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  Ireland 2004:  Day 1 - Dublin              (next >>>)

 

Left to right-Top to bottom:  1. Detail of page from Book of Kells   2. Building at Trinity College.   3. Campanile Bell Tower (Trinity College)   4. Grafton Street   5. Horse carriage on Dame Street   6. Christ Church Cathedral   7. Another view of Christ Church Cathedral   8. Interior of Christ Church Cathedral   9. A pub in Temple Bar area    10. Oliver St. John Gogarty's Pub    11. The Temple Bar

NOTE: All photos on this journal are by Dan Carollo, except for a couple shots Robert Wade took of me, and the Book of Kells shot, which is actually from a postcard! Feel free to use any of these for personal use.  If you could, please credit with:  Dan Carollo www.celtograss.com

    The following pages is a highly-abridged journal of my recent trip to Ireland last October 2004 with songwriter Robert Wade. You can read Robert's account of the journey on his own website journal page.

I arrived in Dublin on Saturday, October 9th, meeting Robert at the airport (Robert currently lives in the UK near Cambridge, England). We hit it off right away. I discovered he shares my passion for good coffee.  He was also a perfect counterpart to my reserved, sometimes negative habits. I tend to be quite a worrier in new and strange situations while Robert was a voice of optimism, responding to difficult situations with the phrase "No Worries!"

Dublin is a bustling, busy city, traffic zipping around winding corners and round-a-bouts. Drivers do not stop for pedestrians, and pedestrians do not stop for drivers. Occasionally, a horse and carriage (for tourists) would scamper down the street.

Dublin was founded by the notorious Vikings in about 800 A.D. "as their base for raping and pillaging" as one of the locals put it. Today, the city contains quite a diverse mix of architectural styles -- from the 12th-century Christ Church, to 18th-century Georgian apartments.

Dublin was home to many famous names in history such as Jonathan Swift, Samuel Beckett and James Joyce. St. Patrick was believed to have baptized new Christian believers near the current site of St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin.

We stayed 3 nights at "Jacobs Hostel" -- pleasant enough for a hostel, I suppose -- but were both rather surprised to discover that our floor was co-ed, including the bathrooms.

I think I took a brief, record-setting 5-second shower, sometime at midnight, trying to avoid any cross-gender incidents. I'm afraid I didn't manage to get quite as clean as I would have liked. This started a conversation between Robert and myself about how showers were overrated, anyway!

Highlights:

1. The Book of Kells: At the heart of Dublin is Trinity College with it's main library at the center of the campus. Here on display is a copy of the Book of Kells, a 9th-Century manuscript of the 4 Gospels of the Bible, created by monks on the island of Iona.

2. Christ Church Cathedral: This is the cathedral  for the Church of Ireland (Anglican) diocese of Dublin and Glendalough. It was first established as a wooden structure in 1038 A.D. before being re-built in 1186 A.D. by the Anglo-Norman archbishop John Cumin.  It was the choir of Christ Church that joined the very first performance of Handel's "Messiah" in Dublin in 1742.

3. Temple Bar: In other older part of Dublin is the "Temple Bar" area, an area with several blocks of pubs long just south of the River Liffey. This is the most lively area of Dublin at night, with music floating out of almost every doorway.

4. Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éíreann (music session):  In the evening, we took the DART to Craobh Chualann branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí  (located in Monkstown) -- an organization dedicated to the learning and promotion of traditional Irish music and dance.  It was a bit of a slow night: just me, an accordian player named Mike and a young girl and boy (about age 13).

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