First Visit to Dublin

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Well okay, we flew into Dublin, so I’d been there before, but we didn’t see anything. So technically, this was my first visit to Dublin city center.

Last weekend we headed to Dublin to visit our friends Alan and Bre and their daughters, Orla and Ciara. Alan has worked in the past for the Dunhill Multi-Education Centre where Kathleen works, and he was the first connection Kathleen and UW-Stout had to Dunhill. I’d met Alan on one of his trips to Menomonie, but this was my first chance to meet the rest of the family.

We got into Dublin mid-afternoon on Friday, so we took some time to bum around the city center, near Trinity College and St. Stephen’s Green. The population of the Dublin area is around 1.1 million people, but it feels like a much bigger city, more along the lines of Chicago. It’s of course a major international city, which makes a difference. You see a wide variety of cultures represented, which makes for a great mix of things to see and do. Even at mid-afternoon we passed by several pubs with live music going. There was a constant crush of people on the sidewalks, again making it feel like a much bigger city.

Friday evening we went out for dinner and then headed to the Cobblestone Pub, just a few blocks from our friends’ home. The Cobblestone is known for their live music, and this night didn’t disappoint. The front seating section of the bar is permanently posted “Reserved for musicians” for the people that just drop in to jam. It was a very laid back atmosphere, with some great traditional Irish fiddling. According to our friend Alan, famous musicians such as Christy Moore and Frances Black have been known to drop in to listen and join in the fun.

Saturday Kathleen was up early to help Bre run girls to ballet and drama classes, then we spent the rest of the day hanging out and touring Dublin with the gang. We took a great hike at Howth Head, a large hill on a peninsula which, on a clear day, gives a view of all of Dublin. Saturday evening it was out for a great Japanese meal at Yamamori.

Sunday we got an early start back to Tramore along the Coast Road. We saw some beautiful scenery, but the weather turned on us and it was raining with gale force winds before we found our way all the way back to Tramore.

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