Thursday, July 9, 2015

Dublin with all five senses

"That book smells odd," my mother said while flicking through the pages of one of my cookbooks, "like musty or something".
"Yeah, Boyfriend would rather say that it smells of Ireland", I replied smiling to myself.

And just like that, Dublin was back on my mind. It is amazing how the most insignificant words can sometimes be so full of meaning for the appropriate person. And that meaningless conversation suddenly reminded me of that brief part of my life. Memories just kept pouring in and I knew I had to write about them before I forgot. So here is another post of my favourite kind, those which describe places I've been to with all five senses.


The centre of Dublin is filled with historical buildings and sites which are pure eye candy for architecture fans and history lovers. But if I have to choose my favourite view of Dublin, the image that fixed on my retina and will stay on my mind forever it will probably be that of the city bisected in two with the river in between. The Liffey rivers run through the whole city of Dublin and divides it in North Dublin and South Dublin. The river Liffey is crossed by many a bridge along the city centre, from Heuston Station to the very new ones in the Docklands development. O'Connell Bridge, right in the middle of the city probable offers the best views of Dublin, especially when looking in direction to the sea on an early summer morning.


Dublin is a crowded city and traffic seems to be on a perpetual rush hour state. It is not difficult, though, to find a respite in some of the many parks of the city and relax not hearing anything. However, my favourite hearing experience is somehow traffic related. As you might already know, I had quite a long commuting and I spent nearly two hours riding a bus everyday. While this was rather tedious, I enjoyed it when the buses had that modern GPS system which announces the next stop and tells you to sit down, not to talk to the driver, etc. In Dublin, those announcements were made both in English and Irish and I always had fun trying to guess whatever was being said in Irish - sometimes I was lucky to also see it written on a screen. Sráid (street), ascuill (avenue), bóthar (road), coláiste (college) or aeglish (church) were some of the few Irish words I learnt. And all that thanks to Dublin buses.


Boyfriend warned me about that. His family comes from the countryside and he had spent many summers in Ireland during his childhood. He told me that because Ireland had long used turf instead of coal, clothes washed with warm water usually had that smell, a rusty smell. And sometimes it was so. Even though I lived in Dublin and turf was probably a thing of the past, it is true that sometimes my clothes had a funny, musty smell, I'm not sure if because they had taken too long to dry inside or because of the water. And that smell lingered on. Just the other day I put on some jeans which I hadn't worn in a long time and even though they have already been washed outside Ireland I could still feel that smell. And Boyfriend confirmed it. "Oh yeah, you smell like Ireland and I like that. The smell of my summer holidays and I love it".


Chilly, rainy, windy. And cold. The weather of Ireland is probably not the best in Europe, unless you consider getting soaked up in a cool day to be the definition of good weather. I shouldn't complain much about this because I actually enjoyed a very good summer in Dublin and I cannot say that it rained that much. But if there's something I remember vividly is the freezing feeling I sometimes got when walking around Dublin. The wind would bow against my face and my ears and nose would freeze, especially when walking nearby the river. And if it rained, raindrops would just feel like ice on my skin. Rain and wind. Wind and rain. It was a diabolic combination for any patch of empty skin. Other than that, a good jacket or coat would usually keep the cold at bay.


I have already dedicated a full post to the glorious Irish scones, so it would be like cheating if I came back again with a scone ode in here. However, I'm not moving far from a scone and I will tell you that if there's a flavour I will always link to my Dublin memories is that of tea. Irish blends are softer than English ones and with a dash of milk, a cup of tea is just the perfect drink to get through any day, no matter how cold or exhausting it is. And even on a warm day, a cuppa would still be my drink of choice. So I guess I'm off to put the kettle on ...

Have a lovely Thursday!

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