Friday, February 14, 2020

Valentine’s Day in Dublin 2020

Dublin, Ireland. Friday 14-February-2020.

This year was our seventh Valentine’s Day trip to Dublin. It’s become something of a tradition and a very fine one too.

It started when Mary was working out in Dublin for three years on and off. One year (2004) Valentine’s Day fell on a Saturday so it seemed an opportune time for me to visit her. The client would pay for Mary’s return flight to the UK. Sometimes we’d flip the flight and I would go out and stay with Mary.

Then a couple of years later, when Mary was back in the UK, Ryanair offered a very cheap deal over the Valentine‘s weekend so off we went again and so a tradition was born. Now we are retired we are less constrained by it needing to be on the weekend and can do a mid-week visit.

Wednesday 13th.

This year we stayed in the Old School House hotel recommended by Mary’s sister, Sandra. Easy walking from central Dublin by the canal. Very pleasant: lovely old building, friendly staff, good food and a very popular bar.

And of course there was plenty of Guinness to be drunk (mandatory).

Thursday 14th.

By now we have done all the usual tourist sights in Dublin but we managed to find one not previously visited - Kilmainham Gaol. Absolutely fascinating and added to our understanding of Irish history.


Religious graffiti in one of the cells.

IMMA, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, was right next to the gaol with an exhibition on Derek Jarman that sounded interesting. So we lunched in the prison cafe and then went round the exhibition.

An essential part of the Valentine’s weekend is dining at Bloom Brasserie which we discovered several years back and always book well in advance.

Saturday 15th.

Mary was on a mission to do her 50th Parkrun on the 29th February, the first leap day parkrun since it was inaugurated. That meant she was committed to doing a parkrun every Saturday without fail. Therefor we had to do a Dublin parkrun despite Storm Dennis. Poolbeg parkrun was our closest, down on Dublin Bay along the coast and horribly wet, cold and windy. But it had to be done!

The evening's entertainment was meeting up with our Irish friend Danielle for a drink, some comedy and then a meal at Rustic Stone.

Sunday 16th.

On the Sunday we went for a 13k walk round the bay. Partly on the parkrun course, we went out to the Lighthouse and back round. To say it was windy would be something of an understatement, Storm Dennis was definitely still in action.

The lighthouse.

Graffiti on the lighthouse.

And more.

In the afternoon we went for some live jazz: the Honor Heffernan Quartet at Lost Lane. Then off to the airport and home.

We are thinking that maybe next year we will try some other part of Ireland. We are assured that there is life beyond Dublin!

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