Yay! It’s time to share more IRELAND PHOTOS! I will be posting some today and tomorrow, and saving the best for last (all the nature-y stuff) on Monday.
Besides the first weekend at the wedding when the whole family was there, I spent most of this trip with my parents, and my Uncle Ed and Aunt Laura. We stayed two nights in Derry, a large town in Northern Ireland with some incredible history, and 2 nights in Dublin, the capitol of the Republic of Ireland. There were some stops in between, but I wanted to share photos of these two cities together.. because they’re both cities and it makes sense in my head, ok?
OK. Let’s start in Derry. I liked it a lot. It was small enough that you could see most everything in a day and a half, but big enough that there were plenty of things to do (especially with our group of 5, all with different interests), and lots of places to eat. It’s a good city if you want to be able to wander on your own, or with a couple people, or with everyone. You can’t really get lost, but if you do there are plenty of friendly Irish people waiting to help you out.
Derry is very artistic. There is a large village of craft shops and art galleries which was fun to peruse. We stopped by Nerve Visual, just across the Peace Bridge, and saw the photography exhibit they had up. There is also a collection of murals along one street, and each mural commemorates a specific time in Derry’s rough history. We only saw them from afar, from up on top of the old city wall, but there is also the option to see them up close.
The Peace Bridge has only been around since 2011 and it’s modern look is a cool contrast to the generally older look the city has. I was listening to Rick Steve’s interview with a local about the bridge and he mentioned it being a huge reason for why the city is doing so well lately. It connected the two sides of the river in a way they’d never been before.
The Guild Hall has some SERIOUS stained glass work. I went in on my own the first time, and only stumbled upon the grand ballroom because Ed Sheeran’s new album was blasting from inside 😉 Obviously I was intrigued, and then was greeted with this massively wonderful space filled with beautiful glasswork. I was stunned. And then an hour later I brought my parents back so they could experience it.
The old city wall is a circular half mile, I believe. You can walk up and around it at any time, but we actually took a guided tour, which I would recommend. Learning more about the wall was super interesting, even though much of the wall’s (and Derry’s) history was kind of intense.
Ok, onto Dublin. Dublin has it’s charms, but overall it’s a big, fast, working city that kind of looks just like… a city. We went to Kilmainham Gaol and took the tour, recommended by a friend. That was a highlight of the trip. But to be honest, I don’t really have much to say about Dublin. It was nice. We did the things we wanted to do – walked around Trinity College, walked around Stephen’s Green, saw the Jail, saw some cathedrals – and now that I’ve been there, I know that I don’t need to go back. I am confident in my knowledge that one does not have to love or pretend to love every place one ever visits. And I learned this lesson in Rome last spring. Like Rome, Dublin was good to experience, but I only need to experience it once.
And now that every Dublin-lover hates me, LOOK AT MY PHOTOS! 😉
A big theme of this trip, for me, was ‘paying attention’. Sounds funny, but usually Nate does the paying attention (like, during tours) and gives me the interesting cliff notes after. I am usually drawing, exploring, taking photos or basically doing anything except paying attention, ha! But Nate wasn’t on this trip, and so I listened, and… I actually learned a lot! 😉
More pics tomorrow!!!