Rome can be unbearably hot in August so we decided to leave the city for cooler climes like the rest of the Romans do. We decided to visit Ireland and started our trip in Dublin where I had lived for many years. I was looking forward to seeing the city again and catching up with old friends who I had not seen in a long time.
We were met at the airport by my friend Maggie who whisked us off to the Dublin Mountains so we could breathe in the fresh mountain air and get a view of the city. It’s wonderful to get to a completely unspoiled landscape just a few miles out of the city. One of the things I love about Ireland is the constantly changing light as it can be raining, cloudy or sunny within minutes making the same landscape look different all the time.
Our hosts Rory and Bernie greeted us with open arms despite being in the throes of a massive kitchen renovation. Luckily, their friends and neighbours across the road had given them the use of their house while on holiday so we just all trooped across the road and used their kitchen instead. Rory who has an architectural background, gave us fine tours of the city inbetween our packed schedule. I was really surprised by how much the city has grown since my last visit with new areas which have been developed, new buildings and interesting renovations. The old gas tower has been converted into an apartment building which is used by Google who have a ‘campus’ nearby to house its geeks. I was glad to see that despite the recent economic slump, the city has maintained an air of prosperity.
In addition to seeing the sights of which there are many, Fidz was keen to taste Guinness and to listen to traditional Irish music. Luckily, my friend Renee is well up on the music scene and took us to a pub on Sunday afternoon where musicians randomly gather to play together. There weren’t too many people in the pub and we sat at a table right next to the musicians and were actually able to talk to them. The Guinness flowed very easily down Fidz’s throat and I suspect that there will be a number of pub stops during the rest of our tour!