Au Revoir France – Fáilte Ireland

Day 1: Dublin, Ireland
After an early morning (4:00 AM wake up call) I was off to the airport to meet my parents in Dublin. Quick note: if flying on Ryan Air (or on another discount airline out of Paris, note that there is another airport about an hour out of town.  When I purchased the ticket a couple months ago I purchased my flight from Paris to Dublin on RyanAir…only realizing a couple weeks before my trip that it was out of another airline from what I flew into (about an hour out of town).  Looking at train options and bus options (and taxi) I decided to do SuperShuttle…which I was pretty happy with.  They originally said they would pick me up at 4:25 AM but the night before moved it to 5:30 AM and then were 30 min late due to the people before me not waking up.

On my way out of Paris we went to some parts of town that I did not know existed, there were obviously the less touristy parts as they do not “clean up” their monuments.  This was extremely sad, to see these hundred year old monuments spray painted and vandalized. If you look close, you will see even the mouth of this statue spray painted.  It went with the whole “bad energy” that the Paris tourist guide had mentioned the night before.  I had an amazing time in Paris and it truly was a dream come true, but I was ready to leave (a feeling I believe you should have when you leave)Even with the delays of Super Shuttle, I still got to the airport in plenty of time, they make sure to leave a ton for this kind of situation. I had time to grab one last croissants and coffee creme (and to see the gift shop which has French versions of 50 Shades of Gray)

Like I said I had a wonderful time in Paris, however I was ready for a new experience and to see someone I knew.  Like I mentioned, Paris was truly a dream come true and I loved every minute, however, I was lonely and it was hard to see so many people together, the entire time I was there I did not meet or see another solo person. It was so strange to not be able to get dinner or lunch to go quickly as most everyone sits down for long dinners.  I actually did not see anyone take food to go either.

On a completely different note….the funny (or I thought) caution sign as I was boarding the plane…notice that only WOMEN and CHILDREN should hold on to the rail…MEN, you do not have to!

Dublin truly was a breathe of fresh air (that is their slogan)!  I walked off the plane and the air smelled lovely and the cold (11 C degrees) was a very welcomed.(note from my Dad … to convert C to F you simply double, subtract 10%, then add 32) so 52 F) People heading home to Ireland were talking non stop about how cold it was…but 11 degrees is around the same temperature as Seattle so I was packed and ready (especially after the extreme heat in Paris).  The people were so nice (and it felt great to finally be able to have a conversation).  It is hard to be in a country where it is so hard to communicate.  I also found myself having a hard time “re-starting” my English as I have been talking more broken since that is what I was doing for a week. I landed after a quick flight and met my parents at the gate, wow it was good to see them!  We then were off to our StayCity “hotel” which ended up being a lovely stay and in the heart of Dublin.

Our first stop was The Temple Bar (not Temple Bar area, well we were in Temple Bar area, but the actual The Temple Bar).  The menu was very overwhelming but after looking for something Irish and unique I settled for a Traditional Christmas Irish sandwich…cranberry, stuffing, ham, turkey, mayo on bread…WOW it was AMAZING.  The fact that I had just had a croissant and only a croissant in the last 24 hours, I think most anything would have tasted amazing.

After a quick much needed nap, we were off to Christ Church. Christ Church Cathedral (or, more formally, The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity) is the cathedral of the United Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough and the cathedral of the Ecclesiastical province of the United Provinces of Dublin and Cashel in the Church of Ireland.  It is situated in Dublin, Ireland, and is the elder of the capital city’s two medieval cathedrals, the other being St Patrick’s Cathedral.

The coolest part was The Crypt.  Actually the largest cathedral crypt (63.4m long) in Britain or Ireland, constructed in 1172-1173. Having been renovated in the early 2000s, it is now open for visitors.The crypt contains various monuments and historical features, including:
  • the oldest known secular carvings in Ireland, two carved statues that until the late 18th century stood outside the Tholsel (Dublin’s medieval city hall, which was demolished in 1806)
  • a tabernacle and set of candlesticks which were used when the cathedral last operated (for a very short time) under the “Roman rite”, when the Roman Catholic king, James II, having fled England in 1690, came to Ireland to fight for his throne and attended High Mass in the temporary restoration of Christ Church as a Roman Catholic cathedral.
  • the stocks, formerly in Christ Church Place, made in 1670 and used for the punishment of offenders before the Court of the Dean’s Liberty (the small area under the cathedral’s exclusive civic authority), moved here in 1870
  • historic books and altar goods of the Cathedral
  • “The Cat & The Rat” which were found in an organ – they had been mummified!!
a temporary exhibit of the costumes used in The Tudors (mini series in HBO)
and it USED to contain Saint Laurence O’Toole’s Heart. Lorcán Ua Tuathail, also known as Saint Laurence O’Toole (1128 – 14 November 1180) was Archbishop of Dublin at the time of the Norman invasion of Ireland. He played a prominent role in the Irish Church Reform Movement of the 12th century and mediated between the parties during and after the invasion. He was canonised in 1225 by Pope Honorius III. More on Sait Laurence O’Toole (HERE)Saint Lorcán’s skull was brought to England in 1442 by a nobleman named Sir Rowland Standish (relation of Myles Standish) who had fought at Agincourt. The bones were interred at the parish church of Chorley in England, now named St. Laurence’s. The bones disappeared in the Reformation under Henry VIII’s rule. Although mainly revered by Roman Catholics, his heart was preserved in the Anglican-affiliated Church of Ireland’s Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin from the 13th century (pictured above) until 3 March 2012 WHEN IT WAS STOLEN. The Dean of Christ Church Cathedral and the Diocese of Dublin and Glendalough, the Most Reverend Dermot Dunne stated “I am devastated that one of the treasured artifacts of the cathedral is stolen”. He added “It has no economic value, but it is a priceless treasure that links our present foundation with its founding father.”The heart (as it was before) is pictured here…the thieves opened the iron cage and stole the iron heart with the actual heart inside it….

I had asked about the heart as we read about it and heard about it during our tour of the Cathedral and was astonished to hear it was stole.  It sounds like it was like the Italian Job…very planned out.  The strange thing was it must have been for a private collection and not for money as they left the huge gold plates and candle sticks that must have been worth millions.  (more on the heist here)
Strongbow’s Tomb (I am learning more about Ireland’s history and where names of bar’s and beer’s (or ciders) are from!!)  Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke (of the first creation), Lord of Leinster, Justiciar of Ireland (1130 – 20 April 1176) was a Cambro-Norman lord notable for his leading role in the Norman invasion of Ireland. Like his father, Richard fitz Gilbert was also commonly known by his nickname Strongbow (Norman French: Arc-Fort).
After the church we ventured back to the hotel (which was very close to Christ Church) and visited the bar next store – The Beer Market (but first had to stop for a picture on Lord Edward Street). 
The Beer Market had the BEST WINGS I have ever had!!  They were amazing and the beer was the best!  I also enjoyed how nice everyone was – so nice to be out of Paris. The beer was actually owned (so was the restaurant) by Galway Bay (which is in Galaway – where we are headed later this week!!) 
evidence that they were AMAZING! Another note….why do they not give you a bowl of hot water with lemons in American for your wings, this makes SO much more sense than extra napkins or wet wipes! Europe so far as been all about saving resources…I cannot wait until USA gets on board with this!

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