Dave's Ireland

Dave's Ireland

July 18-27, 2009

I'd been to Ireland before briefly- in Dublin for a weekend in 1992 while I was doing a summer semester in London. I remember the people being among the friendliest I had ever met, and Dublin having lots of trash everywhere.
I've found myself listening to more and more U2, even buying the new album the week it came out back in March of this year and enjoying the album release party with the local tribute band Mysterious Ways. I still haven't bought tickets to their Houston or Dallas show, figuring in October I should be working and the shows are in the middle of the week, tough with a three hour drive each way.

That being said the 2004 edition of Lonely Planet's Ireland had been sitting on my shelf for some time, and it would be life resume material to see U2 in their home town of Dublin...so only about a month out I pulled the trigger for this trip. A pretty laid back journey with a marquee event to cap it off.

Insight Vacations tour- Focus on Ireland

Our group picture
Thanks very much to Sue for scanning this in for me.

The movie Far and Away inspired my initial interest in Ireland back in '92, so I made sure to watch it again before leaving on this trip and I still thoroughly enjoyed it. Some quotes:
Joseph Donnelly: All saints preserve us! We thought you died, Da!
Joe Donnelly: I did son, I passed away... I've come back to tell you something. You're an especially odd boy.
Joseph Donnelly: You came back from the dead to tell me that I'm odd?

Shannon Christie: She's got an awfully large chest to be goin' to church.
Joseph Donnelly: Shannon, all chests are equal in the eyes of the Lord.


Austin (AUS) to Chicago (ORD) 07/18/09 12:30 pm - 3:04 pm American Airlines 2486
Chicago (ORD) to London (LHR) 07/18/09 5:05 pm - 6:50 am American Airlines 86


London (LHR) to Dublin (DUB) 07/19/09 9:05 am - 10:20 am Aer Lingus 153

"Welcome to a land of legends, of misty mountains, lovely lakes and a warm friendly greeting wherever you go.
On arrival at Dublin Airport, your airport shuttle service leaves for the tour hotel at 08:00, 11:00 & 13:30."

Our tour guide Maureen Maloney picks up about seven of us.

Our driver John Joe and our bus for the week.

Hotel: Burlington.
#73 of 200

One thing that attracted me to Insight was their no single supplement policy if you are willing to share. It turns out I would get a room to myself for the trip, cool.

Had a nice lunch at the pub right down the street, the Canal Bank Cafe. Omelette (parmesan, tomato, asparagus) and chunky fries for 14 euro.

"Later, a sightseeing tour of Dublin takes you past the Customs House, along O’Connell Street and through Phoenix Park. Travel along the river Liffey to see the Guinness Brewery (Gravity Bar, featuring stunning 360º views of the city) and visit Dublin Castle (when open) [it was closed] before admiring the 18th century buildings of the Georgian section of the city."

The Clarence Hotel- owned by U2 and apparently they do hang out here.

We made a stop at the National Museum of Ireland.

The most interesting thing I saw was these well preserved bog people below.

"Later, join your Tour Director and fellow passengers for a welcome drink."
We would meet up around 6:30 in the hotel bar for a free drink, then Ben and I would go walk around town.

I love how this pic came out.

One end of Grafton Street

Just inside St. Stephen's Green

Oscar Wilde statue at Merrion Square
"A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal."
"A man can be happy with any woman as long as he does not love her."
"Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much."
"I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again."
"One should always play fairly when one has the winning cards."
"The aim of life is self-development. To realize one's nature perfectly - that is what each of us is here for."
"The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about."

There are something like 18 American presidents with ties to Ireland in their background, most famously John F. Kennedy. Maureen said the literal Irish translation of "kennedy" is "big ugly head".
Apparently Barack Obama's maternal grandparents are Irish.

A nice part of Irish hospitality- helping you not get run over.

Looking northwest across the River Liffey, which divides the city into north and south.

Memorial to Potato Famine victims
This had a tremendous effect on the country- for instance at the time the population was 8 million people and has only now recovered to about 5 million.

Heading into the Temple Bar neighborhood.

What city am I in again?

You could hear the U2 covers coming out of several pubs in anticipation of the big event!

Had dinner at The Quays Bar
I had leek & potato soup (which I loved and would end up having several times on this trip) and very good Guinness stew with mash, about 25 euro.

Had a drink at this bar.

Ben and I in front of the actual Temple Bar.
Ben is from Vancouver and was doing this as a pre-trip before attending a wedding in England. We were the only ones in the late-20s to 30s group and he was a great friend to have for the trip.

Gallagher was an influential Irish rock guitarist.

Wiki Travel
Visit Dublin

Wiki Saint Patrick info

Ikea opening

Click for Dublin, Ireland Forecast

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