanities,
& Foreign Languages

Liberal Arts & University Transfer
Craven Community College

800 College Court
New Bern, NC 28562
Email: bellaceroc@cravencc.edu
Phone: 252.638.7328
Fax: 252.638.3231

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