Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Travel journal, part nine: Dublin

Tadaa! And I am back from yet another trip :) But this time, in stead of taking the train somewhere close I flew all the way to Ireland with Liss! A new city and a whole new country for me :) Yay!

Dublin is a very small city compared to Paris but that was again a very welcome break. And it was very nice and cosy for an industrial city too! Lots of colourful houses and small parks here and there. And then of course the river Liffey also added something to the city panorama. As I've said before, it's usually the river that makes the city. It's very often the area around the water that's the best part of the town, and even though Dublin didn't have any wonderful riverside promenades like for example Paris, the blocks just around it were my favourites. It was here you found that certain athmosphere.

Here's what the river looked like in the evening. The big buildning is called the Four Courts and actually reminded me a bit of Pantheon here in Paris. And we were really lucky with the weather while we were there. It didn't rain one single time. In stead it was actuallt really warm and you were able to walk around with a t-shirt very late in the evening.

This is a bridge I liked very much. It was actually quite far away from the real city center and not at all famous, but sometimes I guess the most famous things aren't the best ones :)

And it's not a joke that Ireland is green! EVERYTHING was green in Dublin! The trains, the souvenirs, the poles for the streetlights and even the eveninglights underneath the bridges were green! It almost got a bit surreal in the end. Wonder if the irish people really love green or have they perhaps grown sick of it already? I think I would...

The most common architectural style in Dublin was georgian, that means there were a lot of brick-houses with this very special shape. Actually quite angular. At first I thought they were quite boring, but when I had spent those three days there, I actually started liking them. They were romantic and sweet in their own way. They all had a personality. And the doors were all painted in different colours, as you can see on the picture above. Those doors happened to be green and red, but I also saw blue, yellow, pink and violet doors :)

In Dublin I of course also went to the Guinness Storehouse. It was an expensive but very well-made museum telling the history of the company and also explaining how Guinness is made. And in the end of the tour everyone got a free pint of Guinness. I almost finished the whole glass. But only almost. It was still too much like beer for me...

But oh, I also finally drank real cider!! It's so hard to find cider here in France, so once in Ireland, I took advantage of the situation and ordered a Bulmers. And it was sooooo good :) Not at all like the finnish cider, but still real cider! Mmm...

Then we also went to see Trinity College and the old Book of Kells in the library and that was really nice too. I really liked the college. We actually had a small guided tour with a student who told us a lot of funny stories about the university and its' buildings and I have to say that I woulnd't mind at all studying there. It seemed really nice and friendly! Who knows, maybe I'll go for another exchange someday? ;)

But even though Dublin was the main target for our trip, it however wasn't my favourite. My favourite part of the trip was this:

The headland of Howth. Howth is a small village by the sea in the north-eastern suburbs of Dublin. It took about half an hour to get there by the local (green) train called DART. After briefly looking at the village itself, we then climed up on the headland that you can walk around following different small paths. We decided the follow the coastline as much as possible, which meant the longes loop. It took us more than three hours to get around the whole headland and even though the sun was broiling hot and we got very, very tired of climbing up and down the cliffs all the time, it was totally worth it. The views were aboslutely magnificent! Totally splendid! I took a lot of pictures but as always, the photos only give a small hint of what it was like in reality. This was also the first time I saw the sea (or actually any area of water bigger than a river) since I left Finland and I hadn't quite realized how much I've missed it. The lovely smell of the saltwater of the sea, mixed with the smell of seaweed... Hearing the seagulls scream and feeling the refreshing sea breeze on your skin... It was simply lovely. That's all I can say.

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