Posted by: mdmusingsie | December 10, 2011

Deck the Halls (part 2)

I must say, I wasn’t immediately impressed with Baile Átha Cliath at Christmas. Maybe it’s the economy or possibly because it’s such a large city, but there were no decorations along the Quays (except for the odd shop window) as I disembarked from my bus.

In search of some Christmas cheer, I headed for the Christmas Market at the Docks (one of many in the city, but the closest to my position). It was slightly larger than the one in Galway, but somewhat similar in offerings. Although they did have more rides for small children, the selection of goods was better and more varied in Galway.

It wasn’t until I headed down Grafton Street that I started to see any of the City’s décor. Large Christmas trees stood at each entrance to the popular shopping street, one decked in red lights and the other in blue. Brown Thomas deserves high marks for their window displays – beautiful interpretations of popular fairy tales. Clery’s on O’Connell Street took second place.

Plenty of buskers lined Grafton Street, at sufficient intervals to allow each to be heard in their own right; all hoping the shoppers were in good enough holiday moods to spare a coin or two. Charity workers with their buckets were out in force, as well; many were accompanied by a small choir (primarily young females, I noticed) singing Christmas carols. I made sure to grace a few of each with my holiday cheer. For something completely different, there was even a person dressed as some kind of Viking-mythical figure.

Lunch turned out to be shepherd’s pie at Whitefriar’s as I waited for mass to end before visiting Our Lady of Dublin  . I’ve lit candles at St. Valentine’s shrine, but based on past experience, he doesn’t seem to be listening, so I didn’t bother stopping there today.

While not the sunny day they had predicted, it was pleasant enough for a stroll through St. Stephen’s Green along with many others getting a little fresh air and some exercise. There was even a wedding party having pictures taken (I wish them a lifetime of happiness). I hope the bare armed bride and her bridesmaids had a wee dram or at least some hot cocoa to warm them up before (and/or after) the photo shoot. They didn’t linger long.

I strolled through Stephen’s Green shopping center while I waited for the sky to darken enough for the lights strewn between the buildings to be lit. Being Saturday, the streets and shopping centers were packed with people. My Christmas shopping is done, so I wasn’t really looking for anything in particular, though the temptation from book stores did produce a few bargains.

O’Connell Street had festive lights attached to the light poles – similar to what I had expected but did not see on the Quays. A large tree made up of balls of lights stood proudly mid way down the wide street.

Although the lights of Dublin were certainly shiny and bright, I must say that Galway businesses had more decorations on their buildings than those in the capitol city.

Wherever you are and however simple or complex your decorations, I wish you a very happy holiday season.

Beannachtaí an tSéasúir

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  1. Absolutely lovely! where are you going to be for Christmas?

    • Weather permitting, I’ll go and watch the charity swim in Galway Bay – they are trying to create a world record. I’m not brave or crazy enough to participate, but I think it will be fun to watch people take a dip into the cold water. Other than that, probably not much as it appears just about everything is closed not only Christmas Day but the day after (what! no day after Christmas shopping bargains? I guess they wait an additional day).

  2. […] Although I think Brown Thomas puts on the best window displays, I did think the ones from 2011 were […]

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