Saturday, 27 August 2016

Dublin // South of the Liffey

So this post is going to be extremely photo-heavy, I must tell you in advance! As previously mentioned, Dublin is divided into North and South by the River Liffey. Each side has a different character, and different things to offer to those who visit. Above is College Green. It's the street which follows the very famous Grafton Street.

The outside of Dublin Castle.

 Parliament House, now known as the Bank of Ireland.

The Royal Exchange, now  a hotel.

Christchurch Cathedral.

Dublin City is punctuated by a lot of redbrick buildings.

Avoca is my top recommendation for gifts. If you're looking for Irish made food, blankets, stationery, jumpers or anything else really, go to Avoca. It is a most wonderful shop for souveniers, and has a restaurant in it too which my friends and I all love. It does have multiple locations, but the one in Dublin City is on Suffolk Street.

Fallon & Byrne, a high end supermarket and restaurant on Exchequer Street.

George's Street, which houses a really cool arcade that has all kinds of stalls and shops.
The city's tram is called the "Luas" which means "speed" in Irish and is said pretty much how it is said, like the name "Louis" pronounced the English way. They're currently working to join up the two different Luas lines so that city travel will be easier.

My favourite bookshop of all, Hodges Figgis! It's much like Waterstones in England, but has a long history and is mentioned in Ulysses.

This is the Molly Malone, a statue which for years stood on Grafton Street but was moved in 2014 (apparently only temporarily). Tourists love her. I must say, I don't really know why but she is very famous. If you've ever heard the song that goes:

"In Dublin's fair city,
where the girls are so pretty,
I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone,
as she wheeled her wheel barrow
through the streets broad and narrow,
crying cockles and muscles alive, alive-o!"'s about that woman! That song is featured in "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" which I'm reading at the moment. Anyway, I wouldn't necessarily recommend going to see the statue, but if you really want to (no judgement here), it's currently located on Suffolk Street.

Do you have a favourite bookshop? x

part 1 - temple bar // part 3 - the quays // part 4 - the sweet stuff // part 5 - the north side

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Dublin // Temple Bar

Hi everyone! I'm really really very excited for this new series which is being launched today on my blog. For a person that dwells in Ireland and keenly posts travel photos, it is fair to say that I have been completely negligent in not showing you all our capital city, Dublin. In my experience and opinion, Dublin is incredible. It's friendly, exciting and full of culture. The city is rapidly expanding and evolving. There are actually so many things to do, all kinds of shops, restaurants and public parks in which you can spend your time. It's becoming quite a multicultural city too, which is very nice and really does help to create a stimulating, lively, interesting environment. I've known Dublin for all my years, and in going out to take these photos, had a number of things in mind. I know that when visitors come to Ireland, they have a list of things to see that everyone wants to see, that friends have recommended, that tour guides praise. When you're not a tourist, you generally avoid those things. But I do recognise their acclaim and importance, and so for the purposes of this travel guide, I will be including some of these attractions. However, in order to give YOU an insider's view of Dublin, and places to eat and see that are really beautiful and not touristy, I'm attempting to strike a balance by including some of my favourite spots too. This series is going to be rather long, but it will be bi-weekly for the next two months. Also, if you have any requests of places you'd like me to photograph and discuss, please let me know and I'll do my best to cover them! With all that being said, I present to you Temple Bar.

Temple Bar is what one might call a "tourist trap". Tourists flock there, but I can actually understand why. It's in the heart of the city and is a mini creative district. It's also a great place for nightlife and pubs and hosts a wide array of places to eat. Many of the pubs boast live music. Tourists adore taking photos of themselves outside the actual bar that is called "Temple Bar", so I've omitted that. But the rest is truly worth seeing and exploring.

Depending on how you approach Temple Bar, you're going to see this massive building with a globe made of leaves outside. It's the central bank of Ireland, and also a key area for loitering youths (unfortunately!). The building itself isn't great, but the open space before it is a great place to take a quick break before venturing into the wonderful craziness that is Temple Bar itself.

So basically street art is the thing here! It's a very colourful little area and a place where you get a great sense of people creating all the time. There are numerous mini-galleries and craft shops, such as the Jam Art Factory and Cow's Lane Designer Studio. If you're looking for vintage secondhand items, it is also your best bet with places like Siopaella (which sells secondhand designer pieces) and Tola Vintage. Above is this almost creepy but very intriguing shop called Lucy's Lounge.

I have to include a shot of Urban Outfitters because #aesthetics. Also pictured is a little market in Temple Bar that isn't usually there (this was a weekday so maybe it is!)  that a friend of mine and I stumbled across.

Thank you so much for reading this post. In part two I'm going to give you a quick tour of the Quays.

Does your locality have a "creative quarter"? x

part 2 - the south side // part 3 - the quays // part 4 - the sweet stuff // part 5 - the north side

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Meet My Golden Retriever

It's been a very long time since I've spoken about my dog, Daisy. In fact, she was five months old last time I wrote a post dedicated to her. Now, this English Cream Golden Retriever is nearing her third birthday and has shown us all the quirks of her very unique personality.

When we journied to Roscommon in the autumn of 2013, we were expecting to come home with a bubbly, loving and affectionate dog. A dog who would spend days and nights providing us with cuddles and love. We thought she'd love people.

How wrong we were.

Daisy is far from normal. It took her the best part of two years to show any interest in us, prefering by far bread and popcorn. She was disobedient (apart from when there was food involved; then she was an angel) and terrified of everybody she ever met.

Nowadays she spends her time falling in love with soft toys, toting them around like newborn puppies in her mouth, until one day, one of us looks out into the garden to see it covered in fluff and toy innards. She shows no remorse. She likes her alone time, and she likes playing watchdog. She'll sit in any doorway she can, keeping an eye on us and her lair. She likes walks now, and can do a variety of tricks. She even seeks us out, giving us the cuddles we dreamt of for two years. Only at nighttime though, when she's all tuckered out. She actually prefers us to other dogs.

However, she still is afraid of children and any other human who decides that it's okay to come to our house. She's better than she was, but still frightened.

She runs like a maniac bunny rabbit and cries when she doesn't get her way. Her ears are incredibly expressive, to the point where my family and I have come up with distinct terms for their various positionings, "Dobby" being the most recent, and named after everybody's favourite house-elf, fitting in more ways than one because of our dog's love of socks.

We love her to the point where we now can no longer imagine a world in which our clothes are not laden with long, white dog hairs. Even at nearly three, she shows us new things, and can learn new tricks with ease.

Maybe she'll eventually be sociable, that would be the dream. If you have any tips for helping us with that aspect, I will attend to them with no hesitation.

Daisy is an explorer, in fact, in the pictures you see above, she burst through the kitchen door and legged it up to my room for the sheer thrill of it. I let her stay under the conditions that she let me do a mini photo-shoot.

She's beautiful. Maybe we're all just biased, but she turns heads, delights walkers. Daily, we tell her so. I wonder if she understands us...

In just a few short days, she'll be three years old.

Do you have any family pets? If so, describe them to me!

p.s. we recently made an instagram for her if you're in the mood to see more!
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