Walt's Look Around: Dublin, Ireland - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Walt's Look Around: Dublin, Ireland

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We rode into Dublin from the airport on the E1 highway. "E" highways are a European designation and used all over the cotenant for roads that cross international borders. There are M-roads, like our interstates, and then N-roads and R-roads and L-roads. But when you get away from the M-roads, or motorways, the rest of them look about the same.

And of course they drive on the left hand side of the road in Ireland, too. Makes you look twice when you pass a car with a 10-year-old riding in what I'm used to as the drivers seat.

That first day of our tour was designed as a buffer day. That's a day to take up slack if your plane arrives late or your luggage decides to go see another country first. Fortunately for us, we all arrived on time and all of our suite cases were accounted for and we were able to hit the town right away.

And we dove head-long into a situation that would nag at me all week. Here's an example of it. Riding down the main street of Dublin there are statues of Ireland's national hero's all over. Now, name for me all of the Irish National hero's you can think of off the top of your head. Here's a hint, Charles Stewart Parnell is one. Still a blank? Well, he's a household name in Ireland. Like George Washington is here. But me, there, I didn't have a clue.

And you go past places where there are important government buildings, like the Nation's Capitol here, or The White House, where the president lives, and you know these places are important to the Irish as our comparables are to us. But had I not been told what they were I'd not have known.

I'll come back to this theme, of how we toured places that are of immense importance to Ireland's history and culture that I had never heard of. I can tell you the importance of where the Southern crosses the Yellow Dog in Mississippi. But where the glacial eskers intersect with the Shannon River in Ireland? Had no idea. NOW I do. And we'll get to that in another story.

We stopped and took a tour of St. Patrick's Cathedral. The origins of this building date back to 1191, with most of what we see here today being built in the 1200s. That's somewhere on the neighborhood of 400 years older than the OLDEST buildings in this country. We'll come back to St. Patrick's later in another story and give it the time it deserves.

But by the time we left St. Patrick's Cathedral, we were hungry. And a few of the group wasted no time finding a pub and diving in.

We left the city behind and over-nighted in a converted castle in Duboyne. Same group who found the pub at lunch found the pub in the nearby village. But I added it up, the last time I had slept was over 36 hours earlier. So I hit the hay. And the local castle ghost didn't even bother me I slept so soundly our first night in Ireland.

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