Dublin drizzle and trams to drool over

I have just got back from a wee holiday in Dublin. We nipped over there for Keyvan’s graduation – an exciting event held in The Helix at Dublin City University. The only slightly odd thing about the ceremony was the lack of motarboards but we all pulled through. There was a good speech from Olivia O’Leary who was receiving an honorary degree. I felt quite stirred up after she talked about the principles the OU was founded on – accessible education for all and feasible distance learning.

After a brief sojourn at the Helix with the chocolate dipped strawberries, bucks fizz and medieval costumes we headed back into Dublin centre and wandered around for the rest of the weekend. I managed to check out Trinity College and the National Gallery of Ireland. I saw the outside of Dublin Castle, the National Museum of Ireland, The National Library of Ireland the Guinness factory and the Gallery of Photography. I saw the inside the National Photographic Archive which is near the Gallery of Photography, while Keyvan and his family munched on delicious food at Zaytoon – a Persian fast food style restaurant nearby. I also popped into a display about organic cotton in one of the many side streets in that area, which was on because of the Ethical Fashion week.

I spent time on O’Connell Street admiring the digital art by Julian Opie. His work is worth a look if you get a chance. I know his work from portraits of Blur he did for an album cover.

I also spent some quality time in the cinema on O’Connell Street just because I haven’t been to the cinema for what is getting on for years now. We saw In Bruges – an odd black comedy that is actually amusing in parts. As the main character came from Dublin that added to my cinematic experience.

It did rain – as I gather is to be expected in Ireland but Monday was pleasant enough with a warming amount of sunshine. I didn’t see as much of Dublin as I would have liked so I can’t really tell you much about the place. The best thing about the city was the good transport infrastructure. They had an amazing number of buses that actually ran on time and were easy to use. The tram was also good. I’m a big fan of trams – I like Sheffield for almost solely that reason and I’m looking forward to see another tram system in action in Gothenburg. There should be trams in every city and I’m hoping that Norwich get their act into gear and put one in soon. A city with a good public transport infrastructure can’t be all bad but I didn’t really get enough time to get a good look around Dublin so I’ve been left with a slightly dreary impression of a run down city with sooty buildings that the rain doesn’t clean.

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