Sunday, May 5, 2013

Get To Know Me: that time I went to Dublin and accidentally met an author

Hey guys :)

As I announced last week, I want to keep giving you a little glimpse into my life and stuff I like on Sundays, even though the Know Me Better meme hosted by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer is on hiatus at the moment.

Last week, I talked about favorite TV series (I'm now caught up on Game of Thrones, by the way, and can't wait for the new episode!). This week, I'll tell you about a Dublin trip I went on in October 2011. Why Dublin and not some other city I've been to? Well, I'm reading Karen Marie Moning's Fever series at the moment and it's set in Dublin, and I've been feeling nostalgic. So there.
Note: this post includes quite a few pictures, and they were all taken by me. Don't re-use them without permission. Click them to make them bigger.

Oh Dublin. I'd been meaning to visit you for a while. Then a total coincidence happened. A band a I follow on Twitter retweeted a tweet from a girl from my country being sad about not being able to take part in a video competition because no one else she knew was a fan. She was from Switzerland (and lives really close to where I grew up). I tweeted her. We talked. We met. 10mins later, we decided to go to Dublin together. Two months or so later, we did. She's now my BFF. She's one of those rare people who share both your taste in books AND music!

We arrived at our hotel in Dublin at about 11pm on a Tuesday. We dumped our stuff and headed out again, despite the drizzle and cold. I was really glad to be with someone who already knew the city fairly well. We headed strait for the Temple Bar district, to the actual Temple Bar bar. Despite the weather and being quite tired, I loved the atmosphere! It was quite packed but everyone was happy and in a good mood. There was a live band playing and soon we found ourselves sitting on old wood barrels somewhere near the front, enjoying our drinks and unable to keep our feet from thumping the beat on the floor. I felt like I'd arrived properly, like the city had welcomed me. I didn't want to leave, but we eventually did sometime around 1:30 or 2am, I think.

The band was taking a break.

Temple bar in the morning.
The next morning, we did some sight seeing, visited Trinity College, went to the wonderful library there, and looked at the Book of Kells. I had an intense moment of damn-I-want-to-study-here-it's-so-much-prettier-than-Zurich. Unfortunately, I realize I didn't take so many campus pics, my friend mostly did and we never really exchanged them. Here are some shots from the library that I do not own, because taking pictures was forbidden to protect the books.

Trinity College Campus

Courtesy of National Geographic

The Book of Kells was written around the year 800 in is known for its beautiful illustrations. Image source.

Let me tell you, this city is full of book stores of all kinds!! The biggest one we were at is Eason's, and there we had another lovely surprise!
Seriously you guys, I NEVER get to go to any author events because hardly any I read ever come to Zurich!! And I was so sad to have missed Sarah Rees Brennan by one week and that Cassie Clare would be there about 2 weeks after we left. In that very store. Ugh. So when we saw that Becca Fitzpatrick would sign the next day, we talked the book store lady into wizarding up two more tickets even though the event was sold out. Neither of us had read the hush, hush books yet but I'd seen them around and been debating whether or not to read them for a long time. So we bought them at the event the next day and had them signed. I'd post a pic of the signed book but I've already packed it into one of my moving boxes...

Meeting Becca. I'm on the right side.

 Of course I also bought a great deal of other books. 3 for 2 bargains don't exist over here. Also, books cost more than twice as much in Switzerland. I guess you know what I fill my suitcase with when I go abroad :P

Another author I 'met' was James Joyce. I've read most of Ulysses and a couple of his short stories in Dubliners, and finding his statue on the way to our hotel was awesome! One day I want to go to Dublin on June 16, the day Ulysses takes place. It's called Bloomsday and all over Dublin people dress up like characters from the novel. There are also tours and readings of the book and of poetry and it's generally an awesome literary event!

Me & Mr Joyce

Later that day, we also went to a shopping mall called St. Stephen's Green (I think) and I loved the architecture of that place!
St. Stephen's Green

We also made an excursion to the peninsula of Howth because I wanted to look at the sea. It was really cold so we stopped by the Bloody Stream pub too. Here are some shots.


More harbor

Two fishermen

Unfortunately I don't know what this commemorates

Bloody Stream
We did A LOT of walking around over the two and a half days we were there! On the last morning in the hotel, another guest and his wife gave us their tickets for a hop-on-hop-off tour of the city. They were leaving and couldn't use them anymore, but they were valid another day. So we jumped that bus and drove around some more, also through Phoenix Park and some other places. We left early in the afternoon after buying some more souvenirs and stuff. It was quite a short visit and I would have loved to stay longer! I'm thinking about going back for a short trip in the summer, but we'll see. Below are some more random shots of the city, some taken on foot, some from the above mentioned bus. I hope you enjoy :)

The Olympia Theatre
This might be the Halfpenny Bridge but I'm not sure...
That needle was so high I couldn't get it on the pic properly.

That pole is the needle from before. Also, Jame Joyce statue from the back.
O'Connell Street

I love how the buildings along the river blend old and modern architecture.
Lots of brick, lots of glass.
Some more shots from the Temple Bar District:

No such thing as strangers in the Dub.
Street Art
Molly Malone statue. And a Leprechaun.
Irish bilingual street signs.
Hall of Mirrors shop.

So... I hope I could give you guys some sort of impression of the city, but I'm not sure I succeeded. I didn't take all that many simple street level shots, and I'm never sure what to include. The way the shops and all that looks is really different from here and I think it looks interesting, but it might be completely mundane and boring for other people. I also realized I don't have any big shots that give you an overview of the city. And many pics look bleak because of the weather. But I hope you enjoyed those I put there, because I had a great time!

Any comments on the pics or the author event? I kind of bombarded you ^^' Do you even like this kind of travel post? Would you like me to do another city? I've got lots from London, south England/Cornwall, Paris, Prague, Budapest, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Florence... Or I could do more stuff with favorites. Feel free to suggest a topic :)


  1. Oh, man, I've never accidentally stumbled on an author event. That would be pretty awesome. :P Love all your pics, too. You may not get many author events where you're at, but you sure do get to travel to some awesome places. :D

    1. That's true, getting to different countries works a lot quicker in Europe :) But you guys get to go on awesome road trips! And you have so much space. Seriously, I don't think you're even aware of that. I know when I finally make it to the US I'll be overwhelmed by the sheer size of things, even though I know on an intellectual level stuff is bigger over there.
      And I couldn't believe it that we stumbled across that author event! And that we got in.

  2. I'm overloading on awesome here...I just don't know where to start!! *Breathes* alright, so this entire post made me want to dive in a re-read the entire Fever Series PLUS take a completely impossible and unrealistic trip to Dublin right now! I'm thinking one of my upcoming 'Obsessing On...' posts might go with all things Scottish haha
    Anyways, your trip looked brilliant. I love how you guys found each other and just left on a trip! I loved reading all about your adventures AND looking at those awesome pictures! My favorites were the Old Library at Trinity College, St Stephen's Green, The Needle, pubs & street art ♥ Oh and I love how you guys randomly found an author signing :D Fantastic post all around hun, thanks for sharing!!

    1. Thanks so much for commenting, hun! I wanted to jump a plain too when I looked at all the pics again >.< I'd love to take a tour of the countryside as well, not just Dublin!
      And yeah how we met was so random! But we actually found out that we'd briefly talked on myspace a couple years prior, and that I'd once seen her on the train and almost talked to her because of her shoes XD Small world ^^
      And that library *drool* I wish I could have actually held the books but of course it was all roped off. And I miss the pub atmosphere a lot! No fairies sighted though :P
      The author signing was awesome, Becca was so much fun! And after that we were lying on our beds in the hotel room, simultaneously reading her book and discussing as we went along ^^

  3. Reading this post gave me wanderlust. And it's awesome how you and your BFF met. Too cool!

    I'd like to see Prague in one of your posts. I hope I get to visit it this summer/fall.

    1. Yeah it was such a huge coincidence! And looking through all the pics and remembering things made me want to go back as well :)
      I might do Prague next Sunday in that case! And you should totally go in the summer or fall, it was so beautiful :D