Sunday, April 12, 2015

Dublin 2015: The Easter Rising 99th Anniversary Celebration

The GPO 
This past Monday was a big anniversary here in Dublin--it was the 99th Anniversary of the pivotal Easter Rising, which left the city in ruins but propelled the country toward independence. In celebration, O'Connell Street literally went back in time to 1915, the year before the rising and gave people like us a glimpse into life was like in Dublin in 1915 and what led to the Rising. 

Covered by one of Ireland's top television networks, RTE, and aptly named "Road To The Rising" this was one event that was not to be missed. As I said before, O'Connell Street, home of the General Post Office (or GPO), played host to numerous displays and exhibits, complete with actors in period costumes. 

I had so much fun at this event, it was so cool getting a chance to step back in time and really feel the atmosphere around that incredible time in Irish history. 

Among the displays were various models of cars from the era, along with motorcycles and steam engines. Spectators like myself were also treated to a protest march and even a c. 1915 wedding. 

The most moving thing to me were the memorial wreaths laid at base of the GPO in honor of those that were lost as part of the Rising and the Irish fight for independence.  It was such a beautiful and quiet tribute to all those that lost their lives fighting for some bigger dream. 

If you pass through Dublin, remember to stop by the GPO, where you can still touch the bullet holes from the Rising. You can literally put your hand on a piece of history, which is incredible to me.

So, take a few minutes and scroll through some of the pictures I took from that day, including the recipe for a Gur Cake (which, I have to add, was fantastic!).

Until next time! Cheers!

Or, as we say here in Dublin, Slainte!
c. 1915 Wedding outside the GPO
Gur Cake Recipe (5 stars!)

Actors in period costume inside the GPO


Saturday, April 4, 2015

Ode to a Suitcase: Saying Goodbye to an old friend

Old Red aka Monster
In my last post, I mentioned that my suitcase lost a wheel coming down the stairs at Barnacle's Hostel. Well, due to this unfortunate circumstance, I have been forced to replace him--Monster/Old Red as I referred to him.

I know it seems silly to get sentimental over a suitcase, but he and I have had a special relationship. He accompanied me on my first ever solo journey to meet up with my then-boyfriend in Houston and see his hometown. It was just me and Monster, standing at the airport, anxiously awaiting my first solo flight, my first time navigating an airport all by myself, my first time going to a city I've never been to all alone. 

And, most recently, it accompanied me on probably the craziest journey I've ever taken--my year abroad in Ireland. In one tragic second there was a snap and then I saw what had happened, my suitcase had just lost a wheel...broken beyond repair. This resulted in me basically dragging my suitcase through the streets of Dublin as I moved between hostels, the poor guy's bottom half getting scraped up and starting to rip out the bottom. 

So, with great deliberation. I made the heart wrenching decision to say goodbye. I decided while I loved Monster, dragging my belongings behind me, ripping and scraping him against the cobblestones, wasn't a very practical way to travel.

I chose to replace him with a 45 euro pink 1.9 kg. hot pink suitcase from itLuggage from Penney's. All of my stuff fits comfortably, and this one has padded handles which I have to admit, is really nice. I haven't come up with a name for her yet (she's pink, it has to be a she, right?). Only time will tell if I spent my 45 euro wisely, but I look forward to all of the new adventures I'll have with her, and look back longingly at my adventures shared with Monster. 

I hate to leave him in this hostel, to be thrown out, but I think I would get in trouble if I tried to cremate him. Instead, I'll say goodbye here. 

Goodbye Monster, you've been with me on some of the best times of my life and I'll never forget you!

Love forever, 

Don't forget to follow me on Facebook at or on Twitter @calleysofalley

Until next time! Cheers!