U2 at Noon, Lady Gaga at Night
Trip Start Oct 12, 2010
84Trip End Mar 24, 2011
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Where I stayed
Morgan Hotel, Temple Bar, Dublin, Ireland
I also took a stroll down the quays area of the river yesterday morning and crossed over the Sean O'Casey Bridge to look at the Famine Sculpture along the river. It is a compelling and moving set of statues created by Rowan Gillespie and depicts a group of gaunt and starving emigrants walking to an uncertain future. The figures have been elongated to accentuate their hungry state and the details in the carved faces and body language is incredible. The last statue in the group shows a man carrying a dead child across his shoulders and it is said that this figure was included to remind us of those famine victims who so desperately tried to find food for their children but were turned away day after day from food lines
I walked along the north side of the quays to the Bachelor's Walk and crossed over the pretty Ha'penny Bridge (pedestrians had to pay a toll of a ha'penny to cross until 1919 I think). There are something like 17 bridges that cross the river and the newer ones are all called after Irish writers (Samuel Beckett Bridge, Sean O'Casey Bridge etc).
Lunch was at the Clarence Hotel, owned by Bono and The Edge of U2. I ate in the Tea Room, which is in a converted ballroom and is a simply appointed but elegant room with high ceilings and green frosted windows. The food was amazing - I had fish and chips but the fish was actually smoked haddock which has a unique flavour and the food was served in a pseudo-newspaper wrap (as it should be). Mushy peas were served on the side and although I'm not a fan of the mushy pea, if it is good enough for Bono, it's good enough for me. The odd thing about lunch was that I was the ONLY one in the whole restaurant during the lunch hour. The waiter said that it gets much busier later in the afternoon, but I did find it passing strange
After lunch, I sat on the steps of one of the buildings in the main square of Trinity College for a half hour, soaking in the warmth of the sun and doing some people watching. It felt like a luxury to be able to kick back and relax and watch the students milling around and heading to classes and the sight-seers seeing sights. I was highly entertained by the number of ladies teetering (and stumbling) around the cobblestones in their 3" high heels - not smart ladies!
Today was a rainy day in Dublin so a good day to finish up shopping for some odds and sods and getting organized for the next couple of legs of my journey. Tonight I went to the Lady Gaga concert at the O2 concert venue - that was a very cool event. Gaga is outrageous but that lady can sing... and dance.... and play a mean piano. She is quite talented and really connected with the audience, taking the time to chat with people and read their signs (although she did decapitate a teddy bear thrown on the stage - something about bad childhood memories - yikes)! It was such an entertaining concert - great dance numbers, catchy tunes, outlandish costumes - I highly recommend people look at catching her perform in Toronto in the Spring - you won't regret it!
Back to London tomorrow night for a few days and then on to Morocco! I'll miss Ireland but I'll never forget it :)