The Easter Rising

Trip Start Apr 15, 2006
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Trip End Apr 18, 2006


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Flag of Ireland  ,
Sunday, April 16, 2006

Today everybody in the Republic of Ireland is celebrating the Easter Rising.
The Easter Rising (Irish: Éirí Amach na Cásca) was a rebellion staged in Ireland against British rule on Easter Monday, April 24, 1916. Despite its military failure, it can be judged as being a significant stepping-stone in the eventual creation of the Irish Republic.

We started the day off with a nice Irish Breakfast in a bar/hotel next to Christ Church Cathedral and only a couple of metres away from the place where Haendel's Messiah was first performed in 1742.

The breakfast was good, only the sausages had a funny taste :). Claudia who is an expert on this kind of sausages was convinced they were not good.
We then went outside to find a good place to see the Easter Parade. The parade resembled mostly a military parade where modern warfare material was mixed with traditional marching bands. A very nice family atmosphere on the streets, but also a big police force on the look-out for possible terrorist attacks.

Surprisingly, there were a lot of women soldiers among the different divisions, but on closer inspection it was obvious that they were placed on the outside of the troops so that they were very conspicuous.

Afterwards, we took a stroll to town to get to the Garden of Remembrance where Sinn Fein would hold a remembrance service for the men killed during the Easter Rising. But what followed was really a disgraceful display: the small parade (which didn't attract lots of viewers anyway) was badly organised, some women dressed up like real tarts carried a wreath and the supporters distributed propaganda for a United Ireland. Claudia and I had a good laugh but decided that we needed some real culture and we headed towards the Writers Museum.

It's a small but interesting museum where you can see some original items belonging to the most famous Irish writers. Ireland has been very active as a literary nation, having produced four winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature: George Bernard Shaw, William Butler Yeats, Samuel Beckett and Seamus Heaney. But many other Irish writers are world-famous : Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wild, James Joyce, ...

The only negative point about the Writers Museum is the lack of material about modern writers like Seamus Heaney, Roddy Doyle, John Banville.

In the evening we went to the cinema (there is a big multiplex 5 minutes from where Mintaute lives). There weren't many films we both liked to see, so in the end we decided to see V for Vendetta. I'm glad we went because it was very enjoyable. The only drawback is that cinemas are really expensive. In Belgium I pay between 5,50 and 7 euro for a movie at a multiplex, but here they charged almost 10 euro.

Afterwards we went for a drink in the fashionable Temple Bar area of Dublin (where every other building is a pub). We ended up in my favourite pub : The Porterhouse. They have a great selection of exotic beers (very expensive, but this is Dublin, where beer costs approximately 25% more than in Belgium), even Chocolate beer and Oyster beer...who said only Belgians made funny beer?
Oh, and you know what the best thing is about Ireland? It is illegal to smoke in a pub! Even avid smokers love it, because at least there clothes don't smell when they get home. And all the smokers are outside, having a little chat and enjoying the clean air :)

Long after midnight we walked up to Christ Church Cathedral, went into the world-famous Leo Burdock's for some fresh Fish & Chips which we ate on some steps. Mmmh, delicious.
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