Dia duit!

The weather on our trip was unbelievably good for April. Every single day it was sunny with occasional showers. That is, until we arrived in Dublin. Actually the first evening was fine, but the rain that started in the morning didn't stop for three days and it was cold and windy and grey all the time.

The city itself is bigger than I imagined, or read about it. It is compact and easily walkable, but not when it's raining incessantly.

What impressed me most was the striking Memorial to the Great Irish Famine, a poignant testament to one of the greatest tragedies in the history of Ireland.

The Trinity College Library is also very impressive with its rare books and manuscript collections. It brought to mind my visit to St. Gallen, Switzerland, where there is an equally beautiful, although much smaller library, where we were made to put some huge slippers on our shoes.

As a sensible shopaholic ( can these two words even go together?) I can't but mention Grafton Street, a shopper's paradise. It's a traffic-free street with a plethora of shops and shopping malls, and I suppose, buskers, if the weather permits, which it didn't.

Leaving Dublin without visiting a pub and having a mighty craic is a practical impossibility. This time the kids decided they had enough of the pubs, which the two of us embraced wholeheartedly. The hotel receptionist recommended a pub with live music that is usually frequented by the locals. Unfortunately, they only had live music at weekends so there were only six people there, including the bartender. That's how we ended up in the Temple Bar Area, which I wanted to avoid, since it's so touristy. There were no Dubliners in the Temple Bar, but it was packed with people from all over the globe. And it wasn't bad at all, on the contrary, we had a lot fun. I always wonder why I insist so much on blending in, on wanting not to be perceived as a tourist, when I'm such a typical one, dressed in comfortable, not very fancy clothes and always carrying my DK guide with me. Why don't I just give up on it and say out loud: YES, I'M A TOURIST and I'm proud of it.