The Mezquita (the Great Mosque of Cordoba) that has a Catholic cathedral plopped down in the middle of it after the Reconquista by the Catholic Kings (Isabel and Ferdinand).
Where: Dublin, Ireland
When: September 2011
Weather conditions: mid 60s, wet (lots of rain during my quick visit) but good walking weather overall–umbrella was difficult while juggling touristy stuff–adapted to light jacket and Guinness baseball cap!
How long? 5 days, 4 nights
Main attractions: Easter Uprising 1916 tour–every sign or memorial, tour guide narrative, & museum exhibit seemed to be highlighting this major event toward gaining Irish independence
Fieldtrips: kept it pure–just Dublin
Favorite attraction: Guinness Brewery opened in 1759–enjoyed the tour, the free taste, & I liked the American connection–the architecture of the 1904 Storehouse is the Chicago school
Frivolous but Fun attraction: Leprechaun Museum-very corny but kind of cute and fun–kids will love it.
Favorite museum: Kilmainham Gaol built in 1792 in reaction to the French Revolution (the Brits were preparing for Irish rebellion) & called the “Bastille of Ireland”. Prisoners housed there from 1796-1924. Leaders of the 1916 Easter Uprising were executed here–housed in oldest part of gaol–1916 Corridor
Hidden Gem: Number 29 Georgian Museum–restored upper middle class family home from approximately the 1790-1820 period (no interior pics allowed)
Favorite historical site: Dublin Castle–Viking origins, but symbol of British power and control in Ireland (so the Irish are not fans) as the British rebuilt it and used it for ceremonial events–the garden by the original carriage house and stables is a favorite spot of mine
Famous Faces: James Joyce, Duke of Wellington (not a proud Irishman), U2, Guinness Family, John Newman, Eamon de Valera, Joseph & Grace Plunkett, Daniel O’Connell, Charles Stewart Parnell, George Bernard Shaw, Michael Collins, Jonathan Swift, & William Butler Yeats to name but a few…….
Green Spaces: St. Stephen’s Green (Famine Memorial, James Joyce memorial) easy walking loop, Merrion Square (small, intimate, & quaint)antique decorative lamposts , Phoenix Park (largest urban park in Europe, the home of the White House for Irish President on premises)
Favorite food/drink/snack: Bewley’s Tea everyday on Grafton Street (black with sugar HOLD the milk, please) & old fashioned fried apple pie from McDonald’s (old school golden, crispy, & bubbly yumminess)
Funny moment? The toilet in Kilmainham Gaol—uuhm the toilet paper is behind the seat mounted on the wall above the water tank–you need to be contortionist to grab the TP! (Yes–I actually took that picture!)
Tips: 1. The open top tour bus gets you everywhere and the ticket is good for 48 hours! I used it as public transportation and one of the stops was just across the street from my hotel behind Trinity College. 2. Visit the National Gallery (great collection masters both classical & modern) on Thursday evenings when it is open until 8:30–gives you the most bang for sightseeing buck
On a return trip, I would see……….inside of St. Patrick’s, Phoenix Park for a proper walk when it’s not a complete downpour, & a pub crawl in Temple Bar area with friends would be fun