Visiting My Ancestral Homelands (Part 6) – Off To Dublin, Ireland

On May 6th, we had to say so long to daughter Jenna and my ancestral homeland of Aberdeen. We were off to visit our ancestral homeland of Ireland.

My wife and I both have Irish roots. My Irish roots lay in the southern counties of Clare and Waterford. My wife’s Irish roots lay further north in County Fermanagh.

Although we did not have a chance to visit those places (maybe next time?), the real purpose of our too brief a visit in Dublin was to visit former neighbours, octogenarian (but going on 40) Aylish and her daughter Terri, now permanent residents in Aylish’s native Dublin.

After passing through the routine, yet still cumbersome, security check at the Aberdeen International Airport, we entered the duty-free shopping area. There, we were greeted by a woman at a counter offering free samples of six varieties of single malt Scotch. Try as many as you like, all free, she says.

I’m not much of a consumer of alcohol and rarely imbibe but, when I do, my preference is for single malt Scotch. Unlike her mother, my wife doesn’t like it at all (her loss in my opinion!). I took the counter lady at her word and tried a few of her samples. The wee drams were wonderful nectar and likely ensured that I had a relaxing flight over the Irish Sea.

My first impression of Ireland – it really is green! Although I’m not really certain that it is greener than anywhere else.

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An aerial view of the Irish countryside as our plane approached Dublin

Dublin is a magical city to visit. A tourist Mecca where we encountered visitors from literally all around the globe. And Dublin caters to all of their appetites for all things Irish.

Our hosts, Terri and Aylish, greeted us at our hotel and provided a magical, whirlwind two and a half days of Dublin sight-seeing, shopping, storytelling and Irish lore.

Ellen with friends Aylish and Terri enjoying a moment on one of the main shopping concourses in Dublin

Ellen with friends Aylish and Terri enjoying a moment on one of the main shopping concourses in Dublin

A highly recommended treat and trip highlight for us was an evening out at the Brazen Head, Ireland’s oldest pub, dating back to 1198. (For the reference of my children, should they ever someday read my blog, yes, that date is before I was born!).

The Brazen Head Pub, Dublin, Ireland (photo by Ian Hadden, 2015)

The Brazen Head Pub, Dublin, Ireland (photo by Ian Hadden, 2015)

An Evening of Food, Folklore and Fairies is an example of Irish entertainment and magic at it’s finest. Johnny Daly was our host and storyteller the night we attended the Brazen Head. A candlelit full Irish dinner mixed with live Irish music and storytelling of Irish history, especially the impact of the famine and diaspora times, Irish folklore and the still remaining beliefs in leprechauns and fairies.

If you have Irish ancestry, as I do, an evening such as this just might help explain a lot!

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