Dublin, Day 2

January 9th, 2009

Well, another full day of taking in the city of Dublin, and I continue to be reminded that Ireland is a small country–where most pubs, except those in Temple Bar (which my classmates and I have dubbed the hooligan district, a.k.a. “the place where the rebels go”), aren’t open after 11pm, and where the actual Viking and Norman foundations of the city are less than half a mile in length and width….

Today was mostly spent trekking around, learing about the foundations of the city. We saw the two cathedrals in Dublin–Christ Church and St. Patrick’s–and were informed that it’s very weird for a city to have two cathedrals, on account of the fact that there is only one Bishop per See…

We also saw some remains of the Norman wall, dating from the 12th century, when the English started their control over Ireland. Interestingly, we learned that these walls were very significant cultural barriers; the last fence on the outskirts of English-controlled barriers was called the pale, and that’s where the expression “beyond the pale” comes from. If something is “beyond the pale,” according to the English, it’s Irish and therefore sh**e. (Catch the Irish spelling there?)

After a full day of partaking of historical knowledge, some classmates and I strolled around Temple Bar–the sort of cultural and nightlife center of the city. There were plenty of bizarre little shops, pubs, bars, clubs, tattoo parlours… All in all, a very lively place down by the Liffey.

And here are some more pictures!


And just for snarky commentary—having lived in Europe last semester, and traveled a fair bit, I have seen FAR too many cathedrals. They’re all starting to look the same…

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