IRELAND simply blew me away.
Probably because it was the first European country I’ve set foot on in the 22 years of my life. And also because there was so much to see, so rich a culture to immerse in, and the lovely people I was so lucky to have met.
As much as I enjoyed the weekend trips to the countrysides, and up North to the city of Belfast; Dublin had just as much to offer! Such a rejuvenating feel wandering the streets and absorbing the vibrant city life.
So I had the misconception that Temple Bar was just, well… Temple Bar. Apparently this particular one is the original Temple Bar. It was really amusing to see so many other restaurants or shops named after it. But it just so happened that this entire street, where alot of the popular pubs are at, is called The Temple Bar! By technicality, any other establishment found on this street can adopt the name I guess… like The Temple Bar *insert name here*.
Took me long to figure that out!
The River Liffey is what separates the South from the North of Dublin. Lovely place, almost similar in width to the Singapore River along Clarke Quay. I was having a scenic walk along the river one fine afternoon when I took this shot. Saw a group of canoeists… sporty Irish men. Score!
My friends and I were living around the Christchurch area during our stay there. This cathedral is one of the oldest in Dublin… though not as large as compared to the St Patrick’s Cathedral. So many times have I walked past on the way to the city centre and I pretty much concluded I preferred the look of Christchurch Cathedral in the night as compared to the day.
This was one of the reasons (in my opinion) to be proud of being a Trinity College graduate! Impressive architecture that I totally fell in love with. The Old Library is situated above where the Book of Kells is housed in. Though it’s been converted to a museum now, I can only imagine how it must have looked back in the olden days. Came back thrice in my last week in Dublin to absorb the experience of just sitting right smack in the middle of the hall… as if there was no other place in Dublin I’d rather be. Then again, it was also because we had free entry passes. Haha!
But what is a city without its local people? I was pulled into performing an Irish dance on my very first week at TradFest, absolutely loved the experience nevermind the fact I could barely coordinate my feet and orientation.
I was lucky though to catch a glimpse of the General Strike that happened on one of the weekends. That’s never a sight in the Singapore political scene. I was surprised by the public’s level of awareness of their rights, and of their dedication to make ground voices heard. Parents even involve their children in the peaceful march!
My other favourite thing was probably accidentally wandering into the local weekend markets. Oh, the lovely smell of freshly baked scones and quiches. Me avoiding the stalls selling blue cheese, finding myself along an alley and yet another alley, finally settling on a bag of dates from the Middle East for a fairly reasonable price, joking with the local stall owners because I was clearly from out of town.
Believe me that Dublin was not all about the city life. Took a day trip to a coastal town called Howth on the edge of Dublin. Only reason for doing it – my friend from London simply wanted to see the seaside! Glad we made the decision to travel though, it was such a brilliant sight! The winds were strong, but the air so fresh. And we ended up doing really dumb things like trying to have a picnic, could barely get anything in my mouth with the strong coastal winds. But what a blessed feeling to be catching up with my friend I have not seen in ages, in a foreign country with not a single care in the world.
Dublin, oh, Dublin. Not sure if I will back in the near future, but the experience whilst it lasted was definitely good for the soul. How therapeutic.
I can barely wait for my next adventure to wherever else! Let’s get that world map out now!