Walking the streets of Dublin a couple of months ago, I came across this message for U2's Bono.
Bono is a jerk
He never had to work
He won't pay his tax
Always wears staks
Any guesses as to what the heck staks are?
Oscar Wilde would have been 158 years old today. He was an Irish writer and poet who became one of London's most popular playwrights in the early 1890s.
He passed away in 1900, but that didn't stop me from stalking him last month. In Dublin, I visited the house in which he was raised.
Across the street, in Merrion Square, there was the coolest memorial I've ever seen. It's Oscar Wilde sitting on a large granite boulder.
Then there's the Oscar Wilde's plaque in the Literary Parade of Irish Writers in St. Patrick's Park.
In Paris, I visited Oscar Wilde's final resting place in the city in which he died. Here's his grave in Père Lachaise Cemetery. For more pictures from Cimetière du Père-Lachaise, go here.
Happy Bithday, Oscar!
In Dublin, I visited The Temple Bar one evening. That's the bar called Temple Bar, not to be confused with the area on the south bank of the River Liffey called Temple Bar. Of course, now we're talking Russian dolls, as The Temple Bar is in Temple Bar, but I digress...
There was great live music, as you'll hear from this little video I took.
But what seemed most out of place and brought a huge smile to my face was this Royal Canadian Air Force Roundel on the door leading to the back. It seemed so random and immediately brought me home.
I enjoy the comments left on my Consumers Distributing entry. There are comments from those who fondly remember the old Canadian retail chain, some who worked there and others who aren't at all surprised Consumers Distributing didn't make it.
Last week in Dublin, I needed an adaptor for my power bar. The one that got me through trips to Berlin, Paris and Amsterdam wasn't going to work in Ireland, so I ended up at a store called Argos.
Argos is exactly like Consumers Distributing. You order out of a catalogue and pick it up at a desk with a conveyor belt, just like I remember it. €5.99 later, I had my adaptor.
Ok, Argos wasn't exactly like Consumers Distributing. The item I wanted was in stock.
There's an Irish owned and operated restaurant chain I've seen in Dublin called Maple Moose. They sell crepes, scoop & whipped Ice Cream, Slush Puppie, Waffles and beverages, and they do it all with Canadian branding.
I particularly like the logo.
Learn more at maplemoose.ie.
Paris was gorgeous, Amsterdam was cool, but Dublin is both gorgeous and cool. I love this city!
I have 171 pictures (and one video) in my Dublin Flickr photoset, but here are a few of my favourites.
Kilmainham Gaol is a prison in Dublin, opened in 1796 and closed as an active prison in 1924. The history of Kilmainham Gaol is fascinating, especially with regards to its political prisoners, so yesterday I toured the facility.
And Peter from the Kilmainham Gaol Museum, if you're reading this, you're the very best tour guide I've ever had. Seriously, I'd take this tour again just to hear you speak about James Connolly, Grace Gifford Plunkett, Robert Emmet and Patrick Pearse.
Our foes are strong and wise and wary; but, strong and wise and wary as they are, they cannot undo the miracles of God Who ripens in the hearts of young men the seeds sown by the young men of a former generation. And the seeds sown by the young men of '65 and '67 are coming to their miraculous ripening today. Rulers and Defenders of the Realm had need to be wary if they would guard against such processes. Life springs from death; and from the graves of patriot men and women spring living nations. The Defenders of this Realm have worked well in secret and in the open. They think that they have pacified Ireland. They think that they have purchased half of us and intimidated the other half. They think that they have foreseen everything, think that they have provided against everything; but, the fools, the fools, the fools! — They have left us our Fenian dead, and while Ireland holds these graves, Ireland unfree shall never be at peace.
~ Patrick Pearse at the funeral of Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa on August 1, 1915
For 38 years, all I've known is cars drive on the right side of the road. When crossing the street, I naturally look that way - it's ingrained in my muscle memory.
In Ireland, they drive on the left side of the road, and I can't seem to remember that. I just can't override 38 years of indoctrination, and I'm guessing I'm not alone. Dublin has clear reminders painted on the road of every pedestrian crossing.
They've essentially dummy proofed it, and this dummy is grateful.
On Saturday I visited the Heineken Experience in Amsterdam, and wanted to follow that up yesterday with a visit to the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. The two tours and experiences are quite similar, and I enjoyed both.
This building was built in 1902, but the Guiness we all know and love has been around since 1778. The Guiness Storehouse is bigger than the Heineken Experience, with 7 floors of information that delves quite a bit deeper.
Like the Heineken Experience, there's a tasting of Guinness part-way through the tour and a full pint waiting for you at the end. I noticed nobody seemed to care if you stuck around for multiple tastings, so I got more than my share there, but scoring an extra pint at the top of the building was next to impossible.
About that final pint at the top... it features a panoramic view of Dublin that's just gorgeous. Being there was worth the price of admission alone, and it's where I took the photo below.
In the battle between the Heineken Experience and Guinness Storehouse, Guinness wins by a nose. Both are great fun with great beer, but the Guinness location was more grandiose with deeper information and the panoramic view of the city at the end sealed the deal.
Walking in Dublin, I've seen plenty of signs like the one below.
That sign says it all: I've left Amsterdam.
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