Sunday, June 28, 2009

Dublin - Trinity College Gate

Trinity College Gate in Central Dublin

This photo is of the main gate of Trinity College. According to Wikipedia, Trinity is one of the seven ancient universities in the English speaking world and the only one outside the present United Kingdom.

It is a gorgeous campus and boasts alumni such as Jonathan Swift, Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde, and Samuel Beckett. Pretty impressive and incredible to think as a student, you are sitting in some of the same classrooms.

Cup of Tea

Cup of tea with knife, fork and spoon

By trade, I am a coffee drinker. However, I do have to say there is somethign about the tea in Ireland. I drink it every day and virtually don't have any coffee. (I substitute Guinness for my black beverage.) At any rate, I shot this on the second morning when I sat down in the breakfast room of my hotel.

Although there is something very simple about this photo, I always flip back to it. I think I like the symmetry of the silver ware or something. It also make me long for yummy Irish sausages.

Dancing at Gogarty's Pub

two people dancing at Gogarty's Pub in Dublin

While we were listening to some rollicking good reels at Oliver St. John Gogarty in Temple Bar, this gentleman started dancing. I guess he couldn't contain himself. In short order, the woman in the picture was up and dancing with him as well.

When I looked at this photo when I first got home, it reminded me of the couple dancing at the Fais Do Do stage at Jazz Fest in New Orleans. I guess it doesn't matter where in the world you are, when you have good music there is always a chance someone will be dancing.

Friday, June 26, 2009

250 Years of Guinness

250 Year Anniversary Commerative at Guinness factory

It was very exciting to be able to go to Ireland and visit the Guinness Factory during the 250th Anniversary yaer. I have posted tons of pics and stories about Guinness over the past few years. So you can imagine my excitement.

The actually day the Arthur Guinness signed the brewery contract (for a whopping 9000 years) was on Sept. 24th. Guinness is having a big bash called Arthur's Day to commemerate the event.


Traditional Music in Gogarty's Pub

Traditional Music Players in Dublin

One of the benefits of Dublin as a big city is there is a lot of music. You can find music in plenty of pubs every day.

These musicians were playing in Oliver St. John Gogarty in Temple Bar. Although they do play traditional songs, the actually music isn't really considered a 'traditional session' because the musicians are using microphones.

In a traditional session, the gathering is relatively informal and the group of musicians is not set. Tradition or not, the music is great.

Iran Protesters In Dublin

Protesters on O'Connell Street in Dublin

One of the things that I love about being in a foreign country is that you get to watch their news broadcasts. You start to see world events through their cultural lens.

While I was in Dublin, the British government forced two Iranian diplomats out of England. There was a lot of press coverage of the dispute over and recent uprising after the election.

While I was walking down O'Connell Street, a main thoroughfare in Dublin, I noticed this protesters. It had never occurred to me that people in Ireland would be protesting the election in Iran.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Pouring the Perfect Pint at the Guinness Factory

While I was in Dublin, I did the Guinness Factory tour. At the very end, you can go to Gravity Bar and get a freshly poured pint of the good stuff.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Grave at St. Canice in Killkenny

Grave Cross at St. Canice in Killkenny

In general, I will talk a lot about the great pubs in Ireland and how much I love Guinness, but I actually do manage to see historic things as well.

I took this photo in the church yard at St. Canice Cathedral in Killkenny. It was one of the few grave markers that had not been worn down.

Guinness from the Factory

Guinness Pints at the Gravity Bar

At the top of the Guinness Factory tour is a place called the Gravity Bar. It is where you can go and collect your pint that is included in this part of the trip.

There is always a lot of activity up there. You can actually see the whole city because all the walls are glass.

Even better are the yummy pints that are being poured as well. Slainte!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Byron on the Go in Dublin

Couple in Dublin - Man with Byron book in back pocker

One of the things that I love about Ireland is that it is a country of people who read. It is not unusual to spy someone in a pub who is reading a book of poetry.

Ireland is definitely a nation of great writers. One day as I was walking toward Jarvis Center, I noticed the young boy in front of me had a Byron paperback stuffed in his back pocket.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Typical Irish Pub

There is a long standing debate with my brother about why Guinness tastes so much better in Ireland. We have surmised that it is the grain, the water, the Irish just being downright greedy and keeping the best stuff for themselves.

We have also heard that Guinness doesn't travel well. It needs to be fresh to taste its best. In Ireland, people drink the crap out of Guinness. I think this photo demonstrates that pretty well.

The average pub will go through about a barrel a day - that is what most publicans will tell you. Just counting the days until I land on the Emerald Isle to enjoy a pint.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Stone Mad Celtic Iron Gate

Celtic iron gate at Stone Mad

Stone Mad is an Irish pub that opened in Cleveland's Edgewater area. The level of detail inside the pub is amazing. It is a proper pub (translation: no tv). You go there for conversation and a good Guinness. I always find both.

However, the extravagance that abounds does not end inside, the outside is amazing. Just check out the detail on this gate outside of pub. It is very rare that such great craftsmanship and care are given to anything these days.

Definitely worth checking out.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Old Stone Church

Old Stone Church from park in Public Square

As I was walking through Public Square, I snapped a picture of the Old Stone Church from the far side of the park. Although I had posted a similar photo of the Old Stone Church in the fall, the perspective of this one shows how the church is nestled into the tall buildings that surround it.