Sunday, August 29, 2010

A city of struggle...

So we had a good night’s sleep and got up to head over to meet at a pub in the middle of Dublin for a 1916 rebel tour. Going into the thing I didn’t have much knowledge about 1916, only that it was a year of significant importance for the Irish. We met our tour guide, Lorkin, who was the typical Irishman. Wicked sense of humor, wonderfully kind, and always had a story to tell you. He didn’t want any video taken of him but I sneaked some audio of him so you could all get of an idea of how he spoke:

Yeah so that's obviously me.

So then we started the tour and the entire thing was fascinating. As a brief rundown, there were 16 or so main leaders of the Irish rebellion movement, going against the unfair English rule that had governed them up until that time. So the tour took us around the city, showing us where the battles had taken place as a result of this movement in the year 1916.

I love when old buildings reflect in the windows of new ones.

The amount of passion and pride the Irish have in their land and their people is extremely infectious. Hearing about these people going against an army that was far more prepared and ready than they were, and knew they would most likely get jailed or die for their cause, was truly inspiring. They didn’t even have access to weapons because the British didn’t allow it. The whole thing was very eye opening and gave an insight into the city that was necessary to understanding it.

Note the bullet hole above her left breast. Yes, it's actually a bullet hole.

As always, Oscar knows all the answers.

At the end of the tour I realized that I was in a city that had been through an amount of struggle and repression that I had never seen before. At least that had never been as tangible to me. You could see it in the buildings, the streets, the faces of the people. It’s a country of hardship, but that’s part of its charm.

"The great appear great because we are on our knees: Let Us Rise." A plaque I found fitting for the entire city.

The controversial Justice statue at the Dublin castle. 1) She doesn't wear a blindfold. 2) Her back is to the city of Ireland. 3) Her sword is drawn. 4) She is holding the scale as if it's someone's dirty laundry. So much for justice.

We then went down O’Connell Street, a long street with a bunch of shops and things like that. And music. They love and cherish music over there, and it’s easily seen as there are singers and musicians all over the place.

And THEN I got to see a statue of one of my idols, THE Oscar Wilde.

We had an interesting conversation...

It was a proud moment for me. They had a beautiful statue surrounded with pedestals that had a good amount of his best quotes engraved on them...

"There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about." Brilliance.

I was in heaven. 

A chalk drawing that I thought was beautiful and showed the spirit of the city. 

Then we made our way down to the Guinness Storehouse, where Guinness is made. And who knew that the making of beer could be so fascinating.

The museum was actually extremely well done and in a beautiful building that had the world’s biggest pint glass in the center of it, 7 stories high. Gradually we made our way to the top to the “gravity bar” where we had a complimentary pint of Guinness and beautiful views of Dublin. Not being the biggest fan of Guinness, I had a few sips and just enjoyed the atmosphere. However I must say it was the best pint of it I had ever tasted, for whatever that’s worth.

We then ended the night at a crappy but LED-filled so therefore kind of cool pub!!

And that was that! But at the end of the night we were absolutely knackered, so the next day was dedicated to the calm and beautiful Irish countryside.....

1 comment:

  1. I can't believe I'm the first to comment! Liam, Liam, Liam..... what a FABULOUS post! Thank you for taking us on that fascinating tour with you, and to hear Lorkin's voice was such a treat! Your photos were absolutely SUPERB my friend - the one of you having your conversation with Oscar Wilde especially made me smile :) What an amazing day that must have been - you must have been walking on air by the end of it. SO AWESOME!