It’s not my pattern to return to places I have visited. But, last year, when I was preparing to take my leave of this island, I knew I’d be back. I certainly didn’t think it would be so quickly. But there is something here that sinks into your bones and calls you back.
In the intervening year, I learned from my parents, that on both sides of my family tree, we have Irish roots. We had always thought we were pretty well Scottish and maybe some Spanish resulting from the landing of the Armada. Plain and simple. Turns out, that’s not the case. We are a mish-mosh of European roots. And how amazing is that?! Maybe that explains why I felt at home on this island.
This year, my friend Leslie, is travelling with me to Dublin. At first, I wanted to control her experience. To ensure that she loves Dublin as much as I do. Luckily, I checked myself pretty quickly on that one. I’d leave it up to Leslie to see what she wanted, to experience what she wanted to experience and to love Ireland as much (or as little) as she wanted to.
Our early morning arrival wasn’t much of a problem – our hotel room was ready and after a cat nap, some coffee (OK, a crap tonne of coffee) and a quick trip to my all time favourite donut joint (The Rolling Donut, for those of you wondering), we were on our way. A full day of digging into the history of Dublin: Trinity College, the Book of Kells, Christ Church, Dublin Castle. Though I visited these places last year, I was no less fascinated. I found something new everywhere. Including the belfry at Christ Church and its 19 bells.
Later in the day, we met up with Alana and Paige at my spiritual home, The Guinness Storehouse. No trip to Dublin is complete without a pint of the Black Stuff at the Source. It is a bit of a cheesy tourist trap, but the idea of enjoying a pint at the original brewhouse from 1759 just seems right.
Ah, Dublin, I do love you. You are a fascinating and vibrant mix of new and old. Intoxicating, naturally.