Actually, this song (The Dublin Saunter) is pretty descriptive!
It was for Isaac probably what visiting Canada is like for an American, or Malaysia for an Indonesian. Different but also so culturally close that it's very comfortable. We walked Grafton Street:
There were, by the way, absolutely gorgeous flowers for sale on the street:
Saw St. Stephen's Green:
Wandered over the river Liffey
I admired Ha' Penny Bridge, which has a unique history:
Dublin's version of the Millennium Dome - the Spire. Does every city have a tacky piece of turn of the millennium architecture?
We wandered around the suburb we stayed in, Ranelagh. It's preppy and pretty and I loved the stereotyipcalness of it all. Dublin is known for its doors.
I loved the murals on the ceiling of the State hall. This one is of St. Patrick arriving in Ireland.
That's Judah and I at the bottom of this photo:
Also - side note. Grafton Street is filled with street performers. This guy cracks me up. Apparently he's there all the time, dressed as though he's being blown away by the wind. If you put a coin in his cup, he drops his briefcase.
What Isaac MOST wanted to do was visit here:
This is the Chester Beatty Library. Beatty was some rich guy who collected just about anything that caught his eye. Our interest was in the religious section, particularly the New Testament Papyri. Beatty collected some of the oldest papyri of Paul's writings in existance, actually from less than 200 years after Paul lived. It is just insane to sit there looking at frayed papyrus of nearly all of Paul's books, one after another. Isaac can read of it (that's what we've been paying for these past four years!), and to me, to know these were passed from church to church and read and taught... amazing.
For me, though, the best part is what I love doing everywhere. I love wandering the streets, finding a little local spot, enjoying the food and chatting with the locals. In Dublin, that was Gammells.
We popped in for dinner because everywhere else was closing.
It was perfect. It gave Isaac a chance to buy all the pastries he loved when he worked at a bakery as a teen in England.
They offered steak and kidney pie, mince pies, bangers and mash, Irish stew, sausage rolls, pasties, quiche, of course tons of cookies and scones and other pastries. Also interesting to me - they came across like a coffee shop and we enjoyed the tea, but they also served wine.
The guy behind the counter was Chinese and obviously a new immigrant. I started chatting with him about our trip to China last summer and a guy sitting next to us joined in. He was a scruffy tall drink of water with a very dry sense of humor who had us absolutely rolling with his comments on Chinese culture. Turns out he was actually Mr. Gammell, the owner! It quickly came out that I also grew up in Asia. Mr. Gammell was giving his employee a hard time at one point and asked us if we knew that they eat cats in China. I told them that my neighbors ate my dog in Indonesia (true story). Mr. Gammell was absolutely flabbergasted. He couldn't stop talking about it. We came in two days later before heading off to the airport and he was still talking about it. So funny. They also fawned over Judah and sent us home with a bag full of free pastries. SO nice. If all Irish folk are as funny and hospitable as Mr. Gammell, wow. What a country.