Friday, June 13, 2008


We went to Ireland at the end of last month. We did another whirlwind-weekend trip, leaving on Friday and coming home on Monday. This is our Hotel in downtown Dublin. It is called the Fitzwilliam Townhouse. Very charming, but like most hotels in Europe, small and thin-walled. We were on the top floor with no elevator, so we had to really consider if we were going out again before we hiked up to our room.

There is a story that long ago when Ireland was under British rule, one of the queens died. They told everyone to paint their doors black for mourning, but instead everyone in Dublin painted their doors red, yellow, green etc... as a rebellion of sorts. Oooh, dangerous. Anyhow, all of the Georgian sector of Dublin still carries on this tradition of lovely colored doors. Our hotel's was blue. However, even though I've read this story in two separate books, it may have no merit. Who knows. They sure are cool looking. Below it looks as if I've pasted two shots together, but this is just how they look. There are hundreds of them.

This is one of the doors at Christ's church Cathedral. Really beautiful churches all over. It was hard to keep straight which ones where Catholic or Protestant.

Next is Dublin's Castle. Not very impressive, and mostly rebuilt in the 1500's on. We found a cooler one later in our trip.

This the main door at Trinity College. Trinity College houses the Book of Kells which is one of the oldest illustrated manuscripts in the world. It's neat, I guess. You can only see a few pages of it. However, the tour then leads you on to the coolest thing we saw there. The Long Room. An old library room that houses the college's huge collection of rare and old books.
You aren't allowed to take pictures in here. I understand, I also figure that if the Louvre will let you take shots of Monets and Rembrandts without a fuss, I could risk it here. No flash of course. I kept the camera in my purse so the shots aren't very good. But I just had to. This room is mesmerizing. We stayed in there just looking in awe for about 30 minutes. A must see if you are in Ireland.

Here is a link for a better shot:
Or here:

This is the Ha'penny bridge. Named for the toll it used to charge to cross. A half penny. It was the only pedestrian bridge for ages. It crosses the river Liffey. It is just down stream from the Guinness brewery. They claim that water from the river Liffey is what makes Guinness so magical and tasty. Being teetotaling Mormons, we'll have to take their word on that.
By the way, they no longer charge you anything to cross it.
Cool windows. Great architectural details everywhere you look.
Clayton near the river. It was oddly green, and no, they hadn't dyed it for any festivals. Not sure I would want to drink anything made with it...but hey. Whatever works.

Take a good look. Or don't. This is the Molly Malone statue on Grafton street. She is also affectionately known as "the tart with the cart". Poor Molly. Getting groped by tourists on a regular basis. (Note the polished areas?) I had to hide my eyes in shame.

We took a train up to Malahide to see the castle there. It's about a thirty minute ride up and a gorgeous ten minute walk to the castle. Here is Clayton on the path.

And lounging in front of the castle. Nearby we passed Cricket fields with actual games going on. Sometimes you just see the perfect things to make you feel like you are abroad.

Here we are with the castle in the back round. There are something like 300 castles or ruins of castles you can visit in Ireland. Being limited on time we were thrilled to see such a good looking example on our short trip.

Well, our wandering is winding down. Clayton takes the LSAT this Monday and we are back to work and drudgery. Boo hoo. Thanks for indulging us on our blog. We might have one more trip to try, but who knows. We would like to settle down soon too. So expect normal blogs in the future.


Kirsten J said...

Oh hi.

Normally people's vacation pictures are cool for a minute but then you stop being intrigued because if you've never been there it might as well be a cartoon.

I found myself very engaged in these pictures, probably because there were stories. :)

I LOVED the shot from your purse of all the books. It looked like an artsy deliberate shot. Oh you!!!

I like castles.

Shauna said...

Okay, so are there any beautiful place left that you haven't visited yet? Ireland is tops on my list of places I'm dying to go, and this has just made me want to go that much more. Lucy would do dandy on the 10 hour flight, I'm sure.

So the LSAT is Monday, as in, today? Good luck Clayton! Maybe we should have a celebratory get together with Heidi? Yes, I'm sure Clayton will be thrilled to celebrate the taking of an 8 hour test with a bunch of people he doesn't know. Let's be honest, I'm just looking for any excuse to hang out.

Tiff said...

Hi. Wow! Ireland! I have really enjoyed your traveling blog! Hope to see you soon. Good luck Clay on the LSAT!

Matt and Melissa said...

man, i think that almost anyone who reads your blog gets jealous of all your travel adventures. maybe someday we will get to travel to cooler places than Wal-Mart and Target. sigh. thanks for the cool pics and stories.

leigh said...

you guys have so much fun! I'm jealous. I want to travel all over the place!

Matt & Michelle Cannon Family said...

I love your posts! I can't believe the places you guys go. It makes me so jealous! thanks for your comments on our blog -- you're so sweet! Pleeeeeeeeeease call us when you're in town longer than 12 hours!

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