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Trip #3 Report Part 4: Dublin Part 2 (6-8 February, 2010)

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Trip #3 Report Part 4: Dublin Part 2 (6-8 February, 2010)

Trip #3 Report Part 4: Dublin Part 2 (6-8 February, 2010)

Alas, all good things must end…and all long winded things must, too…but there’s still a bit more to my Jan/Feb trip to Ireland

See the first 3 replies below for a day by day breakdown.

Keith

Trip #3 Report Part 1: Dublin Part 1 (26-31 January, 2010) is in the Dublin Forum.

Trip #3 Report Part 2: Galway and More (31 January-3 February, 2010) is in the Western Ireland Forum.

Trip #3 Report Part 3: Glendalough Hermitage Retreat (3-6 February, 2010) is in the County Wicklow Forum.

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1. Re: Trip #3 Report Part 4: Dublin Part 2 (6-8 February, 2010)

Saturday, 6 February

After packing up and leaving the Glendalough Hermitage in Laragh, County Wicklow, returning my car to Dublin Airport and catching the AirLink into Dublin, by 10am I was checked into The Townhouse and settling into my room, a twin room this time. (Still prefer the singles, but it really doesn’t matter.)

http://www.townhouseofdublin.com/index.html

CHESTER BEATTY LIBRARY

After settling in, I wandered over to the CBL. One of my two absolute favorites in Dublin (the other being Kilmainham Gaol). I’ve visited here on every trip and, I’m sure, will continue to do so. Alas that on this trip, only the second floor exhibit, “Sacred Traditions”, was open for viewing. The normal first floor exhibit, “The Art of the Book” was closed in preparation for the temporary exhibit “Telling Images of China”. And also alas, for that exhibit wouldn’t open for another week or so. No worries, though. I’ve visited “The Art of the Book” before and will do so again…can you say October? One of the best things about CBL? Free. Love this place even more than the Book of Kells.

http://www.cbl.ie/

TEMPLE BAR FOOD MARKET

One of the worthwhile things to catch in Temple Bar is the outdoor Food Market on Saturdays in Meeting House Square. Besides supplies and goodies for home use, you can easily make a meal here. I had a Pork Baguette with Fried Onions for €5. It was really good. REALLY good. In fact, and this is the truth, as I’m typing this my mouth has just filled with saliva remembering this sandwich from 2½ months ago. Really GOOD! The market’s on from 10am-4:30pm every Saturday.

http://www.tascq.ie/whatson.php?cat_id=9

After lunch I wandered back to The Townhouse, booked my October stay…and discovered that live, repeat bookings get the best rates! €210 for 4 nights. Yes!

A bit after 1pm, I began another walk, a walk filled with anticipation, a walk increasingly surrounding by others who were walking with mounting excitement and their own anticipation, a steady stream of people flowing, pouring, running together all towards the same final destination.

SIX NATIONS RUGBY AT CROKE PARK!!!

Oh yes, oh yes, oh yes! I had despaired of finding a ticket to catch this match. The year before I happened to be in a pub and watch Ireland’s glorious defeat of France on their way to taking the whole enchilada. When I found out I’d be in Ireland for the season opener with Ireland hosting Italy, I really wanted to go.

But I had given up. The Irish Rugby Football Union website said no tickets were available.

Then a couple weeks before my trip, I thought I’d check again. Lo and behold there must have been turnbacks because individual single tickets were available scattered all over the stadium. Well, I only need one so I plunked down my €100 on the spot.

Ireland vs. Italy! While I don’t get the rules at all, I could at least tell who was doing well…and that was Ireland! I’m sure I had a big stupid grin on my face the entire time. Final score 29-11 in front of 77,686 fans. This was another great experience in Ireland that can’t be beat. Lot of money, sure, but I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Or even better would be a great Hurling or Gaelic Football match. Yeah!

http://www.irishrugby.ie/

TEMPLE BAR GALLERY AND STUDIOS

After the match I headed to the Temple Bar Gallery and Studios. The previous week when I’d been in Dublin, they were setting up and preparing the exhibit “re: public”. It was now open and I wanted to see it.

Some contemporary art exhibits are astonishing in their creativity. They’re thought provoking and stay with you for a good while. They transcend the normal and open windows to the extraordinary.

This was not one of those exhibits. Yeah. A waste of my time. To be fair, part of the exhibit was a series of lectures and events and who knows what I else. But apart from those times, it was a pretty static and uninteresting display...and that’s being kind.

Still, I’d probably see what new exhibits they have in the future.

http://www.templebargallery.com/

GOVINDA’S

Time for dinner. I checked out The Winding Stair. Booked for the night. I wandered through the Epicurean Food Hall. Nothing suited my mood. I thought about checking out The Oval Pub. On the way I ran across Govinda’s.

Wow! Their food, all vegetarian, is excellent. I liked it more than Cornucopia. I got the Special Plate, a sample of pretty much everything. With tea it cost €10.10 and it was way too much food. I’ll get less and spend less next time. (I’ll admit that I wasn’t crazy about the trance music being played, but after all it is run by the Hare Krishna’s).

http://www.govindas.ie/

THE GATE

After wasting/killing some time wandering somewhat aimlessly (I should have just gone back to The Townhouse for a bit), I headed over to The Gate Theatre by Parnell Square. Very different theatre from the Abbey, but they’re both excellent venues. Tonight I caught a performance of Brian Friel’s “Faith Healer”.

Very well written.

Very well acted.

Very glad I saw this.

Ireland is truly blessed with some gifted playwrights. This was my first Brian Friel play (although I’ve seen the movie “Dancing at Lughnasa”) and I’m already a huge fan of both Martin McDonagh and Conor McPherson.

My October trip is timed to be in Dublin for part of the Theatre Festival. Looking forward to it.

http://www.gate-theatre.ie/

http://www.dublintheatrefestival.com/

BED

Wondering what I will decide to do tomorrow with all my options…

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2. Re: Trip #3 Report Part 4: Dublin Part 2 (6-8 February, 2010)

Sunday, 7 February

7:15am - up, showered, dressed, fed

SMITHFIELD HORSE FAIR

8am – out the door and catching the LUAS from Busáras to Smithfield (bought a zone 1 return ticket for €2.90). Horses were just being unloaded for the monthly horse fair on Smithfield Plaza. So I went to the other end of the plaza, tried to locate Peppe’s for a possible meal later (failed) and checked out what films were on offer at The Lighthouse Cinema (nothing of interest that I couldn’t see back in the States). Wandered back to the south end of the plaza where the horses were. Yep. Horses. Really a non-event. I didn’t see any abuse or racing of the horses on the cobblestone, although maybe that would happen later. Not worth my time. Not recommended.

Took the LUAS back to Abbey Street and walked up to the….

IN CAHOOTS CAFÉ

I like this little place. Seating for maybe 25. For awhile I was the only one here. Ordered a scone and tea for €3.50. I’ll be back.

HUGH LANE GALLERY

Around 11am I ended up at the Hugh Lane, one of my favorite art galleries in Dublin. I had hoped to take the public tour in the early afternoon here, but found out that this day it was to be replaced with a lecture. Decided to give that a miss. Still plenty to enjoy, though, especially since the Hugh Lane is free.

I wandered through the ground floor, touring the permanent collection (which I’d seen before) and a portion of the temporary exhibit, “Francis Bacon: A Terrible Beauty”. A little bit before noon, though, I went and grabbed a seat for the Sunday@ Noon free concert. Fionnuala Moynihan played Mozart’s “Piano Sonatas Nos 1-5”. It was very worthwhile to grab this free event even though she lacked a bit in clarity and transparency in her performance. However, that may have simply been due to the room’s overly resonant acoustics. (Man, don’t I sound like a very pretentious reviewer…I barely know what I’m talking about!)

After the concert, I finished looking at the rest of the Francis Bacon exhibit on the first floor. Fascinating work. Everything that “re: public” was not.

http://www.hughlane.ie/

Anyone still reading? :-)

IRISH FILM INSTITUTE

After finishing up at the HLG, I walked down O’Connell Street to Temple Bar and went to the IFI. Decided to buy a ticket for a showing of the Irish indie film, “Eamon” (€7.75). Then I ordered the Sunday Grill from the café (fried egg, sausages, bacon, tomato, mushrooms, black pudding, homemade chips, tea for €10). Brunch is served here on Sunday from 11am-4pm. Really good and I’m sure to return…and not just for tea.

At 2:30pm I watched “Eamon”, a film by Irish writer Margaret Corkery that had been touring the international festival circuit. Interesting. Thought provoking. Don’t know that I actually liked it, though.

QUEEN OF TARTS AND FAREWELL TO DESSERT

After the movie, went back to my favorite eatery (this time the one on Dame Street) and had Cranberry and Apple Pie with Tea. Spent €7.60 at Queen of Tarts. It was to be my last dessert (and I haven’t had one since). Glorious.

MULLIGAN’S

Trip is almost over. But time for one more pint of Guinness. So why not go to what I think is the best place to have one? (And yes, I think even better than the Guinness Storehouse.) Mulligan’s! €4.45.

While at Mulligan’s I began to muse about future trips, places I still wanted to visit, experiences I still wanted to have. I want to go on the Literary Pub Crawl. I want to have a pint at Kehoe’s, Kavanagh’s and Ryan’s. I’m ready to be educated at the James Joyce Centre. Another and different walking tour would be nice having already done the 1916 Rebellion and Historical ones. And a walk along the cliffs at Howth is definitely in my future. Maybe even a walk from Greystones to Bray. Really need to catch a session at The Palace. I can’t believe that I’ve so far missed the Keats exhibit at the National Library. I will get in that public tour at the Hugh Lane Gallery eventually. I want to eat at Gruel and the Mermaid Café. I wouldn’t mind checking out the HOHO tour, even though I’m already familiar with the city. Some Irish Stew at the Oval Pub is in order. I like animals so why not the Dublin Zoo? And while there, Phoenix Park. And I’ll probably even check out the National Wax Museum Plus…and then regret it. And of course I have a much longer list of places I want to revisit!

Sadly, back to The Townhouse.

Sadly to bed.

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3. Re: Trip #3 Report Part 4: Dublin Part 2 (6-8 February, 2010)

Monday, 8 February

Up.

Shower.

Dress.

Breakfast.

Pack.

Check out.

AirLink 747 to the airport.

Self-check in.

Security.

Slow wander to the gate.

Board plane.

Plane departs.

Goodbye Ireland.

For now.

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4. Re: Trip #3 Report Part 4: Dublin Part 2 (6-8 February, 2010)

Just read all your reports. Took me about an hour! Excellent. There are so many things in Dublin that I have never done, and I really must make the opportunity to do! Thank you.

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5. Re: Trip #3 Report Part 4: Dublin Part 2 (6-8 February, 2010)

Just managed to catch up on all your recent reports Keith (have been busy entertaining) and they're a joy to read as ever. You were most lucky to catch that recent Bacon exhibit, A Terrible Beauty, as it stands out in our minds as one of the best Bacon retrospectives ever - and we've seen a few! The room of destroyed paintings in particular are rarely displayed and the large wall-length photographs of all of the Irish homes that the young Bacon grew up in was a fascinating display of local architectural history. Our recent guests (one an art critic) were most annoyed that they had missed it after they browsed the catalogue at ours...

Congrats on your new DE status - it's always nice to have a well informed/experienced non-local perspective of a place too. Fresh eyes often see the greatest things :-)

Glad that you got to the Róisín Dubh in Galway too - that back room is a real treat to catch a live act and is indeed very intimate. We saw the Canadian post-rock collective 'Godspeed You! Black Emperor' there a number of years ago and the stage wasn't big enough for all of them and so the string section were sat on beer crates amongst the audience - very memorable!

Our tip for your next Dublin visit? Maybe head up South Great Georges Street and onto Wexford St and check out Whelans for some live Irish indie music (check listings before as sometimes it's a student disco night or a visiting 'small' band that will probably be sold out) sampling another branch of the Govinda's chain on the way and having a pre-gig pint in The Long Hall (one of our favourite olde Dublin pubs) nearby. The acts at Whelans can be a bit hit and miss but the ambience and the intimacy of the venue are, like the Róisín Dubh, ideal for a good night out :-)

Edited: 11 May 2010, 08:52
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6. Re: Trip #3 Report Part 4: Dublin Part 2 (6-8 February, 2010)

Hey ragoora!

Welcome back! Yes, your temporary break on the forums was noticed...glad to see you back and posting again. :-) Hope your time entertaining was an enjoyable one.

Thanks again for the tip about Róisín Dubh. One of my favorite (and there are many!) experiences from this last trip. I think that each time I'm in Galway, I'll be looking to catch something there...it just happened to be trad this last time with Téada, but I'm game for almost anything. The 'Godspeed You! Black Emperor' concert sounds like just the kind of thing I'd love to try.

Your suggestion for Govinda's/The Long Hall/Whelans is just the kind of synergy I'm always looking for. I know that I like Govinda's. The Long Hall has been on my list to check out for some time, but I haven't yet. Whelans hasn't been on my radar but certainly is now. Sounds grand! Probably won't get there on the next trip...October...which is just a 9 day trip including 3 nights in Laragh/Glendalough again, seeing North Dublin and County Meath (with tapl!) for a couple days, and then the rest in Dublin for the Theatre Festival. BUT I'm starting to work on my 5th trip for May of 2011. I'm going to be introducing a good friend of mine (whose wife has sprung him free for a 9 day trip!) to Ireland. He's very interested in pubs, music (of all kinds) and of course, beer. We'll spend a couple days in Dublin and your suggestion sounds like just the ticket. (The rest will probably be the usual suspects in the southwest...just hoping to find the right balance of seeing and enjoying.)

Thanks for the DE congrats. I was surprised that my name was suggested and the invitation was offered...but what the heck...I enjoy posting, so why not. I AM glad, though, that there are so many other DE's for Dublin who are quite excellent. I certainly don't have the full rounded knowledge that people need. For instance, I always stay at the same place in Dublin, so I can't help with lodging questions. My restaurant and pub knowledge is quite limited. But I really have explored (and will continue to do so) what to see and do in Dublin, trying to maximize the experience and can answer questions from a visitor's perspective. So if that could help? Yea!

Still don't know when I'll be getting up to the Northwest, but it's the next major trip for me that I want to plan. Maybe autumn of 2011. If not then, perhaps around May of 2012. I DO want to have 2 weeks (because I've always got to do at least a bit of Glendalough and Dublin!) to really explore...or at least get started.

Keith

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7. Re: Trip #3 Report Part 4: Dublin Part 2 (6-8 February, 2010)

'synergy' - what a great word to use and so applicable to many of Ireland's neighbouring sites and sights and other sensory experiences :-)

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8. Re: Trip #3 Report Part 4: Dublin Part 2 (6-8 February, 2010)

Hey Keith,

I really enjoyed your trip report and am printing it off to take with me when I go.

Glad to see that the TA advisors made you a DE for Dublin as I suggested.

The suggestions you gave me in my previous post was very helpful in planning the most of my itinerary and am looking forward to my trip. I also saw the film Eamon....which was interesting yet unusual at the sametime.

I will also post a trip report when I return.

GP

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9. Re: Trip #3 Report Part 4: Dublin Part 2 (6-8 February, 2010)

Hey vergpu2,

You're going to have a great time and I'm looking forward to your trip report very much. I love reading other people's perspectives on places I go and enjoy!

I don't know if it would be at all helpful to you, but there were 4 parts to this trip report. You may have seen them all. Also I did another 4 part trip report back in September or October for my 2nd trip to Ireland. 1 week of that trip was also in Dublin. Maybe helpful? Maybe not. Your call.

:-)

Keith

Edited: 11 May 2010, 22:25
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10. Re: Trip #3 Report Part 4: Dublin Part 2 (6-8 February, 2010)

Keith,

I did check out the other trip reports on dublin because those would be the most helpful to me at this time. I am only concentrating on dublin and surrounding areas and in planning my trip I already see that there will be things that I will not get too. Trying to fit in so much in just a week is challenging to say the least!

Keeping my fingers crossed that my flight wont be cancelled :0