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Glasnevin Cemetery

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Browsing through Twitter at the weekend I came across the hashtag #gcmbloggers being tweeted from a group of Dublin Bloggers visiting Glasnevin Museum and Cemetery.  The tweets reminded me that I’d told the girls that, during the summer holidays, I’d take them to Glasnevin to visit the resting place of their great grandparents. So yesterday (Monday) we push-started the car, which was having one of its (many) moments, and took a spin up to Dublin.

Glasnevin Church

Glasnevin Church

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Around Dublin on a Bus

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I’ve been spending a bit of time getting rid of all the old junk around the house lately – stuff that I’ve collected over the years and have either become sentimentally attached to, or haven’t had the time or the inclination to dispose of.  Among the many items I had stored in a cupboard at the end of the hall was a biscuit tin full of pre-decimal coin.

I decided a trip to the ‘Big Schmoke’ with the girls was in order, so that we could cash the dosh in and squander the proceeds.

Our first port of call was the Central Bank in Dame Street to exchange our pre-decimal hoard for some yo-yos.

(Photo of the Central Bank below, taken from the rooftop of a speeding bus – more on that later.)

Central Bank Dublin

 

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A walk down Dublin’s Grafton Street

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Grafton Street is a great place to get a bit of photography practise.  The street is buzzing with pedestrians and street performers, and on a sunny day the atmosphere and the colour are amazing.  I was in Dublin yesterday doing the ‘Mum’s Taxi’ thing, so I got a bit of time to stroll around and ‘air the camera’.

It was really busy and every time the crowd cleared in front of a group or a performer, a security van would drive through and the place would be mobbed again, but I managed to get a few photos.

Living Statue

Children really can make photos.

This little guy was fascinated with the living statues.

So was I.

I don’t know how they managed to stay so still with all that heavy gear and makeup on in the heat of the sun.

Living Statue

Gigantic Bubbles

I wish I could make bubbles like this.

I haven’t had much success in the past in making my own ‘bubble mixture’ from water and washing up liquid.

Bursting bubbles

These children were having a great time bursting the enormous bubbles.

They were the source of entertainment for several passers-by.

Giant Bubbles

Bursting bubbles

The guys in the pic below get my vote for being the best band on Grafton Street yesterday.

They’re ‘MuteFish‘ and they’re a ‘reggae folk and punk band’ according to their website.

I could have spent all day standing in the sunshine listening to them.

Mute Fish

Someone told me years ago that the freshest flowers in the country were to be found in Grafton Street.

Looking at the vibrant colours on this lady’s stall, I’d well believe it. Absolutely gorgeous!

flower seller on grafton street

Classical music was also available yesterday – this guy was very very good.

Posh Spice even stopped by to take his photo!

Piano player

Final performance before we headed back to the car.

Dancer on Grafton Street

 I decided I might lose a couple of stone (or three or four),  squeeze back into my Irish dancing costume and dance a few jigs and reels on Clonmel’s O’Connell Street.

Watch this space!

Waking up at Dublin Zoo

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Lizard

Last week Dublin Zoo contacted me in relation to an event they were running at the Zoo last Saturday.  Members of the ‘online community’ were invited to attend Dublin Zoo to see the animals being woken up and fed, and to meet the zookeepers. They didn’t have to ask me twice – I jumped at the opportunity.

I had an early start on Saturday morning, leaving the house at 5:30AM in order to get to the zoo for the 8:15AM start of the tour. I was shattered by the time I arrived and beginning to think I must have been mad.  But the trip was worth it.

There were about thirty bloggers and photographers turned up and we were broken into groups and given tours of different areas of the zoo.

Our group’s first port of call was the Chimpanzees.  The zookeeper told us all about them as he fed them their breakfast, throwing fruit fom a bucket over to them.  They were comical to watch and so humanlike as they held out their hands and urged him to throw him to throw more food.  We were told though that, despite their friendly, amicable appearance, these creatures can actually be quite ferocious when they’re threatened.

Chimpanzees Dublin Zoo

We were taken to the African plains then where we watched Rhinos (I’ve typed the shorter version of that word because the longer version is too much for me to handle at this early hour of the morning), giraffes, oryx and zebras being fed.

Rhinos

Giraffes

Giraffe

I don’t think the animals ever had as many photos taken of them.  I couldn’t resist stopping on the way from one enclosure to the next to take photos of everything and I wasn’t the only one.  Anyone with a camera seemed to suffer from Photographer StopAlongTheWayitis.

Our various groups met up at the ‘Rainforest’ to see the elephants and I managed to take this shot of a few of the photographers.

Photographers

I have to say I was so envious of some of those lenses and cameras……sigh!!! :/

But back to the Heffalumps! They’re probably my favourite of all the zoo animals.  They’re so gigantic and quiet and solemn.

Elephant

After the elephants it was onto the Meerkat Restaurant for a hot breakfast where I met up with Magnumlady who I first spoke to online years ago and had never met in person.  She is every bit as lovely in real life as she comes across as online.

Magnumlady and QueenOfPots

After breakfast we were free to roam the zoo ourselves and take some more photos so Magnumlady and I did just that and did a speedy dash around the place to see what we could before heading off.

Cow

Heron

Lioness

Warthog

It’s amazing who you’d meet at the zoo.  We ran into Ray D’arcy who was nice enough to let us take a photo.  I thought he looked very well in this one (even if I do say so myself). :)

Ray D'arcy

A big thank you to Dublin Zoo and staff for the invite, for treating us all so well and for being so patient and answering all our questions.  It was a great experience!!