It’s finally true ‘summertime’ in Dublin: the sun is shining, the skies are bright blue, and everyone is talking about the gorgeous weather. We walked to the Dublin Zoo, located in Phoenix Park, a large, green space within the center of Dublin. Phoenix Park reminds us of New York City’s Central Park, except Phoenix Park is three times larger. We haven’t been to a zoo in years, and it was fun to watch both the animals and the Irish families enjoying a beautiful day.
giraffe born in July
Lunch turned out to be another unexpected Irish experience. We stopped at Ryan’s Pub primarily because of the name (Mike’s last name is Ryan). The bartender told us the pub celebrated it’s 126th anniversary this year as we talked about favorite types of beer (he prefers Guinness, as expected) and craft beers in Ireland and the US.
We’ve been watching the Olympics this week, and today is a huge day for Ireland: the boxer Katie Taylor is in the gold medal match at 4:45pm. We saw signs supporting Katie yesterday in Glendalough because she’s from Bray, a busy town of around 32,000 in County Wicklow. We decided to watch the fight in the hotel’s bar to participate in the national enthusiasm and we weren’t disappointed. The bar was packed one hour before the fight started, with entire families including babies and grandparents all wanting to join the event and support Katie. The entire bar erupted when she won the gold medal and the party continued for the next few hours as Irish television continued coverage of Katie who is now a national hero, winning Ireland’s first gold medal of the 2012 Olympics. We were eating dinner in another pub during her medal ceremony, and people stood and sang the Irish national anthem as it played on TV.
It’s a fitting end to our Irish vacation, which took us on a motorcycle to the north and west, walking in the Wicklow Mountains, and exploring the churches, museums, and history in Dublin. We’re already planning the next trip!