Dublin Journals

Dublin: Baile A’tha Cliath

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A December 2001 trip to Dublin by cls223

Moon rising over the River Liffey Photo, Dublin, Ireland More Photos
Quote: I have always wanted to visit Ireland, and decided that going over for the holidays would make the trip even more memorable.

Dublin: Baile A’tha Cliath

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Overview

Moon rising over the River Liffey Photo, Dublin, Ireland
Quote:
Dublin lies on the eastern coast of Ireland on the Irish Sea. The first known settlement here was called Eblana, a name found in the 2nd century writings of Ptolemy. In history the name later appears as Dubh-linn, Gaelic for “Black Pool”. Baile A’tha Cliath, the present “official” name meaning “Town of the Ford of the Hurdles”, came sometime after 291 AD. In the early 9th century, Vikings started the city by founding one of their largest settlements outside Scandinavia. By the mid-1100’s, they were intermarrying with the Celts, inhabitants since 700 BC. The Irish and Danes fought for control of Dublin frequently during the next three centuries. In the late 12th century, the Danes we...Read More

George Frederic Handel Hotel

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Hotel

Quote:
The George Frederic Handel Hotel is located on Fishamble Street, one of Dublin’s oldest streets. The street name is taken from the old fish stalls which once existed here. The hotel is named for the composer of the famed "Messiah", which was first performed in a music hall on the site of the hotel in April of 1742. Today the door to the music hall remains, next door to the George Frederic Handel Hotel. Although steeped in history, there is nothing old-fashioned about the decor of the hotel. Light wood furniture, a colorful flowered bedspread and modern light fixtures give the rooms a bright modern look. The blue carpet with the treble clef motif adds a whimsical touch. The bathroom is whi...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 6, 2002

George Frederic Handel Hotel
16 18 FISHAMBLE ST
Dublin, Ireland
003531 6709400

Clarion St. Stephens Hall Hotel & Suites

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Hotel | "Clarion St. Stephens Hall Hotel & Suites"

Quote:
This is an all-suites hotel located on beautiful St. Stephens Green Park. When you walk into the suite, you enter a small foyer, with the bedroom straight ahead, and the living room and kitchen to the right; there is oak flooring throughout. The spacious bedroom has regency-stripe blue and cream wallpaper with drapes of a matching blue. The double bed was very comfortable, especially for someone who’d been traveling and hadn’t slept in about 30 hours, and the closet space was immense. The bathroom is a bit small as compared with the rest of the rooms, but clean and spotless and done completely in white. You can cook a meal for four in the compact kitchen: there’s a microwave, stove, refrigerator,...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 6, 2002

Clarion St. Stephens Hall Hotel & Suites
Earlsfort Centre, Lower Leeson Street
Dublin, Ireland
(01) 638-1111

Cafe Topolis

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Restaurant

Quote:
Topolis has dark wood floors, tables and chairs. The walls to the height of the chair rail are painted deep terracotta; above the chair rail they are white ragged with terracotta. Fresh flowers are on each table, as well as a glowing candle for a soft light. The menu is primarily pasta and pizzas, although there are also some seafood and meat entrees as well. I started my dinner with a small house salad, which was a mixture of vegetables and fresh greens with a tasty house dressing. I tried the Pizza Regina for my main course. This is a combination of tomato, mozzarella, mushrooms, olives and ham, and was delicious. I was disappointed that they were out of Italian beer, so I settled for ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 6, 2002

Cafe Topolis
37 Parliament Street
Dublin, Ireland
+353 (01) 670-4961

Fan’s Cantonese Restaurant

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Restaurant

Quote:
For a starter I chose Spring Roll, which is served hot and crispy, and is filled with baby shrimp, BBQ pork, and shredded vegetables. The entree I selected was King Prawns with Black Bean Sauce. This dish, served on a sizzling platter, is full of huge, tender prawns, with slices of carrot, pieces of onion, and chunks of green pepper in a tasty black bean sauce. You have a choice of either boiled or fried rice with your entree; there is an extra charge for rice. For dessert I tried the Orange Sorbet, which is a generous scoop of refreshing orange sorbet served in a hollowed-out orange. A Chinese beer quenched my thirst nicely. The lighting here is subdued, and tables are set with white clo...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 6, 2002

Fan’s Cantonese Restaurant
60 Dame Street
Dublin, Ireland
+353 (01) 679-4263

Ciao Bella Roma

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Restaurant | "Caio Bella Roma Pizzeria"

Quote:
This is a cozy place with oak floors, pale terracotta walls with dark terracotta trim, and wooden beams on the ceilings. The dark wood tables each have lighted candles. Decorative wall sconces and murals of Italy on the walls add a nice touch. I stopped by here New Year's Eve, after one of the restaurants down the street had turned me away (silly me, no reservation for dinner on New Year's Eve!) Luckily, Ciao Bella Roma made room for me at a cozy table in a corner. The menu features mainly pasta and pizzas; about 20 or so different kinds of pizza were offered, and they all looked tempting. However, wanting something a bit lighter, I chose Rigatoni all Amatriciana, which is riga...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 7, 2002

Ciao Bella Roma
25 Parliament Street
Dublin, Ireland
+353 1 677 0004

Trastevere

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Restaurant

Quote:
This is a very modern space in Temple Bar, and seems to be quite popular with the younger crowd. The front and side walls are glass, so diners can people-watch those in the Square. Lighting is subdued; tables are small and rather closely placed. My friend John and I each tred the Pironi beer, which we both enjoyed. For a starter we shared an order of the bruschetta, which is grilled bread with chopped tomato and spices...quite tasty. John's pasta dish had strips of steak in a tomato herb sauce with tube pasta. My Carbonara Trastevere had bacon, mushrooms, and herbs in a delicate cream sauce, it absolutely melted in my mouth it was so good. We split an order of the Irish Cream Mousse for ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 7, 2002

Trastevere
Temple Bar Square
Dublin, Ireland
+353 1 670 8343

Indian Tandoori

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Restaurant

Quote:
I decided to try this Indian restaurant located a short walk from my hotel. The lighting is subdued, with candles and flowers on each table. The color scheme is mostly burgundy and gray. I was first offered some papadum, which are made from ground lentils and are thin and crispy. A selection of four different chutneys was offered: a green chutney (mild); one that seemed to be a peach or apricot chutney (sweet and mild); a chopped red pepper chutney; and a fiery chutney that I believe was made with some sort of fermented chili peppers. For a starter, I had the Vegetable Pakora. Different sorts of bite-sized veggies are fried in a slightly spicy batter; try them with some of the excellent c...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 6, 2002

Indian Tandoori
14 Dame Street
Dublin, Ireland
+353 (01) 671-9488

Mountjoy Prison

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Attraction

Mountjoy Prison Photo, Dublin, Ireland
Quote:
I met Bryan McEvilly, a prison officer, my first evening in Dublin. Finding him to be a wonderful raconteur and a history buff, I got the idea of having him take me on a tour of the prison where he works. Bryan agreed and we made our arrangements. I was met at the main gate of Mountjoy, the closest my cab could go to the entrance of the prison. We began our tour around the outside of Mountjoy Prison, which opened in 1850, eleven years after construction was begun. It is currently the most dilapidated prison in Ireland. Bryan pointed out the top floor area of one of the buildings where, in 1996, four prison officers were held hostage by a group of inmates for 52 hours. Fortunately,...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 6, 2002

Mountjoy Prison
North Circular Rd. at Berkeley St.
Dublin, Ireland
01 8062800

Porterhouse Brewing Company

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Attraction | "The Porterhouse Brewing Company"

Quote:
This is a large, cheerful, multi-floor pub in the heart of Dublin’s lively Temple Bar, an area chock-full of pubs and restaurants. The copper pipe, red brick walls, red tile pillars and glass shelves showcasing world beers add to the warm atmosphere. As the name indicates, the Porterhouse has their own brews, as well as offering beers from all over the world. I tried two of their beers, Chiller and Vienna Winter Lager. Chiller is 4.2% alcohol by volume, and is the closest the brew to an "American" beer, i.e., a Miller or a Bud (but Chiller is MUCH tastier!) Vienna Winter Lager is a handcrafted winter lager, which is brewed in small batches. I loved it; really a different taste. Ever try ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 6, 2002

Porterhouse Brewing Company
16-18 Parliament Street
Dublin, Ireland
+353 1 679 8847

Hop On Hop Off Dublin Bus Tour

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Attraction | "Dublin Bus Tours - South Coast Tour"

Hop On Hop Off Dublin Bus Tour Photo, Dublin, Ireland
Quote:
You can book this and other offered tours directly at the Dublin Bus Office, through your hotel concierge, or at the Dublin Tourism Center, Suffolk Street. I decided at the last minute to take this tour, and was able to buy a ticket at the Dublin Bus Office for the tour departing that same afternoon. There were a number of other people that bought tickets last minute as well, though I’m not sure it would be as easy to do so in high season. The first part of the tour winds south along the coast where the first place of note is Dun Loaghaire, with its impressive yacht harbor. In the quaint, seaside village of Dalkey, we all wondered if the tour would come to a premature end, as the streets ar...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 6, 2002

Hop On Hop Off Dublin Bus Tour
59 O'connell Street
Dublin

Christ Church Cathedral New Year's Bells

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Attraction | "New Year’s Eve Bells at Christ Church"

Christ Church Cathedral New Year's Bells Photo, Dublin, Ireland
Quote:
When I heard about the tradition of ringing the Christ Church bells on New Year’s Eve, I decided this would be a special way to celebrate. Every New Year’s Eve at midnight, the giant bells at Christ Church are rung to usher out the old year and welcome in the new. Long before midnight, Dubliners gather around the church, joining old friends and meeting new ones, to wait for the bells. The Garda (Dublin’s police force) block off the street and there is much dancing and singing. Everyone feels free to walk up to complete strangers to shake hands, hug, kiss or just wish them a Happy New Year. Even the Garda join in the festive spirit as many ladies walked up and hugged and kissed the handsome young ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 6, 2002

Christ Church Cathedral New Year's Bells
Saint Werburgh Street
Dublin, Ireland
+353 1 677 8099

House of Astrology

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Attraction

Quote:
I may as well admit it, I do have an interest in astrology and other such esoteric things. When I was walking along and spotted this shop, I had to go in and have a look around. If you want to have a personal horoscope done, you can buy them on the spot or order them and have them mailed. All that is needed is your date, time and place of birth. There is a large collection of crystals and polished stones. Crystal balls ranging in size from 1" to 5" round are available...hmm, wonder if those things really work? Tarot cards, divination cards, incense and incense burners are for sale. I particularly loved the Celtic astrology jewelry, which is based on trees. My birthday is February, which is the...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 7, 2002

House of Astrology
9 Parliament Street
Dublin, Ireland

Global Internet Cafe

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Global Internet Cafe 8 Lower O’Connell Street Dublin 1 (01) 878-0295 Email: info@globalcafe.ie www.globalcafe.ie This bright Internet cafe with its friendly, helpful staff is conveniently located on O’Connell Street, just near the River Liffey. The equipment is up-to-date, in good repair, and offers fast Internet access and large monitors. All PCs have MS Excel and MS Word; both black and white and color printing is available. Additionally, scanning, CD burning, web cam, and digital photo uploading is offered at no extra charge. A selection of papers and envelopes is on hand should you wish to prepare a presentat...Read More

Exploring Dalkey on the South Coast

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Story/Tip

St. Begnet Church Photo, Dublin, Ireland
Quote:
After taking the South Coast Bus Tour, I decided I wanted to return to Dalkey and capture more of its charm in photographs. I took a DART train from Dublin; it took about 1/2 hour and the round trip cost was about $3 USD. When I reached Dalkey, I started walking in a direction I thought would take me to the water....which it eventually did. My destination was a spot where I could get a good view (and good photographs) of Dalkey Island, and 1/2 mile off the coast. Dalkey Island is 23 acres in size, and signs show it was first inhabited about 2,000 years ago. The only inhabitants now are wild goats, which the local residents of Dalkey care for and feed during harsh winters. Noted sights on the isl...Read More

A Visit to Howth

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Story/Tip

Howth Harbour Photo, Dublin, Ireland
Quote:
Howth lies to the north of Dublin, on a peninsula. To get there, catch a DART train in Dublin; the journey takes about 40 minutes and will cost about $3 USD roundtrip. Howth and its Cliff Walk had been recommended to me; I decided to go on New Year's Day and it turned out a number of families were out walking along the harbor as well. Although it was quite cold and rather windy, many people were out for a stroll: perhaps hoping the cold bracing sea air would clear their New Year's hangover? A few brave souls were even swimming: I can't imagine how cold they must have been even in wetsuits! I ended up walking along the harbor and the pier; I was surprised to find seals in the harbor, and ev...Read More