A rainy afternoon in Dublin

Standing in the middle of Trinity College with wet feet and an overall miserably and soppy feeling what’s better than to go for a Guinness? Ha, totally wrong and you don’t know me at all (which is true for most of you). Trinity College Dublin is the home of the Book of Kells, a medieval manuscript from the 9th century. And who can resist such a bookish attraction?

I cannot and we went inside before anything else and with wet feet on my side (my boots aged about 15 years in shoe years during this one rainy day). There were no pictures allowed at the Book of Kells exhibition but it was well worth my time (see it online here). The exhibition was very well assembled, showing minutiae details of all the major decorations. A beautiful work of art and a miracle that this book survived in such a great condition!
On the floor above was the main library which also drew me to it like a moth to the light. Wow, imagine such a library at home …

The upkeep might be a bit expensive but it would be worth it. Since my apartment could never house such an extensive collection I rather enjoyed looking at the one there. My own pictures are a bit on the dark side that’s why I took a picture of a postcard so you can look at the library in all its beauty.IMG_8356IMG_8342Handy 691
Shakespeare and I
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With the cultural aspect out-of-the-way for the day we moved on to satisfy our baser cravings. The Guinness Storehouse was a couple of bus stations from the Trinity College away, but with the bus on a 20 minutes delay we decided to walk there. Since walking was all we had done that day, what were a couple of blocks more? While walking I noticed large signs all over the city which showed even the dumbest tourist where to go.IMG_8357

Finally the Guinness Storehouse came into view.IMG_8360IMG_8363IMG_8369
The Guinness wonderland is a seven-story building that starts with a shop and the basics of brewing, going on to advertising through the years, then to a tasting room, up to a food mall on the 5th floor and a sky bar on the top floor. We did it all.IMG_8372IMG_8373IMG_8374IMG_8376IMG_8379IMG_8381IMG_8383IMG_8385IMG_8386IMG_8394

On the seventh floor we could finally change our ticket for a pint and I watched closely how the beer was drawn. The difference to your usual Irish pub is that in Ireland they are using a nitrogen combination so that the beer is a lot more drinkable than let’s say in Vienna. I think I tried it once here and the taste is totally different. I liked it a lot in Dublin although two pints are like a meal, really filling.IMG_8395IMG_8396IMG_8404IMG_8407

But a filling beer didn’t mean that we were not hungry once we left the Storehouse. Quite the opposite. On the way back to the hotel we decided to stop for an early dinner at a nearby pub and just eat some more local stuff. On deciding this we were just in front of Bakers Bar & Restaurant, an Irish pub where definitely also the locals stop and have a drink. We ordered more Guinness and three dishes to share: Irish Stew, Bangers and Mash and fried local shrimps with chips.IMG_8408IMG_8409IMG_8410
Yeah, cannot say that this was a success culinary-wise. But it was filling and we were hungry and let’s just not talk about it anymore. Shortly after we finished the meal we left and walked back to hour hotel. We all needed a break after this long day walking through rain mostly, before heading out into the night life.

Our pub crawl saw us walking in the rain* again to the Temple Bar district where we stopped at the Porterhouse. This micro brewery makes its own beer and it was a nice change to the domineering Guinness. The place looked like it consisted entirely of stairs. There were 4 floor levels, all connected by more stairs and bars in between. And of course a band was playing, also between two staircases.IMG_8411IMG_8413IMG_8414IMG_8415

In a way it is such a shame that I was in Dublin and didn’t see my favorite band. But The Frames seem not to be touring at the moment and Glen Hansard is only playing in December! Super sad that I missed that, I really wish I could have seen Joseph Doyle again. But let’s go back to the music at Porterhouse which was good too. What was interesting to see was that most musicians were a bit older. You know on the radio most of the music is from really young people, and don’t get me wrong, lots of it is great. But this was the second band we saw this weekend where the mean age was probably around 45.

Eventually we had enough of the beer and the music and some really embarrassing Austrian tourists who had to sing our unofficial anthem “I am from Austria” and sauntered back to the hotel. And you know what’s great about the Harding Hotel? The bar was still open and we had a G&T as nightcap. Maybe not Irish, but a splendid drink!
Yours, Pollybert

* My guide-book said that Dublin on average has less rain than Nice. I really would like to know where they get their meteorological data from.

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Glen Hansard forever!

We just enjoyed an amazing concert from Glen Hansard in Linz.

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As usual the incomparable artist was giving everything and trying to motivate his audience to sing along. After having seen him and The Frames now for the fifth I am not really sure about the audience in Linz. Moving their bodies a bit and mouthing along to the songs, more was not seen in the beginning.

Glen Hansard at least started with his usual enthusiasm and an unplugged song.

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He lost his toque right after the first song, I don’t believe he was cold for a minute. The show was from the same tour that I saw in Vienna a year ago but with a lot more musicians on stage. Trumpets, a saxophone, a violin, a cello and a piano accompanied the regular other instrument players on stage. It actually looked quite crowded up there. But the sound that was coming from the stage was mind blowing and all of this for three hours. This man never gets tired.

I was glad to see that his former band members from The Frames are still with him. Including especially Joe Doyle, super cute as ever. I don’t think he has changed since I have seen him the first time years ago.

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I was a bit disappointed that his stage position has moved all the way to the back and almost right behind Glen Hansard. While before he was next to him, he now was almost hidden behind the great singer.

Lovely concert, still feel the emotion and passion in me from this evening. Glen Hansard and his band kept on playing for three hours and in the last hour I felt that the audience was finally coming along for the ride!

 

 

20131113-003207.jpgAll of a sudden a young musician from the audience called Mike so and so (sorry, if anybody caught his name, just let me know) came onstage and played one of his own songs. He was surprisingly good!

And this was the final straw to mobilize the audience to really sing and dance along. I would not have thought that they could be so loud and enthusiastic!

 

 

What a show, how amazing was that again to see Glen Hansard again in Austria! Please come again soon, if possible to Vienna. While I am willing to get myself to the show, the drive home is long. Yours, Pollybert

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Glen Hansard in Vienna

Fall is definitely here now and with it the concert season is starting in full. No festivals anymore, now it is back to small venues and seeing amazing artist. And yesterday I saw one of the best! I have been an avid fan of the band “The Frames” for a very long time and have also seen them already a couple of times. First time in 2005 at the 2 days a week festival in Wiesen where they started the line-up at 1pm. Times have been changing. Still then I had a chance to see them up close at a meet and greet.

As you can see this is quite a while ago. I was still blond and in top shape! So when I saw them yesterday at the Arena in Vienna I was super excited. And Glen Hansard came with his band! (I always liked the bassist Joe Doyle best, OMG so handsome!). The music and the entertainment factor yesterday were just perfect. They played until a quarter to midnight and people would have stayed a lot longer if possible. What I enjoyed the most though and made me very happy for Glen Hansard and the band is that apparently they are starting to get the recognition they deserve. The Arena is not a big venue, but I think there were at least a couple hundred people at the concert. And compared to my first concert with around 30 people this is quite a success. Thanks for a great evening yesterday and wonderful music overall. And special thanks for the Frames songs in the end! Until later, Pollybert xoxo

Love this song, enjoy:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gkhn_RmEVKA