I’m in Dublin right now! This is my first trip to Ireland ever and I’m seriously excited about it. Unfortunately since I’m here for work there’ll be minimal sight-seeing and lots of conferencing, but on the plus side I’m not paying!
Ordinarily in times of travel I would likely leave the blog to gather dust while I gallivanted across the country/continent/globe, but since my pledge for Blogtoberfest was to blog every single day throughout October, I’ve scheduled a few Irish-themed posts to satisfy that requirement. I’m a big fan of scheduling anyway since it allows me to work a 9-5 job while maintaining the illusion of blog dedication and organisation!
1. The name: The Irish Gaelic name for the city is Baile Átha Cliath, meaning “town of the hurdled ford” (Baile = Town, Átha = Ford, Cliath = Hurdle). The English name for the city is derived from the Irish name Dubhlinn, meaning “black pool”.
2. The region: So great they named it twice! Dublin is a bit like New York, in that the city and its surrounding region have the same name. So there’s the county of Dublin, and then Dublin City.
3. The river: The river Liffey divides the city geographically between the Northside and the Southside. It’s not easy to do ‘Northside’ and ‘Southside’ gang signs without looking like you’re trying to create shadow puppets, but apparently there is also a cultural divide on the different sides of the river. The Northside (where I’ll be staying and working) is typically working class, while the Southside (home of the University and Guinness) is more middle to upper-middle class.
4. The friends: Dublin has five twins cities. I would have thought this greedy until discovering that Edinburgh has nine twin cities, a partner city, and a “friendship link”. So really, fairly restrained there Dublin.
5. The writers: William Butler Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, Samuel Beckett, Oscar Wilde, Jonathan Swift, Bram Stoker, Maeve Binchy and Roddy Doyle all hail from Dublin. No wonder it’s a UNESCO City of Literature.
6. The drinkers: Dublin has been home of Guinness since 1759 and the Storehouse is now a major tourist attraction.
7. The youngsters: Wikipedia suggest that Dublin is one of Europe’s most youthful cities, with an estimate of 50% of citizens being younger than 25. I’m always suspect of Wiki statistics and a quick check suggested that the figure is from some fairly unofficial websites, and actually isn’t true. But I did find stats here suggesting that in Dublin City 33% of the population are in the 20-34 age group. Combining that with the under 25s reveals that 64.9% are younger than 35. SO since I wouldn’t appear in that pre-25 category, but am under 35, I’m happy to interpret that figure as being representative of a youthful city!
8. The pedal pushers: The city has over 120 miles of cycle tracks, a public bike scheme with 450 bikes for general public use and 40 bike stations around the city.
Image by Kanchelskis via Wikimedia Commons.
9. The crest: Dublin’s coat of arms has been used for about 400 years and shows three burning castles. Since a fiery fortress is not exactly typical for a coat of arms, I had a Google to see where this came from and discovered that it’s a mystery! There are loads of different theories out there, but ultimately nobody, not even Dubliners themselves, can be sure.
10. The currency: Being in Ireland and all, Dubliners use the Euro. This is not a ground-breaking or noteworthy fact, but adding it to this list might increase the likelihood that I remember to pack my Euros, and not arrive in Dublin waving a tatty tenner from the Clydesdale Bank.
>>> This is post 17 of the 31 I’ll be writing for Blogtoberfest 2012 <<<