Already one day after our trip to Lough Derg and Bunratty Castle (see last post) we went to the other side of the green island into the capital of the country, which in Irish is named so beautifully Baile Átha Cliath (in English: “Town of the Hurdled Ford”) for two reasons. Reason 1: A concert for which I had tickets for almost a year. Reason 2: My parents came to visit and we picked them up from the airport there.
Before we went to the concert of my favorite singer Ed Sheeran in the evening, we first checked into our accommodation in Leixlip after a three-hour drive from the west to east coast of Ireland. Leixlip is a cute suburb of Dublin. Then we drove to Phoenix Park where the spectacle was to take place. The park turned out to be very vast and so we spent quite a while walking to the concert area, where we were surprised to learn that we had mistaken our tickets for seat tickets. So up onto the already rather crowded area with standing places, on which young and old, female and male, fan and companions gathered close together. The opening act was Anne-Marie who already spread a decent mood with her songs such as “2002” or “FRIENDS”, until the Main-Act, which – as is easy to recognize – has Irish roots, appeared after some time. The crowd roared, the open air concert including the beautiful sunset was simply an experience. The weather was perfect, it was a beautiful evening. Then, when the popular song “Galway Girl” (both the old Irish version and the new one from Ed Sheeran) was placed, even the Irish band Beoga, with whom Ed had written this song, came on stage and the whole thing was broadcast live on Irish television. Everyone was screaming louder now – that’s how it’s supposed to be! In the end, even my companion had fun and enjoyed the evening. 😉 For me it was a real highlight in this year abroad.
In addition to a few photographic impressions of the evening, you will also find a small concert cut-up below:
Since my parents were meant to arrive the next day in the evening, we spent the day in Dublin with sightseeing. First, we further explored the Phoenix Park we already discovered at the concert, which, as I said, is huge. More precisely, it’s more than 800 hectares big. This makes it one of the largest inner-city parks worldwide and is not in vain referred to as the “green lung” of Dublin. So we still had a lot to explore in the searing midday heat. Then we went through the city center of Dublin to a district oozing of stately Georgian brick buildings with colorful arched doors. The Merrion Square, Dublin’s most elegant and prestigious square, was built during the heyday of Dublin in the 18th century and was home to celebrities such as W.B. Yeats or Oscar Wilde. In the middle of the square is a well-kept park full of pretty flowerbeds, secluded shady spots and lawns that invites you to picnic or sunbathe. We didn’t strike this invitation and made ourselves comfortable on the bright green in the sun for a while.
Then we walked back to the city center and picked up my parents from the airport afterwards in the evening. The joy of reunion was great! All together we let the late evening end with one or two ciders and Guiness in the busy hotel bar.
For the next day proper tourist sightseeing with my parents was planned. First we strolled down Grafton Street, one of Dublin’s largest and most popular shopping streets, where many street musicians steal each other’s show. There was even a musician with his piano in the pedestrian zone – something we hadn’t seen before. We also went into the impressive Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre, which looks like a giant greenhouse with an oversized clock and a glass dome. We grabbed an ice cream there and then strolled to Trinity College, which in our opinion is Dublin’s most beautiful sight. This architecturally outstanding site is Ireland’s most prestigious university and houses, among other things, the old library with the Long Room, the longest one-chamber library in the world. It’s the one that reminded us so much of Harry Potter films when we visited on our first holiday in Ireland (see our very first blog post ). In the oldest university of Ireland you can admire 200,000 old books as well as the world-famous Book of Kells, one of the oldest books in the world and probably the oldest Celtic book. To get in here, you have to queue for a long time and not just pay a little, but it’s worth it! You can also avoid the longer waiting time by booking online in advance. 😉
After a stroll through the idyllic grounds of Trinity College, most of us were thirsty. We went across the road into the small Whiskey Museum, where everyone except me had a glass of whiskey. Then we went to the most famous quarter of Dublin – the Temple Bar district. In the historic heart of Dublin we had dinner in one of the quaint Irish pubs with live music. More specifically, it was even the same pub where we had eaten when we arrived for our very first holiday in Ireland.
It had started to rain and so we finished our city stroll with a visit of the Temple Bar and the adjacent whiskey shop, which sells, among other things, the well-tasting whiskey of the same name. In the late afternoon we drove back home to the West Coast.
At this time my parents had no idea what else was waiting for them and how much better it would get! Dublin may be the beating heart of Ireland, where a large part of the Irish live and work, but by no means it’s a reflection of the rest of Ireland. The rest is even a thousand times more beautiful – promised! 🙂