Sunday, January 23, 2011

Dublin Ireland - St. Stephen's Day

In Ireland the day after Christmas is called Saint Stephen's Day. The buses run, but not the DART. Most shops are open, but not other businesses, plus it fell on Sunday, so that limited things that were open anyways.

Before we left America, I looked to see if there was a church of Chirst in Dublin that we could attend while there. I did find one in the Knocklyon area and I emailed to ask how to get there by public transportation. The preacher, Steve Kearney, emailed me back and told me that he would just come pick us up. How great is that?! It was a good thing too since the buses run later on Sunday and we would not have been able to get there on time. He had given me his phone number and I called him the day before to work out the minor details.

He came and picked us up and took us to the church building. Despite the snow and the cold they still had about 30 to 40 people there, which normally they have over 50. They were the FRIENDLIEST bunch of people I have encountered. It was very uplifting to be in a foreign country surrounded by Christian brothers and sisters where we felt the love. It was one of the most blessed things of the entire trip and one memory that will not fade over time.

I love the Irish accent. I like that they don't pronounce "th" in some words. So three comes out tree. Through comes out true. We were singing a song in church and the word throne was in the song. The entire congregation, except us three Americans, all said trone. I had to hold in my laughter. I just loved it!

It got worst though, during prayer, they used the word father often, and oh my goodness, it came out farter. EVERY TIME! I tried, honestly I did, to pay attention to the prayer and not focus on that one word that kept being said over and over and over. I was so happy to hear amen just because I knew the man would stop saying farter!

We got to talk to many of the members and it was amazing to see that there were people there from all over the world. China, Spain, Africa, Russian etc. We actually found that to be true all over Dublin. We talked to more foreign people than Irish people, I think!

After church, the Mr. Kearney so kindly drove us to the city center. From there we headed to Stephen's Green Shopping Center and as we found out, a mall is a mall. After a very short time we left there and headed out to find something to eat. We found a great Italian food restaurant in the Temple Bar area where Frankie ordered a most interesting calzone.

fish shaped calzone

It was only in the shape of a fish, there were no actual fish involved. There was however an egg inside, which was different. Frankie said it was really good.

Since I went to one at this restaurant, I want to take a moment to talk about the bathrooms in Dublin. When there are stalls, they are not like stalls in America where you can see through gaps in the doors.

The stalls in Dublin, and we found this to be true in Rome, were individual little rooms. If you have ever been to Buc-ee's in Texas then know it was like those bathrooms. Some of them even let you know when a stall was:


Or if they were:


After our meal, we walked around. Again, most attractions were closed so we just took the opportunity to see Dublin and its people. We did see another street performer in the exact same spot as we saw the band called The Riptide Movement. This guy was dancing though.

It started raining around 5 PM so we decided to call it a day and head back to the hotel. We had to ride the bus the entire trip, which all the way out to Don Laoghaire took awhile. All the buses are double decker buses like in London.

double decker bus no standing in saloon

This was on the upper deck. We made it to our stop, the last stop before the bus turns around and went to the hotel.

Stay tuned to this blog for our last day in Dublin, where we squeeze in a trip to Malahide castle before going to the airport for a LONG trip home.