Travel to Dublin

Las Chicas tour Dublin by bike, with a tour starting at a local shop next to this hipster vinyl record shop that celebrates marriage equality:

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On the way to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, we see some yarn bombing:IMG_3136

And then the Cathedral:

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The Dublin Castle area is a mixture of old and new, with sand sculptures dominating the courtyard:

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Our lyrical guide shares a rhyme from when the British ruled Ireland about the entrance gate and sculpture below, prefaced by “notice that justice is not blind and her rear end is facing where the Irish people lived.”

Look at Lady Justice

And consider her station

Face to the castle

And arse to the nation

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We see The Castle’s only remaining medieval Record Tower.

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Castle view of court offices, Record Tower, and church.

We visit other towering structures along the way, like St. Patrick’s Windmill Tower at the Guinness Brewery:

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And the Spire of Dublin, the tallest sculpture in the world at 398 feet:

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We ride along the River Liffey and marvel at the Harp Bridge by Spanish architect, Calatrava. The Harp is the symbol of Ireland and appears on all official documents.

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Boaters enjoy a Liffey paddle

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Irish Famine Sculpture on the Liffey

Our bike tour explores the modern parts of Dublin like the Great Canal, home to internet giants like Facebook and Google.

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Kayakers emerge from the Great Canal, the dark building in the background houses Google Ireland.

Toward the end of our tour, we bike by the current Irish Parliament, Leinster House:IMG_3362

And this statue of Oscar Wilde in a nearby park:

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We had fantastic food in Dublin, including gluten free pancakes, salmon for breakfast, and fresh delicious sushi:

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On another day, we visit Trinity College and stand in line to see four pages from the Book of Kells, an old copy of the Bible. Irish monks wrote and illuminated this manuscript, over a thousand years ago.   The library exhibition also includes a display of children’s literature where we are allowed to take photos. Parts of the Harry Potter movies were filmed inside this library.

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Library at Trinity College

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Harry Potter in Gaelic, the national language of Ireland

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Sculpture in Trinity College courtyard

We explore other parts of the city near our hotel.

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A parking garage space for your bike is a plus in showery Dublin.

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A trio of pubs hires a street band for a nightly street party.

We board the DART (train) to Bray for a walk on the cliffs above the Irish Sea to Greystone, where we return by DART to downtown Dublin.  We enjoy the sea and the green hills, sheep and assorted ruins of smugglers and British lords.

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On the Bray beach

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Purple flowers by the sea

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A picnic lunch spot before we reach Greystone

Dublin’s St. Stephens Green park has beautiful gardens.

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About a week later, we return to Dublin after touring the Irish countryside. We wait outside our friend’s townhouse in Booterstown, a suburb by the sea. Loki, our friend’s cat, feels we are too suspicious to be allowed in his house:

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At last, Wei-Sim, our Camino de Santiago de Compostela friend from last summer, arrives and welcomes us.

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Happy chicas

Together we cook a fabulous salmon dinner and Wei-Sim tells of her recent Camino with her daughter. We’re inspired for our upcoming pilgrimage in Spain.

© 2015 by Lisa Howells and Mary Reynolds. All rights reserved.

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