Posted by: mdmusingsie | May 22, 2011

An Lá sa Baile Átha Cliath

Bhí mé sa Baile ÁthaCliath inniu. Chonaic mé ceol go leor ag “Dún na nGall Beo”. Bhí sé uchtach a thabhairt turasóireacht ar Dún na nGall. Ar ndoigh, tháinig mé do an cheol, ach sílim Dún na nGall go hiontach, chomh maith.

(Tr: I went to Dublin today to see music at a promotion for Donegal tourism called Donegal Live. Of course I went for the music, but I think Donegal is wonderful, as well.)

Most of the stores along the Liffey were closed, including my favorite discount bookstore, and barricades lined the streets with Gardaí on every corner in preparation for President Obama’s visit on Monday. I was hoping to get a few more children’s Irish books to help me practice. Oh well, next time.

Grafton Street wasn’t very crowded as I made my way to Iveagh Gardens; though many of the shops were open. Traffic along the popular shopping area had increased considerably by the time I was heading back.

There was a tent set up in the Gardens where assorted booths contained tourism information about Donegal County and all the attractions. They had a beautiful Eagle from Glenveagh National Park that you could go up and pet. I left that task for the children, though it was a very majestic bird. Another section contained food, both to eat on the premises and to take home. Most of the ready to eat meals were fish, so I had the sausage rolls.

I struck up a conversation with a woman named Kate at the “As Gaeilge” booth who is a teacher living in Galway. She also teaches occasionally at Oideas Gael in Glean Cholm Cille. She gave me some contact information for Irish classes in Galway and hopefully study/conversation groups as well.

As mentioned, I went for the entertainment. Among the acts I saw were Kintra, Mickey Joe Harte, The High Kings, and Moya Brennan. Intermittent showers plagued the afternoon, and one particularly heavy one delayed Moya Brennan’s set, which started late, anyway, as the other acts had run long. Sadly they chose to make up time during her set and instead of an hour, it was less than half. Since she was the main one I came to see, it was a little sad, though I enjoyed the other groups as well. It was impressive that the lead singer of The High Kings made it to the show, having buried his father only the night before. Maith thú, aige.

During set changes I wandered around the gardens and took pictures, which will be on the web site soon. It’s a very nice park with a good sized rose garden, though most of the roses were reluctant to leave the comfort and safety of their buds just yet. Many of the statues were missing, but it wasn’t hard to imagine how magnificent the park would have looked in its heyday.

Although it’s a 2+ hour bus ride to and from Dublin, there’s so much beautiful scenery to admire along the way that you hardly notice the time.

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