Dublin and Mystical Side-Trips


HI, I’M RICK STEVES, BACK WITH
MORE OF THE BEST OF EUROPE. GET READY TO EXPERIENCE DUBLIN, CAPITAL OF THE YOUNGEST
AND FRIENDLIEST COUNTRY IN THE EUROPEAN UNION. DUBLIN IS IRELAND’S CAPITAL
AND LARGEST CITY, WITH REMINDERS OF ITS STIRRING
HISTORY AND RICH CULTURE ON NEARLY EVERY STREET CORNER. IN SPITE OF ITS RECENT
STRUGGLES, TODAY, IT’S A BOOMTOWN AND LOCALS ARE ENJOYING
THE “CELTIC TIGER” ECONOMY, ONE OF THE HOTTEST IN EUROPE.IN THIS EPISODE, WE’LL TAP OUR
FEET TO TRADITIONAL MUSIC,
ADMIRE ANCIENT IRISH GOLD,TRY A LITTLE HURLING,REMEMBER A BLOODY CIVIL WAR,DRINK GUINNESS
IN ITS BIRTHPLACE,
JOIN POETS ON A PUB CRAWL,AND SIDE-TRIP TO ANCIENT SIGHTS
NEAR DUBLIN.
DUBLIN WAS FOUNDED HERE
ON THE RIVER LIFFEY IN THE 9th CENTURY
AS A VIKING TRADING SETTLEMENT. IT GREW TO BECOME A CENTER
OF WEALTH AND COMMERCE, SECOND ONLY TO LONDON
IN THE BRITISH EMPIRE. DUBLIN WAS THE MOST ENGLISH
OF IRELAND’S CITIES. IT WAS AN OUTPOST
OF ENGLISHNESS WHEN THE REST OF THE ISLAND WAS
RURAL, CATHOLIC, AND VERY IRISH.THE GOLDEN AGE OF ENGLISH
DUBLIN WAS THE 18th CENTURY,
WHEN BRITAIN WAS
COLONIZING THE WORLD
AND GROWING VERY RICH.LARGELY REBUILT
DURING THIS GEORGIAN ERA,
DUBLIN BECAME AN ELEGANT
AND CULTURED CAPITAL
WITH ITS OWN PARLIAMENT.THE 18th CENTURY LEFT DUBLINWITH AN AIR OF GRANDNESS
AND SOPHISTICATION.
THEN THE IDEAS
OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION — NATIONALISM, HUMAN RIGHTS,
AND SO ON — GOT IN THE WAY. IN 1798, THE IRISH REBELLED
AGAINST ENGLISH RULE. THIS ENDED DUBLIN’S COZY
RELATIONSHIP WITH LONDON, AND HER GENTEEL AGE WAS
REPLACED BY A CENTURY OF STRIFE AND STRUGGLE.THIS MEMORIAL TO THE VICTIMS OF
THE GREAT POTATO FAMINE OF 1845
IS A REMINDER THAT GOOD TIMES
WERE FOLLOWED BY AN AGE
WHEN THE NATIONAL COSTUME
BECAME BARE FEET AND RAGS.
IN THE 19th CENTURY,
WITH THE GREAT HUNGER, THE CLOSING OF THE IRISH
PARLIAMENT AND SEVERAL UPRISINGS
FOR INDEPENDENCE, THE IRISH WERE TREATED AND FELT
MORE LIKE AN ENGLISH COLONY THAN A PARTNER.THE TENSION CULMINATED
IN THE 1920s
WITH A SUCCESSFUL
WAR FOR INDEPENDENCE,
FOLLOWED IMMEDIATELY
BY A TRAGIC CIVIL WAR.
FINALLY, DUBLIN, ITS ONCE
ELEGANT STREETS IN RUINS,
EMERGED AS THE CAPITALOF THE ONLY FORMER COLONY
WITHIN EUROPE.
WHILE PATRIOTIC STATUES
KEEP MEMORIES
OF IRELAND’S LONG FIGHT
FOR INDEPENDENCE ALIVE,
IT’S BOOM TIME NOW.RATHER THAN EXPORTING LABOR,FOR THE FIRST TIME, IRELAND IS
ACTUALLY IMPORTING WORKERS.
GRAFTON STREET ISTHEPLACE TO
FEEL THE NEW ENERGY OF DUBLIN.
ONCE FILLED WITH NOISY TRAFFIC,TODAY, THIS IS
A FUN PEOPLE ZONE
LINED WITH CAFES, PUBS,
AND SHOPPING TEMPTATIONS.
GRAFTON STREET LEADS
TO ST. STEPHEN’S GREEN.
ON A SUNNY AFTERNOON,THIS LUSH CITY PARK IS
AN INVITING WORLD APART
FROM THE BIG CITY.ONCE A PLACE FOR PUBLIC
WHIPPINGS AND HANGINGS,
TODAY, IT’S A CHEERY LUNCHTIME
ESCAPE FOR DUBLINERS.
ST. STEPHEN’S GREEN
WAS ENCLOSED IN 1664
AND GRADUALLY SURROUNDED
WITH FINE GEORGIAN BUILDINGS.
TODAY, 19th CENTURY DUBLIN
APPEARS AS GEORGIAN
AS ANY CITY IN BRITAIN.GEORGIAN, THE ENGLISH TERM
FOR NEOCLASSICAL,
IS NAMED FOR THE ENGLISH KINGS
OF THAT ERA.
THINGS WERE STATELY, UNIFORM
AND SYMMETRICAL.
THE STREETS ARE A GRID PLAN,
WITH VISTAS BUILT IN.
THE ONLY HINT OF PLAYFULNESS
COMES FROM THE FUN COLORS.
LOCALS SAY THAT AFTER
AN ENGLISH ROYAL DIED,
THEY WERE TOLD TO PAINT ALL
THE DOORS BLACK IN MOURNING.
THIS SENT THE NAUGHTY IRISH
DIRECTLY TO THE PAINT STORE.
TO VENTURE BEHIND ALL THESE
FANCY FACADES,
VISIT NUMBER 29 LOWER
FITZWILLIAM STREET.
ADMISSION TO THIS DUBLIN HOME
FROM 1790, NOW A MUSEUM,
COMES WITH TOURS,GIVING AN INTIMATE GLIMPSE AT
THE ELEGANCE OF GEORGIAN LIFE.
THE WORD “DRAWING ROOM”
IS SHORT FOR WITHDRAWING ROOM. SO THESE ARE THE ROOMS
TO WHICH THE FAMILY WITHDREW WHEN THEY HAD FINISHED
DINING DOWNSTAIRS. VERY OFTEN, NEAR A FIREPLACE,
THEY HAD A POLESCREEN, AND THIS IS A POLESCREEN HERE AND IT WAS USED TO SHADE
PEOPLE’S FACES FROM THE HEAT OF THE FIRE BECAUSE THEY USED HEAVY
WAX-BASED MAKEUP AND THAT MIGHT RUN OR MELT
CLOSE TO THE FIRE.THE TOUR ALSO SHOWS
THE BEDROOMS AND DRESSING ROOMS
OF THIS TYPICAL WELL-TO-DO
GEORGIAN FAMILY.
THE SONS OF THAT FAMILY
LIKELY WOULD HAVE GONE
TO TRINITY COLLEGE, FOUNDED
IN 1592 BY QUEEN ELIZABETH I
TO ESTABLISH A PROTESTANT WAY
OF THINKING ABOUT GOD.
TRINITY HAS LONG BEEN IRELAND’S
MOST PRESTIGIOUS COLLEGE.
WHILE THE STUDENT BODY
WAS ORIGINALLY LIMITED
TO RICH PROTESTANT MALES,TODAY, MANY OF ITS STUDENTS
ARE WOMEN AND CATHOLIC.
FOR TOURISTS,THE BIG DRAW ON CAMPUS
IS A MUSEUM
CONTAINING THE PRECIOUS
“BOOK OF KELLS,”
A MONK-MADE SET
OF THE FOUR GOSPELS
FROM ABOUT THE YEAR 800.BEFORE YOU VIEW THE ORIGINAL,A FIRST-CLASS EXHIBIT
PREPARES YOU
BY PUTTING THIS 680-PAGE
ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT
IN ITS HISTORICAL
AND CULTURAL CONTEXT.
IRISH MONKS TRANSCRIBED
AND ILLUSTRATED
PRECIOUS MANUSCRIPTS
LIKE “THE BOOK OF KELLS.”
STUDYING THIS COPY, IT’S CLEAR:
THIS WAS PAINSTAKING WORK.
COVER PAGES AND CHAPTER HEADS
WERE A CHANCE FOR THE MONKS
TO SHOW OFF THEIR ARTISTIC
CREATIVITY.
THEY WENT TO GREAT LENGTHS,USING POWDERS FROM CRUSHED BUGS
AND PRECIOUS STONES
TO GET THE MOST VIVID PIGMENTS.MEDIEVAL BOOKS WERE WRITTEN
ON VELLUM.
THAT’S CALFSKIN SCRAPED
WITH A KNIFE.
IT’S ESTIMATED THAT
IT TOOK THE SKINS
OF 185 DARLING LITTLE CALVES
TO MAKE “THE BOOK OF KELLS.”
TO SEE THE ACTUAL
“BOOK OF KELLS,”
YOU’LL HAVE TO COME TO DUBLIN.CAMERAS ARE NOT ALLOWED.UPSTAIRS,
TRINITY’S OLD LIBRARY
IS STACKED TO ITS TOWERING
CEILING WITH 200,000
OF THE LIBRARY’S OLDEST BOOKS.HERE YOU’LL FIND
A RARE ORIGINAL EDITION
OF THE PROCLAMATION OF THE
INDEPENDENT IRISH REPUBLIC.
STARTING THE EASTER RISING
IN 1916,
A REBEL LEADER READ THESE
STIRRING AND INCLUSIVE WORDS.
Various readers:
“IRISHMEN AND IRISHWOMEN, “IN THE NAME OF GOD
AND OF THE DEAD GENERATIONS “FROM WHICH SHE RECEIVES HER
OLD TRADITION OF NATIONHOOD, “IRELAND, THROUGH US, SUMMONS
HER CHILDREN TO HER FLAG AND STRIKES FOR FREEDOM.”EACH OF THE SEVEN SIGNATORIES
WERE ARRESTED
AND THEN EXECUTED
IN A NEARBY PRISON,
NOW A NATIONAL MEMORIAL
THAT WE’LL VISIT LATER.
THE LIBRARY HOLDS ANOTHER
NATIONAL ICON:
IRELAND’S OLDEST SURVIVING
HARP, FROM THE 15th CENTURY.
THIS HARP IS FEATURED ON THE
BACK OF THE IRISH EURO COIN.
WHILE THE EURO, ADOPTED IN
2002, IS THE ACCEPTED CURRENCY
THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRIES
OF EURO LAND,
EACH COUNTRY CUSTOMIZES
THE FLIP SIDE
WITH ITS OWN NATIONAL SYMBOL.FOR MORE TREASURES OF IRELANDFROM THE STONE AGE
TO THE MIDDLE AGE,
VISIT THE NATIONAL MUSEUM.ITS CHALICES, JEWELRY
AND BROOCHES GIVE GLIMPSES
INTO IRELAND’S DISTANT
AND MYSTERIOUS PAST.
IRELAND’S BRONZE AGE GOLD,
FROM CENTURIES BEFORE CHRIST,
DAZZLES VISITORS,
MAKING IT CLEAR:
CIVILIZATION IN IRELAND
GOES WAY BACK.
THIS DELICATE LITTLE BOAT,MODELED AFTER THE SKIN-HULLED
BOATS USED BY PEOPLE HERE
2,000 YEARS AGO, WAS AN
OFFERING, PLACED INTO A LAKE
IN HOPES OF GAINING BLESSINGS
FROM THE GODS.
THE COLLECTION’S SUPERSTAR
IS THE TARA BROOCH,
EMBELLISHED WITH GOLD,
ENAMEL AND AMBER.
THIS EARLY CHRISTIAN ORNAMENTAL
BROOCH IS 1200 YEARS OLD.
IT’S DECORATED WITH EXTREMELY
DELICATE FILIGREE
AND CELTIC-STYLE FIGURES.THE CHAIN ON THE RIGHT
IS CONNECTED TO THE RING
BY A SNAKE BITING THE BROOCH.THE TWO ALMOST MICROSCOPIC
FACES, ETCHED INTO GLASS BEADS,
ARE A MARVEL.WHILE THE MUSEUM PIECES
ARE IMPRESSIVE,
THEPLACE TO COMMUNE WITH
THE ANCIENT SOUL OF IRELAND
IS IN ITS LUSH COUNTRYSIDE.THE PEACEFUL
BOYNE RIVER VALLEY,
JUST AN HOUR’S DRIVE
NORTH OF DUBLIN,
OFFERS A WORLD-CLASS
CONCENTRATION
OF HISTORICAL
AND SPIRITUAL SITES.
IN ONE DAY, YOU CAN SEE THE
CAPITAL OF ANCIENT IRISH KINGS, SOME OF IRELAND’S FINEST
HIGH CROSSES, CRAWL THROUGH BURIAL MOUNDS
OLDER THAN THE PYRAMIDS AND BE BACK IN DUBLIN IN TIME
FOR DINNER AND A PUB CRAWL. AND THAT’S PRECISELY OUR PLAN.THE HILL OF TARA WAS THE MOST
IMPORTANT CENTER OF POLITICAL
AND RELIGIOUS POWER
IN PRE-CHRISTIAN IRELAND.
THIS WAS THE SEAT OF THE HIGH
KINGS OF CELTIC IRELAND.
AND THIS IS THE PLACE WHERE YOU
FIND THE SOUL OF IRELAND, HERE ON THIS HILL OF TARA.LOCAL GUIDE JEAN THORNTON
IS GIVING US A SAMPLE
OF TARA’S PREHISTORIC,
MEDIEVAL AND MODERN HISTORY.
Rick:
SO FOR 5,000 YEARS
PEOPLE HAVE COME HERE? Jean:
PEOPLE HAVE COME TO TARA AND INDEED YOU CAN SEE
THEY’RE STILL COMING TODAY. WE KNOW THE STONE AGE
PEOPLE WERE HERE. WE KNOW THE BRONZE AGE
PEOPLE WERE HERE. WE KNOW THE IRON AGE
PEOPLE WERE HERE. THIS AREA WAS A VERY
SACRED PLACE WHERE CEREMONY AND
RITUAL TOOK PLACE. NOW, YOU KNOW, ST. PATRICK
IS OUR PATRON SAINT AND THE SHAMROCK
IS A SYMBOL OF IRELAND. WE ARE TOLD THAT IT ALL BEGAN
HERE ON THIS HILL OF TARA. NOW, IN 432 A.D., IRELAND
WAS A PAGAN COUNTRY. NOW, HE CAME HERE
TO THIS HILL OF TARA TO ASK THE PAGAN KING’S
PERMISSION TO SPREAD CHRISTIANITY. NOW, THIS IS WHAT
ST. PATRICK USED TO EXPLAIN CHRISTIANITY
TO THE HIGH KING. HE USED THIS AS A SYMBOL. THERE ARE THREE LEAVES
AND ONE STEM ON THIS LITTLE PIECE
OF SHAMROCK. THE FATHER, THE SON,
AND THE HOLY SPIRIT. AND THAT IS HOW
HE EXPLAINED THE TRINITY, THE CONCEPT OF CHRISTIANITY,
TO THIS PAGAN KING.THE SYMBOLIC IMPORTANCE
OF TARA CONTINUED
INTO IRELAND’S MODERN HISTORY.IN 1843,DANIEL O’CONNELL, THE GREAT
CHAMPION OF IRISH LIBERTY,
GATHERED SEVERAL HUNDRED
THOUSAND PEOPLE HERE.
PEACEFULLY, THEY DEMANDED
IRISH HOME RULE.
THIS RUINED MONASTERY,
MONASTERBOICE,
IS NOTABLE FOR ITS ROUND TOWER,A STANDARD FEATURE IN IRELAND’S
EARLY CHRISTIAN CHURCHES,
AND ITS ORNATELY CARVED
HIGH CROSSES.
THE CROSS OF MUIREDACH,NAMED AFTER AN ABBOT WHO RAN
THIS PLACE AROUND THE YEAR 900,
IS CONSIDERED THE FINEST
HIGH CROSS IN ALL IRELAND.
THESE CROSSES WERE ILLUSTRATED
WITH BIBLE STORIES
CARVED INTO THE SANDSTONE.ORIGINALLY, THEY WERE
BRIGHTLY PAINTED.
IMAGINE, A THOUSAND YEARS AGO,
PRIESTS USED THESE
AS VISUAL AIDS AS THEY
TAUGHT THE PEOPLE.
THE MOST POPULAR SIGHTSEEING
ATTRACTION NEAR DUBLIN
IS BRU na BOINNE,
AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE
WITH TWO AMAZING
ANCIENT BURIAL MOUNDS.
UPON ARRIVAL,VISITORS GET APPOINTMENTS
TO TOUR THE TOMBS,
SPEND WAITING TIME IN
THE STATE-OF-THE-ART MUSEUM,
THEN CATCH THEIR SHUTTLE BUS
TO ONE OR BOTH
OF THE 5,000-YEAR-OLD
PASSAGE TOMBS,
NEWGRANGE AND KNOWTH.KNOWTH IS A NECROPOLIS,
OR CITY OF THE DEAD,
WITH SEVERAL GRASSY MOUNDS
AROUND ONE GRAND TOMB.
BEING A PASSAGE TOMB,IT HAS ONE TUNNEL FACING EAST
AND ONE FACING WEST,
ALIGNED SO THAT ON BOTH
THE SPRING AND FALL EQUINOXES,
RAYS FROM THE RISING
AND SETTING SUN
SHINE DOWN THE PASSAGEWAYS,ILLUMINATING ITS CENTRAL
CHAMBER.
Guide:
TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA OF THE
SWEEP OF THE HISTORY HERE, THESE SITES WERE BUILT
APPROXIMATELY 5,300 YEARS AGO, APPROXIMATELY 3,300 B.C.,
WHICH PUTS THEM 500 YEARS OLDER THAN
THE OLDEST PYRAMIDS IN EGYPT, 1,000 YEARS OLDER
THAN STONEHENGE IN WILTSHIRE IN ENGLAND. SO THESE PEOPLE PUT A HUGE
AMOUNT OF ENERGY AND RESOURCES AND BASICALLY A HUGE AMOUNT
OF THEIR WEALTH INTO CONSTRUCTING THESE
MONUMENTS. THEY WERE PROBABLY THINKING,
NOT JUST ABOUT SURVIVAL, BUT ISSUES AROUND LIFE, DEATH,
THE STORY OF THEIR TRIBE, THEIR ANCESTORS,
ISSUES LIKE REBIRTH, WHERE DID THEY COME FROM,
WHERE WERE THEY GOING TO.ANOTHER SHUTTLE BUS RIDE DROPS
US AT THE NEWGRANGE TOMB,
THOUGHT TO BE EVEN OLDER,
DATING FROM 3,200 B.C.
WHILE WE KNOW ALMOST NOTHING
OF THE BUILDERS,
THIS WAS MOST CERTAINLY
A SACRED SPOT
DEALING WITH SOME KIND
OF SUN GOD RITUAL.
IMAGINE THE IMPACT
OF THIS PLACE:
THE LARGEST STRUCTURE EVER SEEN
FACED WITH EXOTIC WHITE QUARTZ.
Guide:
THE FARMING PEOPLE WHO
CONSTRUCTED THESE MONUMENTS, THESE PASSAGE TOMBS, MUST HAVE BEEN THE ORIGINAL
HUNTING-GATHERING PEOPLE OF THIS COUNTRY WHO CAME HERE
AFTER THE ICE MELTED. THIS ABSTRACT ART APPEARED WITH
THEM, IN TANDEM WITH FARMING, AS IF IT WAS A SYMBOLIC
LANGUAGE, SOMETHING TO DO WITH THEIR PSYCHOLOGICAL
AND RELIGIOUS NEEDS.YOUR GUIDE ACTUALLY
TAKES YOU DEEP INTO THE TOMB,
DOWN A NARROW PASSAGEWAYWHICH LEADS TO THE CROSS-SHAPED
CENTRAL CHAMBER
UNDER A 20-FOOT-HIGH
IGLOO-TYPE STONE DOME.
BONES AND ASHES
WERE PLACED HERE
UNDER 200,000 TONS
OF STONE AND DIRT
TO WAIT
FOR A SPECIAL MOMENT.
HERE, IN A REPLICA OF THE TOMB
BACK IN THE MUSEUM,
YOUR GUIDE TURNS OUT THE LIGHTAND THE SUNRAY RITUAL
IS DEMONSTRATED.
AS THE SUN RISES ON THE
SHORTESTAY OF THE YEAR,
A RAY OF LIGHT SHINES
INTO THE PASSAGEWAY.
FOR 17 MINUTES, IT LIGHTS THE
CENTER OF THE SACRED CHAMBER.
PERHAPS THIS WAS THE MOMENT
WHEN THE SOULS OF THE DEAD WOULD BE TRANSPORTED
TO THE AFTERLIFE, VIA THAT MYSTERIOUS RAY
OF LIFE-GIVING AND LIFE-TAKING SUNLIGHT.THE IRISH COUNTRYSIDEHOLDS THE SECRETS OF IRELAND’S
FIRST INHABITANTS
AND THE MYSTERIES
OF THEIR ANCIENT RITUALS.
BACK IN TODAY’S DUBLIN,
THE TEMPLE BAR DISTRICT
HAS ITS OWN SEEMINGLY
MYSTERIOUS RITUALS.
WE’RE HERE AROUND
THE SUMMER SOLSTICE,
WHEN IT’S LIGHT
UNTIL TEN O’CLOCK,
AND THE PEOPLE
ARE CELEBRATING.
TEMPLE BAR IS DUBLIN’S
THRIVING NIGHT LIFE CENTER.
WHILE RUN-DOWN THROUGH MOST
OF THE 20th CENTURY,
RECENT GOVERNMENT
TAX INCENTIVES
HAVE HELPED TURN TEMPLE BARINTO A THRIVING CULTURAL
AND BEER-DRINKING HOT SPOT.
TODAY, THIS TRENDY CENTER
FEELS LIKE THE SOCIAL HEART
OF DUBLIN.LOTS OF THESE PEOPLE
ARE ENGLISH,
WHO SAIL OVER FOR STAGAND HEN PARTIES.WITH ITS RECENT ECONOMIC BOOMAND THE MAJORITY OF ITS PEOPLE
UNDER 30 YEARS OF AGE,
DUBLIN IS MODERNIZING LIKE
A CITY ON FAST FORWARD.
WHILE THE IRISH ECONOMY
GALLOPS INTO THE 21st CENTURY,
IRISH ATTITUDES ON SEX AND
MARRIAGE ARE MORE TRADITIONAL.
STEVEN McPHILLAMY, WHO LEADS
TOURS WITH ME THROUGH IRELAND,
IS CLUEING US IN
ON SOME CHANGES
HIS COUNTRY’S GOING THROUGH.Steven:
FOR THE LAST TEN YEARS, OUR
COUNTRY HAS CHANGED RAPIDLY. Rick:
HOW? WE’VE NOW LEGALIZED
CONTRACEPTION. WE HAVE LEGALIZED DIVORCE. AND WE ARE IN THE PROCESS
PROBABLY OF LEGALIZING ABORTION. Rick:
SO WITH ALL THIS
YOUTH CULTURE, IS THERE STILL ROOM FOR A
TRADITIONAL IRISH LIFESTYLE? I THINK VERY MUCH SO. WE’RE BECOMING THE
QUINTESSENTIAL EUROPEAN COSMOPOLITAN CITY HERE,
AND WE’RE VERY PROUD TO BE EUROPEANS IN DUBLIN
AND IN IRELAND, IN GENERAL. I THINK WE MAKE GOOD EUROPEANS. AND I THINK THE MORE
EUROPEAN WE BECOME, THE MORE WE STRIVE TO MAINTAIN
OUR IRISHNESS AS WELL. YOUNG PEOPLE HERE ARE STILL
SPEAKING THE LANGUAGE, MAYBE NOT FLUENTLY,
MAYBE NOT EVERY DAY, BUT STILL SPEAKING IT
SO IT’S ALIVE, IT’S WELL. WE’RE PLAYING OUR SPORTS,
WE’RE DOING OUR DANCING, AND WE’RE SINGING OUR BALLADS
AND SONGS AT NIGHTTIME — A LOT OF IT UNDER THE
INFLUENCE OF THIS — BUT AT LEAST IT’S BEING SUNG. DO YOU SAY CHEERS?SLAINTE.SLAINTE.THE STRENGTH OF IRISH CULTURE
IS PARTICULARLY EVIDENT
IN THE COUNTRY’S LOVE
FOR ITS NATIONAL SPORTS.
THE GAELIC ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION
TELLS WHY.
THE GAA WAS FOUNDED
IN THE 19th CENTURY
AS AN EXPRESSION OF AN IRISH
CULTURAL AWAKENING.
WHILE CREATED TO FOSTER THE
DEVELOPMENT OF GAELIC SPORTS,
SUCH AS HURLING
OR IRISH FIELD HOCKEY,
AND TO BAN ENGLISH SPORTS
LIKE CRICKET, THE GAA
PLAYED AN IMPORTANT PART
IN THE FIGHT FOR INDEPENDENCE.
HURLING MATCHES ARE ON SUNDAYS
AND ACTUALLY SEEING ONE
SURROUNDED BY INCREDIBLY
SPIRITED IRISH FANS
IS A MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE.BUT YOU CAN RELIVE THE GREATEST
MOMENTS IN HURLING HISTORY HERE
ANY DAY OF THE WEEK.HURLING, LIKE AIRBORNE HOCKEY
WITH NO INJURY TIME-OUTS,
HAS LONG BEEN RECOGNIZED
AS AN IRISH NATIONAL PASTIME.
AFTER A PEEK
AT IRELAND’S TOP PITCH,
YOU CAN PICK UP A STICK
AND GIVE THE GAME A WHIRL.
FOR MANY, THE MOST ENDEARING
ASPECT OF IRISH CULTURE
IS THEIR LOVE OF LANGUAGE,
BOTH ORAL AND WRITTEN.
WHETHER YOU’RE
INTO YEATS OR U-2,
THE WRITTEN GIFT OF GAB
IS AN IRISH FORM OF HIGH ART.
DUBLIN, AROUND THE TURN
OF THE 20th CENTURY, PRODUCED SOME OF THE WORLD’S
GREAT MODERN WRITERS, LIKE JAMES JOYCE, WILLIAM BUTLER
YEATS, AND OSCAR WILDE.WILDE WAS A DUBLINER,ATTENDED TRINITY COLLEGE
AND WALKED THIS PARK.
HE WOWED DUBLIN AND LONDON
ALIKE WITH HIS QUICK WIT,
OUTRAGEOUS CLOTHES
AND FLAMBOYANT PERSONALITY.
IN HIS HUMOROUS PLAYS, HE SATIRIZED UPPER-CLASS
VICTORIAN SOCIETY. HIS CHARACTERS
SPOKE VERY ELEGANTLY ABOUT THE TRIVIAL CONCERNS
OF THE IDLE RICH.JAMES JOYCE WANDERED
THE BACK STREETS OF DUBLIN,
OBSERVING ITS SEEDIER SIDE,WHICH HE CAPTURED IN A MODERN
STREAM-OF-CONSCIOUSNESS STYLE.
HIS FAMOUS NOVEL, “ULYSSES,”
IS SET IN A SINGLE DAY, JUNE 16, 1904. IN IT, HE FOLLOWS DUBLINERS
ON A ONE-DAY ODYSSEY THROUGH THE CITY’S MARKETS,
HOSPITALS, BROTHELS AND PUBS.TOURISTS GATHER
FOR THE LITERARY PUB CRAWL,
WHICH LEAVES ALMOST NIGHTLY
FROM THE DUKE PUB.
TICKETS ARE CHEAP;
JUST SHOW UP.
TWO ACTORS TAKE A GANG
OF TOURISTS ON A WITTY WALK,
STOPPING AT PUBS AND HISTORICAL
SITES ALONG THE WAY.
IT’S IRISH LIT 101, FILLED
WITH ENTERTAINING BANTER,
WHICH INTRODUCES THE NOVICE
TO THE HIGH
CRAIC —THAT’S CONVERSATION —
OF IRELAND’S GREAT WRITERS.
IT’S THE PERFECT FINISH
TO A DAY IN DUBLIN,
ENJOYING A PINT AND THE GREAT
IRISH STORYTELLING TRADITION.
[ APPLAUSE ]O’CONNELL STREET,
LEADING FROM O’CONNELL BRIDGE
THROUGH THE HEART
OF NORTH DUBLIN,
IS LINED BY STATUES
CELEBRATING GREAT FIGURES
IN IRELAND’S FIGHT
FOR INDEPENDENCE.
WHILE IT’S BEEN DUBLIN’S
GRANDEST STREET FOR 200 YEARS,
IT WAS RENAMED AFTER THIS MAN,
DANIEL O’CONNELL,
ONLY AFTER THE IRISH WON THEIR
INDEPENDENCE IN THE 1920s.
DANIEL O’CONNELL,
KNOWN AS “THE LIBERATOR,”
WAS THAT STRONG VOICE
FOR IRISH CATHOLICS
IN THE BRITISH PARLIAMENT
BACK IN THE 1800s.
DUBLIN’S GENERAL POST OFFICE IS
NOT JUST A PLACE TO BUY STAMPS.
IT’S A KIND OF IRISH ALAMO,STILL POCKMARKED
WITH BULLET HOLES.
MURALS INSIDE TELL ITS STORY.IT WAS FROM HERE
THAT PATRICK PEARSE
READ THE PROCLAMATION OF IRISH
INDEPENDENCE IN 1916,
THE ONE WE SAW EARLIER.THIS KICKED OFF
THE EASTER RISING,
WHICH ULTIMATELY LED
TO IRELAND’S INDEPENDENCE
FROM BRITISH RULE.THIS WAS THE REBEL HEADQUARTERSAND SCENE OF A FIVE-DAY
BLOODY SIEGE
THAT FOLLOWED
THAT PROCLAMATION.
AFTER 300 WERE KILLED
AND THE REBEL LEADERS REALIZED THAT NO NATIONAL UPRISING
WOULD FOLLOW THEIRS, THEY SURRENDERED. WHILE THEY HAD LITTLE
PUBLIC SUPPORT AT FIRST, AFTER THE BRITISH TRIED
AND EXECUTED THE LEADERS, PUBLIC SYMPATHY ROSE,
AND THEY BECAME MARTYRS. THIS STIRRED THE PUBLIC. BRITISH CONTROL
BEGAN COLLAPSING, AND BY 1921,
IRELAND WAS INDEPENDENT.HERE, AT DUBLIN CASTLE,THE BRITISH FORMALLY HANDED
POWER OVER TO THE IRISH
IN A STIRRING CEREMONY
IN THIS COURTYARD.
IT WAS FROM HERE THAT THE
VICEROY ENFORCED THE WILL OF BRITISH ROYALTY. THIS PLACE WAS THE MUCH FEARED
AND DISDAINED SEAT OF BRITISH RULE IN IRELAND
FOR 700 YEARS.TODAY, IT’S USED
FOR STATE FUNCTIONS,
AND TOUR GUIDES TAKE VISITORSTHROUGH THIS MOST ENGLISH
OF IRISH PALACES.
KILMAINHAM JAIL,OPENED IN 1796 AND CONSIDERED
A MODEL IN ITS DAY,
WAS USED AS A POLITICAL PRISON
BY THE BRITISH.
MANY OF IRELAND’S
GREAT PATRIOTS,
ITS NATHAN HALES
AND PATRICK HENRYS,
WERE HELD AND THEN
EXECUTED HERE.
GUIDES TAKE VISITORS THROUGH
THE PRISON AND GIVE IT MEANING.
14 OF THE LEADERS
OF THE REBELLION WERE TO BE EXECUTED
IN THIS VERY YARD. THE VERY FIRST
TO BE EXECUTED, PATRICK PEARSE, THOMAS CLARKE,
AND THOMAS MacDONAGH, WERE TAKEN DOWN HERE
SEPARATELY IN THE EARLY HOURS
OF THE 3rd OF MAY. THEY WERE TAKEN DOWN TO WHERE
THAT CROSS NOW STANDS. THEIR HANDS WERE TIED
BEHIND THEIR BACKS, A WHITE MARKER WAS PLACED
OVER THEIR HEARTS, AND THEY WERE BLINDFOLDED.THE PRISON MUSEUM PERSONALIZES
THE INSPIRATIONAL STORY
OF THE LEADERS
OF THE EASTER RISING.
THE “LAST WORDS 1916” HALL
DISPLAYS THE POIGNANT
FAREWELL LETTERS THE MARTYRED
LEADERS WROTE TO LOVED ONES
JUST HOURS BEFORE FACING
THE FIRING SQUAD.
NEAR THE JAIL,
THE HUGE GUINNESS BREWERY
FILLS SEVERAL CITY BLOCKS
ALONG DUBLIN’S RIVER LIFFEY.
ARTHUR GUINNESS BEGAN BREWING
HIS FAMOUS STOUT HERE IN 1759.
A HUNDRED YEARS LATER,IT WAS THE BIGGEST BREWERY
IN THE WORLD.
THE HOME OF IRELAND’S NATIONAL
BEER WELCOMES VISITORS,
FOR A PRICE,
WITH A HUGE EXHIBIT.
IT FILLS THE OLD FERMENTATION
PLANT LIKE A SHRINE.
A TALL BEER-GLASS-SHAPED
GLASS ATRIUM,
14 MILLION PINTS BIG,LEADS PAST SEVERAL FLOORS
OF EXHIBITIONS
TO THE GRAVITY BAR, WHERE
VISITORS ENJOY A COMMANDING
360-DEGREE VIEW OF DUBLIN
WITH THEIR PINT.
GUINNESS,
ONCE THE CLEAR LEADER,
IS HAVING TO ADAPT
TO THE NEW PROSPEROUS IRELAND.
NOW, AS IRELAND EMBRACES
ITS FAST-PACED ECONOMY,
DRINKING PINT AFTER HEAVY PINT
OF THIS THICK-HEADED STOUT
IS NO LONGER YOUR ONLY OPTION.LIGHTER LAGERS ARE THE TREND.IN RECENT YEARS,GUINNESS HAS INTRODUCED
A COLD VERSION, ICE GUINNESS,
AND A LIGHT BREW
FOR THE LADIES,
WHICH, TO THE CHEERS
OF THE PURIST, BOMBED.
STILL, IN DUBLIN,
WHEN YOU ASK FOR A BEER,
YOU GET A GUINNESS.WHICH REMINDS ME:WE’RE DUE BACK IN TEMPLE BAR
FOR ANOTHER PUB CRAWL.
IN IRELAND, GOOD BEER
COMES WITH GOOD MUSIC.
FOR A TOE-TAPPING
INTRODUCTION TO “TRAD,”
AS TRADITIONAL MUSIC
IS CALLED,
WE’RE TAKING THE TRADITIONAL
IRISH MUSIC PUB CRAWL.
YOU CRAWL TO THREE PUBS,
LISTENING TO MUSICIANS
DEMONSTRATE TRADITIONAL IRISH
INSTRUMENTS LIKE THE BODHRAN.
ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR.
ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR.AND ONCE YOU HAVE THE BEAT, YOU
CAN TAP YOUR FEET TO THE MUSIC.
WHETHER IN THE PUBS,IN ITS ANCIENT PAST,IN ITS STRUGGLE
FOR INDEPENDENCE,
OR IN ITS LIVELY STREETS,DUBLIN IS THE CAPITAL OF
A NATION WITH A RICH HISTORY
AND AN IRREPRESSIBLE SPIRIT.[ APPLAUSE AND THE PEOPLE OF DUBLIN, WITH THEIR INSPIRATIONAL
LOVE OF LIFE, MAKE THIS CITY
A DELIGHT TO VISIT. THANKS FOR JOINING US. I’M RICK STEVES. UNTIL NEXT TIME,
KEEP ON TRAVELIN’. CHEERS.

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