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DUBLIN, FAIR CITY #1

IMG_2972We’re ensconced in a great B&B, just minutes away (as advertised) from everything Dublin you’ve ever heard about. Hans says he’s met his gift-of-gab match in Susanne, but Dierdre and I aren’t so sure (pictures of our hosts later). We took the city bus from the airport, plopped our luggage down and went straight out to the hop-on-and-off bus. I dozed through much of the tour (here’s me and my first Irish Guiness to show proof-of-jet-lag:IMG_0742

But I still happened to remember a couple of interesting facts, which were news to the natives, the most fascinating of which is that the prefix “Kil” (Kildare, Kilkenny, etc.) means “Church.” How about that? Speaking of church, we went to mass at nearby St. Patrick’s, the national cathedral of Ireland. Lovely service, great music, but it turned out (surprise) to be Anglican, not Roman, and Susanne became so agitated at Henry, etc. we left before communion. Our guide at the tour we took later of Dublin Castle said after independence in 1922, they had quite a discussion and decided to turn the page of history forward instead of back and kept the Reformation designation. One of us disagrees with the decision.

IMG_2942Speaking of aforesaid Castle, which was a Castle for only a thousand years or so starting with the Viking invasion of 700 a.d. that turned Dublin (Dubh Lihn=Dark Pool, named for a pool that formed at the intersection of the Liffey and Poddle rivers) into a trading post. It burned in the 18th century, by which time the walls, etc., had become pretty useless due to the power of cannon and gunpowder, so they built the palace it is today, a place where kings and presidents visit and hold counsel, most recently a big EU conference that kept locals and tourists alike out of the place for weeks. There’s the same lingering resentment of the English here as we encountered in Wales. A few British portraits, but no statues. They shipped the last statue they had of some king or another off to Australia. Both of us  (not just one) think this was an appropriate decision.

By the way. Here’s a bit of a test. What’s the difference between these two harps:? IMG_0750There are a number of right answers, of course. But the main one is that the top one is represented in the national seal of Ireland, while the bottom one is the trademark of Guiness Stout, both iconic emblems of this emerald Isle. Eh?

 

 

 

Here we are at another iconic symbol of Dublin, both recovered from Jet lag.

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Here are a couple of entertaining Britishisms, one of them especially for Susanne’s sister, Sally:

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We were surprised and happy to find that our grandson has opened a business here that should keep both us and his parents well-fed and solvent:

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And enjoying a little Dublin sunshine (turned out to be way too much for our expensive REI rain jackets.)

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But not enough to dampen the cheer of the girl who’s sweeter than Molly Malone, and who is still dancin’ and singin’ in the rain.

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