Du­blin, Rich in His­to­ry and Beer

Que faire, que voir dans la ca­pi­tale ir­lan­daise.

Vocable (Anglais) - - Sommaire -

Du­blin est sans conteste la des­ti­na­tion idéale pour une es­ca­pade au­tom­nale de quelques jours. La ca­pi­tale ir­lan­daise est riche de nom­breux tré­sors et mo­nu­ments his­to­riques. Son cé­lèbre Livre de Kells est l’un des plus beaux ma­nus­crits en­lu­mi­nés du Moyen-Âge. C’est éga­le­ment une ville où l’on aime faire la fête, en té­moignent les quelques mille pubs qui la ja­lonnent. Pe­tit tour d’ho­ri­zon avec le jour­na­liste amé­ri­cain Lu­cas Pe­ter­son.

My ins­truc­tor, a wo­man na­med Áine, ur­ged me on: “Do it for your coun­try!” A group of us that had boo­ked a tra­di­tio­nal Irish games ex­pe­rience through Ex­pe­rience Gae­lic Games (35 eu­ros, about $42) stood out on a green field one hot af­ter­noon in nor­thern Du­blin. Áine, ha­ving taught us the ways of hur­ling, a la­crosse-like game

1. to urge on en­cou­ra­ger / to book ré­ser­ver / field ter­rain (ici, pe­louse) / la­crosse sport col­lec­tif d'ori­gine amé­rin­dienne, qui op­pose deux équipes de dix joueurs / pos­si­bly as old as Ireland it­self, was now ins­truc­ting us in the ways of Gae­lic foot­ball, which is played with a soc­cer ball-like orb.

2. The beau­ti­ful ca­pi­tal ci­ty of Ireland has thea­ter, li­te­ra­ture and mu­sic ema­na­ting from its pores: the per­fect place for culture and his­to­ry ma­vens — not to men­tion those who would like to ex­pe­rience brui­sing, idio­syn­cra­tic na­tio­nal sports. But the ci­ty is al­so a victim of its own suc­cess. Not de­si­gned to ca­ter to hordes of tou­rists, it can present is­sues for vi­si­tors, par­ti­cu­lar­ly in cost. (Even lo­cals have trouble kee­ping up with rents.)


3. I step­ped out from the Ta­ra Street sta­tion near George’s Quay in cen­tral Du­blin, which runs along­side the Ri­ver Lif­fey. Af­ter grab­bing a Bu­run­di fil­ter brew at Shoe Lane Cof­fee (2.70 eu­ros), I set out to do a quick sur­vey of the ci­ty on foot, hea­ding up to­ward the land­mark Spire (han­dy to spot if you get tur­ned around) be­fore tur­ning down the pe­des­trian and shop­ping tho­rough­fare of Hen­ry Street.

4. A stop at a cell pro­vi­der store was ne­ces­sa­ry, so I went in­to the Three store where Hen­ry Street be­came Ma­ry Street (streets change names fre­quent­ly in Du­blin, and it is best to just get used to it). Safe in kno­wing

that I could burn through da­ta wi­thout conse­quence, I tur­ned my at­ten­tion back to en­joying Du­blin — the street mu­si­cians in par­ti­cu­lar.


5. While the 2007 mo­vie Once put in­ter­na­tio­nal at­ten­tion on the art form, mu­si­cians sin­ging for their sup­per is a tra­di­tion. To­day, there is consi­de­rable di­ver­si­ty in what you will hear as you walk the ci­ty. A young Bo­li­vian man, Williams Erick Or­tiz, croo­ned Spa­nish-lan­guage songs; Cold­play co­vers were the pre­fer­red choice of ano­ther per­for­mer, Min­kyu Jo. Over to­ward the north end of Graf­ton Street (the most po­pu­lar area to find mu­si­cians), I caught a ta­len­ted tee­na­ger who goes by Buzz Apol­lo playing some ang­sty rock num­bers.

6. For those who pre­fer their mu­sic in an in­door set­ting, The Cob­bles­tone des­cribes it­self as a “drin­king pub with a mu­sic pro­blem.” That is not to say it is but­to­ned up or stuf­fy — when I wal­ked in, two fidd­lers were sit­ting in the cor­ner to my left, playing off one ano­ther while others chat­ted and drank am­ber-co­lo­red pints. There was a spe­cial per­for­mance for Brit­ta­ny Day, which ce­le­brates Bre­tons in Ireland, the eve­ning I was there (10 eu­ros), and I caught the group Bal Feirste playing Bre­ton and Irish tunes.

7. If thea­ter is more your thing, the bir­th­place of Shaw and Be­ckett can cer­tain­ly oblige. I caught a new play, “My Son My Son” by Ve­ro­ni­ca Dyas at the Pro­ject Arts Centre in

Temple Bar, smack in the cen­ter of the ci­ty (14 eu­ros). While some of the references flew over my head, the po­li­ti­cal­ly char­ged play, which re­volves around the life of a single mo­ther in the Li­ber­ties, a his­to­ri­cal­ly wor­king-class neigh­bo­rhood of Du­blin, was ex­cel­lent­ly ac­ted.


8. Those with an in­ter­est in his­to­ry will find plen­ty to do in Du­blin. I en­joyed a tour boo­ked through Historical Wal­king Tours of Du­blin (12 eu­ros) and was im­pres­sed by my know­led­geable guide, Syl­vie. The tour, which lea­ned on the 18th cen­tu­ry as a cru­cial per­iod in Irish his­to­ry, be­gan at Tri­ni­ty Col­lege be­fore slow­ly mo­ving to the old House of Lords and Temple Bar areas. We lear­ned, among other things, why the Irish lan­guage, while it may ne­ver be wi­de­ly used again, will ne­ver go ex­tinct thanks to ex­ten­sive ci­vic and go­vern­ment ef­forts to pro­tect it.

9. A vi­sit to Du­blin must in­clude wal­king the grounds of Tri­ni­ty Col­lege, es­ta­bli­shed by Queen Eli­za­beth in 1592 and the coun­try’s ol­dest exis­ting uni­ver­si­ty. The Old Li­bra­ry on cam­pus houses vo­lumes of va­luable and ve­ne­rable ma­nus­cripts, the most fa­mous of which are the la­vi­sh­ly illu­mi­na­ted New Tes­ta­ment Gos­pels known as the Book of Kells (ex­hi­bit ad­mis­sion, 14 eu­ros).

10. But it is the Long Room that has to be one of the most im­pres­sive sites in the coun­try. The epic bar­rel-vaul­ted li­bra­ry, mea­su­ring over 200 feet long and near­ly 50 feet high, is pa­cked with 200,000 books, slot­ted neat­ly in­to row af­ter row of woo­den shelves stret­ching to the cei­ling. It is ma­gi­cal and a must-see for any li­bra­ry buff; you can al­most feel the spi­rit of Os­car Wilde wal­king be­side you.


11. But no vi­sit to Du­blin would be com­plete wi­thout a hear­ty meal and a crea­my pint of one of Ireland’s fine beers. For the for­mer, I re­com­mend Pi­ckle, which spe­cia­lizes in Nor­thern In­dian cui­sine and has an ex­cellent 22-eu­ro ear­ly bird din­ner spe­cial. For a dee­per dive in­to the lat­ter, the mas­sive Guin­ness Sto­re­house is an ob­vious choice, a theme-park­like cash grab that is fun if you re­lax and go with the rau­cous at­mos­phere. I paid 17.50 eu­ros on­line for my ti­cket, and found it slight­ly over­pri­ced for my taste. You do get a free pint with ad­mis­sion, ho­we­ver, which I en­joyed with some ex­cellent views of the ci­ty from the Gra­vi­ty Bar on the se­venth floor.

12. But why pay that much? The beer was just as cold at Dice Bar, a li­ve­ly cor­ner dive with worn lea­ther booths and a ho­mey at­mos­phere. I got a thick pint of D’Ar­cy’s Du­blin Stout for 4.80 eu­ros. A couple of new friends I made, Josh and Keith, took me to Gro­gan’s Castle Lounge, where we found a freew­hee­ling ga­the­ring; we ca­rou­sed and drank in the street with about 100 other people. Af­ter a crawl that al­so in­clu­ded The Bar With No Name, we col­lap­sed at a table at a bu­sy late-night Ira­nian res­tau­rant. The food was good, en­han­ced by the ex­ci­te­ment of the af­ter-mid­night crowd. And I had a pa­ral­lel fee­ling af­ter a long day exploring this ex­ci­ting ca­pi­tal ci­ty.

No vi­sit to Du­blin would be com­plete wi­thout a hear­ty meal and a crea­my pint of one of Ireland’s fine beers.

(Rob Durs­ton Pho­to­gra­pher/Fáilte Ireland)

The Gate Theatre.

(Istock) (Istock) (Rob Durs­ton Pho­to­gra­pher/Fáilte Ireland) (Istock) (Istock)

The Four Courts. The Jea­nie Johns­ton Tall Ship. The Long Room at Tri­ni­ty Col­lege. The Temple Bar area. Tri­ni­ty Col­lege.


Temple bar, Du­blin.

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