As much as I want to be a good guest and learn a few local words, it’s kind of a relief to be in place where I’m so easily understood and can understand others. Technically, Irish (Gaelic) is the Republic of Ireland’s local language, but English is widely spoken. Although, with an Irish accent, it can still be difficult for me to decipher.

My favorite English word with an Irish twist is “weather”, which some folk pronounce as wedder. Tee hee. Cute!

Speaking of the wedder, Dublin has the most unpredictable climate I’ve experienced to date. This morning, I woke up to cloudy skies and drizzling. An hour later, it was sunny. Then drizzling! Then sunny! Sometimes everything changes in the course of five minutes. This afternoon, I looked in one direction on Grafton Street, and the skies were clear and sunny. Then I turned 180° to see a wall of dark, ominous clouds. Good thing I always carry a “brolly” (finger quotes).

By the way, Grafton is the iconic pedestrian street filled with shops and usually a musician or two. Former Grafton buskers include Ed Sheeran, Glen Hansard and Damien Rice. Here’s a photo of the street that I framed to include a musician … just in case he ends up famous some day!

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But, of course, I didn’t spend all of my time on Grafton Street. I spent some of it in jail.

That’s right. In Dublin, one of the big draws for visitors is Kilmainham Gaol — the famous jail where many Irish revolutionaries were imprisoned and executed. Touring Kilmainham is both grim and fascinating. It’s also one of many opportunities in Dublin to learn about the heroes who paved the way for Ireland’s independence.

Here are some shots from inside the prison:

As I mentioned in a previous post, 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising. You can read more about the 1916 rebellion here.

I’ll be leaving Dublin soon to explore the rest of Ireland. Much more to come!