The Irelands. Not Touring. Not Sorry

Sun rising as we approach Dublin

Every summer I endeavor to escape the heat and humidity of Washington D.C. for gentler climes. It started a few years back with a couple of months in Oceanside CA, followed by a summer in Boulder CO. I read that it could be hot there but with low humidity, I would hardly notice. Don’t believe everything you read. Last year I tried a 2300 mile 3-week tour of Canada. I spent too much of the time behind the wheel going from city to city. Summer traffic was heavy, I spent an average of 6 hours going point to point. 

This year I am taking a different approach. I’ve jetted across the pond, I’m spending 3 weeks in the Irelands, and I am not touring. When I mention this, most folks, gasp and exclaim “how can you not want to see (fill in the blank here)?” To see what everyone wanted me to see would require renting a car, the prospect of driving on the left side of the road terrifies me, and relocating every few nights. I had enough of that last year. This time I am spending a week each in 3 cities; Belfast, Dublin and Cork, each less that a couple of hours train ride from the other. The  hotel clerk in Dublin was amazed that I am spending 7 days in places where most tourists stay 2 or 3. In 7 days I can get a real feel for a city, its flavor, its character, beyond the popular attractions. I amble about, stick my head in shops and If I have a chance to chat up someone, I do it, that often leads to a nice portrait. 

My first stop was Ranelagh, an area outside of central Dublin that used to be considered a suburb. I spotted a charming butcher shop, a virtual jewelry store of meat, unlike anything I have found at home and stopped in. I asked Michael, the owner, if it would be OK if I took a few photos, he said “of course.” His shop is known for dry aging beef in a Himalayan salt chamber. I don’t know what that means, but everything looked grand. He told me more about the shop between customers, most of whom he knew by name. There is something comforting in that, isn’t there?

For largest display, click on the individual photograph.


Tomahawk chops & more

Storefronts fascinate me.

Florist, this one just made me happy.

More or less a diner

Yet another pub

Womens shop

Just feels authentic, right?

Vacant. So sad.

And as always, there are just those shots that call out to me … 

It was one night in Ranelagh before boarding the train to Belfast. A heads up, Ireland, uses the Euro as its currency, Northern Island, still the U.K. uses the British pound sterling. So far, the credit card has been king. 

Next post from Belfast.

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