Monday, May 23, 2011

Dublin, Ireland

This is Gogarty's.  A traditional Irish pub just down the street from our hotel on Temple Bar road.  It's over by Trinity College, and a couple blocks from where Obama will speak tonight.  I slipped in here on my own, and soon got swept up in the celebration.  It was packed, playing the traditional songs, and I met so many great people, including the band.  Yes, a little River Dance exhibition as well.  Very fun.  A great place, and a great evening.  I felt home.

Today, Obama is in town, and last week it was Queen Elizabeth.  I very big week for politics here.  On another note, it was a en epic rugby championship, where Leinster's home team snatched a victory from the jaws of defeat.  I'm not an experienced rugby fan, but even I was caught up in the miraculous recovery from a 5-22 halftime deficit to an outrageous 33-22 win.  Absolutely incredible, and the young Jonny Sexton was the hero.  Christian, all I could think of, was you.

Guinness is a big part of this city, and country I would say.  It's a celebration, a way of life.  We toured the factory.  It's such big business (the beer and the tour), they've converted the original factory into a lavish museum of sorts, with a 360 degree-glassed-in bar at the top of the 7 story structure.  A great vantage point overlooking the city.

There's plenty of culture here, as well as a distinguished literary history.  Moira, here's to you.  A little tribute to James Joyce, with a couple of readings this week.

This is to you, Mike and Kathy -guess the sir name :-)    We were out walking around and coincidentally ran into this place.  As it seems to be everywhere, a very friendly, unassuming atmosphere.  I could get used to this.  Okay, I am used to it.  We had a good chat with the bartender, who shared much of the bar's history, including Hillary's visit a couple years ago, as well as some details about how some of the literary greats used to hang out in our very midst.

 As it turns out, our cabbie from the airport was a tour bus driver a few years ago.  We were lucky to get a bit of the blarney on our way in.  The flags on the front of the hotel are with respect to President Obama's visit today.  He'll be speaking about a block from our hotel.  You can see an inkling of the security involved, with the street barriers in the foreground.  In the distance you can see a spire, I have to refresh my memory on what it commemorates.  Something like 600 meters tall!

A tiny vision of the security detail in the city.  I heard 10,000 officers.  They've been building the stage, and blockades since we've been here.  An amazing amount of concern for the safety of the US President.  The bartender said it was even more-so for the Queen's visit a couple days prior.  The first visit of the queen since Ireland declared her independence some 140 or so years ago.  Truly a momentous occasion, and those who've discussed it, were moved, and very positive about it.  One of the highlights, a bow by the queen in the Garden of Remembrance.  She also started her speech in Gaelic, another genuine heartfelt moment for the locals, and I must admit, even made me a little emotional just hearing about it.  (Moira, Sarah, quit giggling!)

Guinness surge.  As the nitrogen escapes, it creates a cascading surge.  A very unique and delicious aspect of the famous beer from Ireland.


  1. Awesome review, Tim. I love the video...a soundscape, too! Have you thought about writing reviews for Trip Advisor? You're kinda good at this stuff.

  2. Jennie, I concur. At the end of the vid clip....Hi Ravi!

  3. AHHH.. The Emerald Ilse! Looks like you got lucky with the weather and much more ENJOYMENT is a fine theme indeed. May your cup / Pint runneth over!


  4. Thanks Jennie. I haven't, yet. Kirsty- hehe, I didn't know if I should take that out or not. But yes, I will pass along the hello. :-)

    Dave, yes, the Emerald Isle. She's a beauty. I've been lucky, for sure. That said, the weather has been very windy, and on off rainy the whole time. When it rains, we get a pint. When it's sunny, sometimes we get a pint. :-) Thanks for the well-wishes.

  5. We want more posts of your adventures we can live vicariously and we love your sharing ox

  6. Tim, I thought this might interest you . . .