One of things I've been busy doing is visiting Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland for work. I've been to Wales a fair bit as it's just over the bridge from Bristol but I'd never been to Ireland before so I took my husband and took a bit of a holiday too.
We flew into Dublin on Friday night when it proceeded to pour with rain all weekend - simply pounding down at times! Still, we had some good times inside scarfing down some good food. One of our best finds was an amazing bakery/cafe which gave us farls for breakfast.
What is a farl? We didn't know either, but it turns out they're like scones or American biscuits made with potato as well as flour. They were delicious warm with melted cheese, grilled mushrooms, black pudding and white pudding. In case you don't know, black and white puddings are like sausages - they're made with blood, but if you can get over that, they're tasty.
This picture shows the only remaining old tower with two different styles of newer building attached to it.
Dublin museum isn't fabulous (I think Copenhagen has spoiled us for Viking artifacts) but it does have a great collection of Celtic gold including lots of huge torques. We weren't allow to take any pictures of the gold, but trust me, it was huge and old and fragile and amazing. I was interested to discover how much of an influence waves of Viking invaders/ settlers were in Ireland. And it was inside i.e. out of the rain, so that's something.
The preacher had a massive grey beard and looked like he'd be really conservative, but he delivered a storming sermon condemning war and promoting peace, especially regarding Israel and Palestine at the moment. I felt like standing up and cheering at the end!
Also, in the basement afterwards, we saw some costumes from one of my favourite TV series - The Tudors and some other interesting bits of history from the cathedral including a realistically modelled dove made of silver for storing oil and a mummified cat who got stuck chasing a (now mummified) rat.
On Sunday afternoon we drove up to Belfast, taking the scenic coastal route. I'll tell you all about Northern Ireland in my next post...
Have you been to Ireland? What was your favourite bit?