Published: October 11th 2010October 11th 2010
Cath and I at the top of the Guiness Storehouse
Ireland was a busy 10 days. Arrived on the Thursday and stayed with my Uncle outside Dublin for the first few days. The first two days were spent getting to know Dublin again and getting lost a few times!!! Caught up with Grandad, one aunt and uncle and my cousins...Eimear who used to be referred to as "little Eimear" due to the fact that I have an aunt with the same name...she's now taller than me! Let me just make one thing clear, I don't like Dublin! It is dirty, crowded and very busy. The best of Ireland is on the west coast and if you ever go there...go straight through Dublin and head for Galway.
On Saturday I spent the day with Catherine, a good friend from Australia who deserted me to move to London for two years! It was very strange to be spending time with one of your aussie friends in Dublin and I kept forgetting that we were in Dublin and not in Melbourne...although we didn't manage to have our traditional steak dinner...it will just have to wait until she gets back! By Saturday my voice was shot to hell and the rain in Dublin didn't
One of the famous advertising posters - Guiness Storehouse
help! After breakfast at Bewleys (a Dublin tradition in O'Connell St) we started the day by getting the "hoppy bus" up to St Patricks Cathedral which is absolutely beautiful...and Protestant! There are no Catholic cathedrals in Ireland but that doesn't matter...God doesn't care where you pray so long as you are doing it. The cathedral is big and very traditional in its set out and windows. After doing the God thing...we headed on the alcohol tour of Dublin! Started with the Guiness Storehouse. This is Irelands most popular tourist attraction and you can see why. The tour around the storehouse details how Guiness is made...I didn't know that it was actually red and not black. This was my second tour of the Storehouse and not my last! We made it to the top of the tower which has a fantastic view of Dublin...even in the rain. The ticket price in the Guiness Storehouse includes a free pint at the top...always lovely! Although Cath couldn't finish hers! Just to reassure you....Guiness, like Vegemite, is an acquired taste and takes time to fall in love with and it always tastes better in Ireland. Back onto the bus where the bus driver started
How to pour the perfect pint
giving out about he AFL being a girls game...he only increased his teasing once we started protesting! Next up was Jamisons Whiskey Distillery...this I had never been to and it was interesting...and threw in a free drink at the end of the tour! Dinner was at the Bad Ass Cafe in Temple Bar who have been there for years...I think back to when mum and dad were at university. The food is burgers etc but the people watching out the window is great. Temple Bar as usual was full of tourists but I love it. All small streets and interesting shops with as many cafes as in St Kilda. Headed back up to Caths hostel before I made the trip back to Balbriggan. Met my uncle, his partner, her daughter and her friend in the pub where live music was playing and fell into bed late!
Sunday - bugger all voice! Started the day by meeting more new second cousins...5 babies were born since we were last in Ireland! And then headed to Northern Ireland to meet mum and dad. We headed to Newry first where I was born. The town is very small but always nice. I don't
Me under the Guinness Sign
have any memories of it before the ceasefire so I like it. Mum, dad and I headed to Gosford Park where we used to go a lot when we lived in Armagh. The park is really nice but they've turned the castle into apartments :-( Managed to get sort of lost finding out way back to the car but found some nice sheep and lots of people camping! Mum and dad took me on a small tour of Armagh town. We went up to where we used to live...house still looks exactly the same but I didn't remember being so far out of town...then we headed past where mum used to work...all the while commenting on "ooh they blew that up...that was blown up"...all completely normal for us but maybe not for people who didn't live there! Up to my school which hasn't change at all. Still up on the hill and the same buildings are still there which was great to see. Then we headed out to Brenda's. Brenda and mum worked together in Armagh and we lived on the same street for awhile. (voice update - completely gone, couldn't even whisper!) It was nice just hanging out at
Cath under the Guinness sign
Brenda's for the evening, walking out through their fields with dad, Geoff and Luke (Brenda's grandson), eating and gas bagging! Although it was like having two mothers at times with mum and Brenda sounding exactly the same and saying the same things!!
There are more photos below