Monday, March 31, 2014

Sights to See: Grafton Street, Bewley’s Cafe & Restaurant, Statue of Molly Malone, Dublin, Ireland

Grafton Street  Dublin 2.  Dublin’s main shopping area runs right through the city center.  Now a pedestrian-only zone during business hours, this red brick-paved street stretches for several blocks and is home to international stores as well as local gems.  Though crowded with shoppers on Saturdays, it is always a fine place to stroll and be entertained by street performers or to peel off for a side-street restaurant. 



coffees and sweets at Bewley’s Cafe & Restaurant in Dublin, Ireland
Bewley’s Cafe & Restaurant  78-79 Grafton St.  Dublin’s oldest and biggest cafe, this place has been around since 1927 and is famous for its architecture and Harry Clarke windows.  Check out the bakery section in front as you enter so you know what you want to order when you sit down; then find a seat in the small cafe area in front or in the larger open room in back.  You can also go upstairs to the third floor and sit on an open-air balcony overlooking Grafton Street.  In addition to house-roasted coffee, huge scones, sticky sticky buns, and glittery frosted cupcakes are on the menu.  So is stew and shepherd’s pie, and take-out is an option. 
          Bewley’s Cafe Theatre presents afternoon shows and evening entertainment on the second floor. 




Statue of Molly Malone on Grafton Street in Dublin, Ireland
Statue of Molly Malone  This 18th-century street vendor is nicknamed “the tart with the cart” and “the dish with the fish.”


More things to do in Dublin.

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More information about Ireland.

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan trips.

video and images ©2014 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Friday, March 28, 2014

Things to Do: parks--Merrion Square Park, and St Stephen's Green, Dublin, Ireland

entrance to Merrion Square Park in Dublin, Ireland

path in Merrion Square Park in Dublin, Ireland
Merrion Square Park  Merrion Square, Dublin 2; +353 1 222 5278.  Hours vary seasonally.  This Georgian garden square dates from the late 1700s.  One of the city’s finest parks, it is lined with red-brick Georgian townhouses on three sides.  The remaining side fronts some government buildings, the Natural History Museum, and the National Gallery.  Noteworthy features include many sculptures, a collection of old Dublin lamp posts, a central floral garden, a heather garden, and a playground. 









swans on lake in St Stephen’s Green park in Dublin, Ireland





St Stephen’s Green  South end of Grafton St., city centre, Dublin 2, +353 1 475 7816.  M-Sat 7:30am-dark, Sun 9:30am-dark.  Free.  This Victorian public park is maintained in the original layout, with trees and shrubs planted on the perimeter and Victorian beds that bloom in spring and summer.  To escape rain, visit the Victorian lakeside shelter or in the Victorian Swiss shelters in the park’s center.  Well worth a visit are a waterfall and Pulham rock work on the western side, an ornamental lake that provides a home for waterfowl, and a garden for the visually impaired.  Sculptures are found throughout, and a children's playground is a popular attraction.  Lunchtime concerts are scheduled in summer.

More things to do in Dublin.

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images ©2014 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

 


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Sights to See: National Museum of Ireland--Archaeology, Dublin, Ireland

interior of National Museum of Ireland--Archaeology, in Dublin
National Museum of Ireland--Archaeology  Kildare St., Dublin 2.  Tu-Sat 10-5.  Free.  Opened in 1890, this Victorian Palladian museum building includes a domed rotunda in the entrance hall along with classical Irish-marble columns.  The interior features mosaic floors and beautiful majolica door trims.  Seven galleries trace the development of Irish civilization.  Treasures include the bell of Armagh--a bronze-coated iron hand bell that is believed to have belonged to St. Patrick.  

More things to do in Dublin.

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Travel articles to inspire and help you plan trips.

image ©2014 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Monday, March 24, 2014

Sights to See: Guinness Storehouse tour, Dublin, Ireland

pouring tastes at the Guinness Storehouse, Dublin, Ireland
Guinness Storehouse tour  $19.  This site has been producing the "black stuff" since Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000-year lease in 1759.  A former fermentation plant, the Storehouse is now a visitor center that tells the history of Guinness.  It is Ireland's number one visitor attraction.  The story unfolds as you walk up this 7-story building shaped like a giant pint glass.  When you reach the Gravity Bar at the top, your reward is a 360-degree view of Dublin and a complimentary pint.  Consider buying tickets ahead online—you’ll save a bit of money and you won’t have to wait in line.  And keep in mind that according to Denis O'Reilly of Wild Wicklow Tours, “You’re a real Guinness drinker when at the end of the drink the foam that began at the top is in the bottom of the glass.”

More things to do in Dublin.

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Recipe for a Guinness Chocolate Cake. 

More Guinness. 

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image and video ©2014 Carole Terwilliger Meyers



Friday, March 21, 2014

Sights to See: Ha’penny Bridge, Dublin, Ireland

Ha’penny Bridge, Dublin, Ireland
Ha’penny Bridge  When this single-span structure with white cast-iron railings and decorative lamps was built in 1816, it was Ireland’s first iron bridge.  Prior to its construction, most pedestrians took a ferry across the River Liffey.  Though the fee was only a half penny originally, it has been free since 1919.  When you cross, take note of the many “love locks” that you will see mid-span.  It is a fad now in many European countries for young lovers to place a lock on a bridge and throw the key in the water, symbolizing their never-ending love. 

love locks on Ha’penny Bridge, Dublin, Ireland
More love lock stories:
Love locks in Paris.
Love locks around the world. 
Love locks in trouble. 

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More love sites.

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image ©2014 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Misc.: travel bloggers name their dream hotels

When you ask bloggers to name their bucket list dream hotel, you get some interesting answers.  My own choice is Giraffe Manor in Nairobi.  Someday I hope to make it to Africa and stay here to personally witness the Rothschild giraffes sticking their heads right through the windows. This luxurious, historical lodging is near Nairobi National Park and also to the home of Karen Blixen, who wrote “Out of Africa.”

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image courtesy of venue


Monday, March 17, 2014

Sights to See: Dublin, Ireland

Situated on the Irish Sea, Dublin is Ireland’s capital city.  About 40% of the country’s population lives within an hour's drive.  The Mexican Gulf Stream flows along the coast and keeps the temperature mild enough to grown palm trees, but you can also count on rain almost every day from October through February.  Flat and compact, it is a great walking city, and public transportation is good.  You won’t need a car.  And consider yourself forewarned that Dubliners say everything is just across the street and use pubs as landmarks.  And speaking of pubs, let’s get in the mood for this upcoming series of posts about Dublin and surrounds with this uncut clip of live Irish music from O'Neill's pub in Dublin.

More things to do in Dublin.

More things to do in Ireland. 

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video ©2014 Carole Terwilliger Meyers




Friday, March 14, 2014