FEBRUARY 2 - NOT A SNAKE IN SIGHT
My Irish Friend (heretofore referred to as S, since I seem to be collecting a lot of new Irish friends) and I spent another day doing a walking tour. We'd originally planned to walk into the city centre to check out the Chester Beatty museum but we stopped by St. Patrick's Cathedral on the way and got so distracted we never made it to our original destination.
I have zero regrets, because the cathedral was fascinating. Both architecturally and because of the fact that it covered about a 1000 years of Irish history. He knows a ridiculous amount about the history and I had a few helpful things I knew about architecture and art so it was a really fun thing for both of us.
Most of the time I actually prefer to check out museums alone. You know those people you just *can't* go to a museum with because they want to fly through without reading everything? Or just kinda read stuff and grunt and go, "interesting" but don't elaborate? Yeah, I've met a lot of people like that over the years. And hey, I'm not casting aspersions. We all have our interests and our pacing and all of that. But man is it nice to explore with someone who's at a similar pace who wants to talk about the stuff and relate it to other things you both know about.
One of the interesting things we discovered there was a book containing Ireland's Memorial Records by Harry Clarke. These illustrations are incredible. I wish I'd been able to see more than one page but what I could see was amazing enough. Look at the gorgeous art deco/art nouveau designs? *swoons*
I've taken a lot of art classes over the years and art history and architecture were some of my favorite college courses. If this writing thing hadn't worked out, I wouldn't have minded a career as an art historian. So yeah, touring the cathedral was totally my jam. We spent hours there and hope to be able to make it to Christ Church Cathedral before I head home.
After we left the cathedral, we took a little detour to a semi-sketchy area to check out a place called "The Cabbage Garden".
What was originally a Huguenot cemetery was turned into a garden by Oliver Cromwell to grow cabbage to feed his soldiers.
It is now a football pitch where local children play.
The mind boggles. So much history, now just a playing field, with only some worn headstones that are almost impossible to read. As an American, who lives in an area where "old" is considered anything over a 100 years old, and anything over two hundred years is ancient, it's fascinating for me to see the layers of history and the broad scope of it all.
After that, we did some more walking and took a stroll through St Stephen's Green, a gorgeous park in the city centre that has a fascinating history, including an important role in the 1916 Uprising.
(click on the right side of the photo for the slideshow)
After St. Stephen's Greene, we headed to Merrion Square. It's also a lovely park but I may never forgive S for taking me to see the most hideous sculpture of Oscar Wilde. I don't have words for how ugly it was. The man was a legendary writer and gay icon! He deserved better than this! *shakes head* I don't know who made this choice but urgh. Not a good one. We had a good laugh about it though so that was fun.
Both of us were winding down by that point so we went in search of food. Along the way, we saw some pretty buildings.
A gorgeous stained glass window (also by Harry Clarke!). In addition to his amazing illustrations, he was a world-renowned stained glass artist.
And some fabulous art in the back alley of Temple Bar. I wish I'd gotten more pictures because there was a lot of amazing alley art but I'll have to go back some time and get more pictures.
After many miles (and even more kilometers) of walking and covering roughly a thousand years of history, we stopped for food and drinks.
The chicken wrap and crisps hit the spot and I had (several) lovely gin and tonics. I was delighted by the addition of grapefruit.
After a while, a former co-worker of his joined us. She's a Brazilian woman and an absolute riot to talk to. She was delighted to discover what I wrote and even more thrilled that I included a half-Brazilian character in one of my books. We spent hours talking about every and had fun ganging up on S and giving him a lot of shit.
Which, let's be honest, is one of my very favorite pastimes. And, of course, that goes both ways.
After many drinks and great conversation, we all took a bus back. It turns out she lives very close to me so we got off at the same spot and promised to meet up again before I left, while S headed to his place.
I came home tired but happy and got to enjoy a few gifts that I'd brought home.
S and I have an ongoing discussion about the collections of fun, patterned socks we both own (I bought him a pair with bikes and a pair with blueberries for his birthday previously), so he got me a present to add to my collection. Stained glass pattern socks from St. Patrick's Cathedral!
He also gave me two chocolate bars that he swears are the most delicious things ever.
I was skeptical, I'm a dark chocolate lover but so is he so I gave the Starbar a try.
I'm not going to lie. It was totally delicious. Sweet but not too sweet, with a great texture. I've been assured the Boost bar is even better so that'll be fun to try.
All in all, another great day.