Friday, June 19, 2009

The best city in the world is... Dublin.

I’ve been lazy with this blog. Very very lazy.
I’d better start from my first post-Spain trip.
It came about in an odd way. £2 flights from either Ryan Air or EasyJet (they’re both the same to me), so Gill and I decided we would book a flight somewhere and actually do some travelling. We weren't keen on anything in particular so we chose Dublin. Actually, Gill chose and I reluctantly agreed.
Dublin was amazing. Everyone was kind and cheerful – even the airport staff! We had a tremendous time wandering around the beautiful streets. Most things are walking distance, so we hoofed about from attraction to attraction.
I am pleased to say that I had my first Guinness in the Guinness factory – and I loved it. In fact, the whole Guinness factory tour was great fun, even though at the time I was NOT a beer drinker. Then we went on a tour of Dublin Castle. The tour guide was terrific fun and told us some excellent and cheeky stories.
At my insistence we also went to the Carmelite Church in Whitefriar Street to visit what may be the remains of St Valentine. These remains were given to the church from Pope Gregory XVI. Rome also claims to have him, so who knows. Apparently this church is a place of pilgrimage for those celebrating love. I was certainly celebrating how I had managed to fall in love with Dublin. If I ever get the chance it would be wonderful to stay there for longer and really explore properly.
All in all, Dublin is now my favourite city. I was only there for two days, but it won me over in about two minutes. And this is despite the fact that the rain bucketed down, held off a minute, then poured again. It’s almost a treat to see all the Dubliners walking about without umbrellas, getting soaked because (as a very funny busker announced to the world) they are so stubborn they are determined not to let the rain dictate their movements.
On another quick note, the National Gallery of Ireland was wonderful. The Taking of Christ was so beautiful I found it hard to leave. I know it is the nature of art to move and evolve, but I don’t think I’ve seen any modern art that has taken my breath away quite like that.