Thursday 23 November 2017

Notebook: A look at the week that was

THRILLS: The Cu Chulainn ride at Tayto Park
THRILLS: The Cu Chulainn ride at Tayto Park

Maia Dunphy

I haven't had a stretch in my home town for a while, and it has been a joy to spend the whole month of August in Dublin. I don't know if it's the sentimentality of being a (relatively) new mother or the wistfulness that comes with a visit home during a (relatively) sunny summer, but I have been viewing our lovely capital through the eyes of a tourist (albeit one who knows what the city looks like when not being almost entirely dug up).

Every summer brings not only new tourists to Dublin, but new ways to see it too. Which one you choose says a lot about you: the be-helmeted families and hungover stag and hens roaring at passers by from the amphibious Viking Splash tour; the traditionalists clutching their maps on the open top city buses; the returning diaspora (or the ones who wish they were more than one-eighth Irish) joining the 1916 tours. Then there are the ones who've done them all so try the Ghost Bus, telling people that it was "surprisingly informative" but that they, of course, "knew all the Bram Stoker stuff already".

Spare a thought for the bemused chap I saw on the 1916 tour last week wearing a Viking helmet: he was either a lost stag member or a near-sighted historical tourist who perhaps thought it was the '916' tour, wondering why he was the only one dressed appropriately.

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