Dublin

The city is rather cold, grey, bleak and somewhat depressing. This perception is, I admit, compounded by the weather which is of a similar quality. There is no doubt that the capital is showing definite signs of the financial upheavals that have beset the country.

The banks have been “rescued” by the government and are now controlled in some way by them. I was more surprised to learn that most, if not all, the stunning golf courses have also come under semi government control!

The river that runs through the city is a dirty brown, unkempt and sad. It looks and feels as though it is coursing through the city by “accident” – to be honest it is no more than an apparent “drain”. It is so “alone”. The city, the populace don’t utilise it and I don’t think I have seen a boat or even a duck try to float on it.

A significant number of shops are vacant. Rubbish, graffiti and weeds point to lack of public money to keep the place looking proud and happy. The high streets in the suburbs seem to be a mixture of pubs, solicitors, off-license betting shops and sex shops!

In Europe, even Spain, the locals seem to “take care” of themselves, here even jeans are uncommon. The uniform of males is light grey track suit pants and a hoodie – non matching! The young women tend to wear black or grey leggings combined with ragged hem denim shorts that are so “short” they would make a sailor blush! It’s not a sexy look to me, but then, I am me!

The terrible rape and murder of Jill Meagher in Melbourne is making headlines in Ireland.

I wandered, by accident into a city area called Temple Bar on “Paint the Town Black” Guinness Day! In other words an excuse to drink all day and night! it’s 250 years since Arthur Guinness commenced brewing his ale. For 16 euro one can tour the Guinness storehouse! It seems that this is the Dublin equivalent of the Vatican! Hundreds of tourist buses disgorge their (male) passengers who for the exhorbitant entrance fee can “pull themselves” a beer at the end of the tour.

The standard shopping iconic Irish tourist merchandise is the leprechaun hat the tall floppy green thing! Picture attached. It’s the best I can do on the day.

I visited the Dublin castle, and the most impressive aspect were the numerous chandeliers of Waterford crystal!

I also visited the Kilmainham Gaol, brutally fascinating and then the grounds of Trinity College and it’s famous library. This has a spectacular room housing ancient books and manuscripts.

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