5/12/2013 - England 2013
Phoenix Park
Sunday - 5/12/13

Cookie and I head for Phoenix Park, a major attraction in Dublin. We take the bus there, and walk...and walk...and walk...

The name has nothing to do with the mythical bird, or Phoenix, AZ. It stems from the Irish word, "fionn uisce" which means "clear water". The park of 1700 acres was established in 1660 as a hunting ground. 

A large group of Fallow deer were brought from England. The deer began to wander off, outside of the preserve, so they decided to fence in the area (smart move). The deer that exist today are direct descendents of the original deer (the ones who didn't wander off).

The park is also home to the Irish President's official home (like the White House).

There is also a "castle" on the grounds, Castle Ashtown. Much to my surprise, this is VERY small. In fact, it is called a "ten foot castle" due to its small size. It was found inside a larger structure that was being demolished due to decay. It is thought to date back to 1440, when the government offered 10 pounds to people who built small castles for their own protection.

After lunch, and waiting out the rain while watching two videos in the visitor's center, we walk back to the park entrance and take the bus back to the center of town. Unfortunately, we miss our stop, and thinking the bus will eventually turn around and return, we stay on for quite a while. Eventually, I ask the bus driver and he reccomends that we get off, cross the street and take a returning bus going the other way. We do, having seen quite a bit of the suberbs of Dublin!

This night I cook a lamburger and lime-rice. The meal is topped off by meeting some new folks at the hostel, Conny (female) and Alesandro (male). They are from Italy and are studying finance in Dublin. They are playing cards with some other folks. I ask for the deck and do some magic for them. Alesandro begs me to teach him a trick. I teach him a simple (I thought) trick I learned myself as a kid. With the language barrier, it takes several tries before he finally "gets" it. Then it's off to our "mixed dorm room" and an adventure in sleep.

©Mark Goldman 2013

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For more information contact Mark Goldman - 602-390-3858 - Mark@Storytellermark.com


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