Destination: Ireland

Hands Like Shovels

Hands Like Shovels Photo courtesy of Jessica Colley

Jessica Colley had attended family funerals back in the States, but none had prepared her for her first Irish burial

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Tags: Death, Europe, Ireland

It’s Bloomsday. Do You Know Where Your Nearest ‘Ulysses’ Reading Is?

Happy Bloomsday, the day (June 16) that James Joyce immortalized in his epic novel, “Ulysses.”

If you have the evening free and are in the mood, this might be a good time to seek out a local “Ulysses” reading or related pub crawl. The L.A. Times offers up a short list of gatherings around the U.S. For more on the annual rite, check out this New York Times story.

And look at that: Even Twitter is lighting up with posts about Bloomsday.


Dingle, Ireland: In Praise of a Humble Town

On one of Ireland's national parks of traditional culture

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The Titanic Awards: 10 Worst National Cuisines

The Titanic Awards: 10 Worst National Cuisines Photo by onlinehero via Flickr (Creative Commons)

More than 2,000 travelers from 80 countries voted in the Titanic Awards survey. Here are the unlucky winners.

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Ash From Iceland Volcano Forces Cancellation of Thousands of Flights

Ash From Iceland Volcano Forces Cancellation of Thousands of Flights REUTERS
Airport display board in Edinburgh, Scotland, today. (REUTERS/Russell Cheyne)

Oh Iceland. Now look at what you’ve done.

Amazingly, the closing of air space across parts of northwestern Europe due to widespread ash from a volcanic eruption in Iceland is, according to the New York Times, “among the most sweeping ever ordered in peacetime.”


Taking the Pulse of the Irish Pub

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, the Los Angeles Times checks in on the state of the Irish pub. Verdict: Still struggling in Ireland, still ubiquitous around the world.

And it’s still one of the Seven Wonders of the Shrinking Planet.


World Travel Watch: Major Earthquake in Haiti, Road Blocks in Greece and More

Larry Habegger rounds up global travel news

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What’s That Smell?

What’s That Smell? iStockPhoto

Paul Lynch explores the intersection of travel and the nose

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Travel Movie Watch: ‘Leap Year’

See, I told you Hollywood never gets tired of this story. “Leap Year” stars Amy Adams as uptight Anna, who decides to take advantage of an old Irish tradition and fly to Dublin on “Leap Day” to propose to her boyfriend. Of course, she gets sidetracked by a series of comic mishaps and a handsome European stranger—the trailer tells you the rest:

It hits theaters in January, alongside When in Rome, making it a good month for fans of the romance-in-Europe flick.


Mapped: The Cheeses of Britain and Ireland

Another tasty bite of geographical fun—and more proof that British food is worth defending. (Via @LPUSAstaff)


R.I.P. Frank McCourt

The author of “Angela’s Ashes,” the Pulitzer-winning memoir about his impoverished Irish childhood, has died at 78. The Limerick Leader looks back at McCourt’s last visit to his childhood home, when he tagged along on the “Angela’s Ashes” walking tour, while Book Bencher Cressida Leyshon remembers editing the first excerpts of the unpublished manuscript for The New Yorker.


Happy Bloomsday!

A few links from around the internet to commemorate Bloomsday:


Dhani Tackles Poetry: ‘Speak’

Dhani Tackles Poetry: ‘Speak’ Sarah Berl, Red Line Films
Sarah Berl, Red Line Films

NFL linebacker and Renaissance man Dhani Jones hosts the new Travel Channel show, Dhani Tackles the Globe.

Like any good Renaissance man, he’s writing poems inspired by the travel experiences featured on each show.

The topic of tonight’s journey: Hurling in Ireland.





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Tradition, Change and the Fate of the Irish Pub

A couple decades ago, the authenticity of Irish pubs both within and outside the Emerald Isle was never questioned. Pubs abroad, one assumed, were likely started by an Irish immigrant, looking to offer homesick lads a taste of home and the wanderlust-stricken a rehashed memory of that last trip to Dublin.

Today, however, things are different. Welcome to the Irish Pub Company, which has birthed hundreds of near-identical “Irish” pubs from Shanghai to Sienna. Yes, the décor in that pub you’re nursing a Guinness in isn’t decades- or centuries-old; it wasn’t transported from a farm house or old church in County Cork. It was manufactured by a company that’s making a killing exporting Irishness.

Bill Barich’s fascinating book, A Pint of Plain, released in February, details the history, the present state and the inevitable fate of the Irish pub. Both in Ireland and abroad. Barich, an American in Ireland, travels around the isle, chatting up publicans and pub owners and discussing how modernity and globalization have led to falling attendance at Irish pubs as well as the movement to dispatch cheap prefabricated models across the planet. The only problem with Barich’s book is that you’ll start to wonder if that Guinness you’re crying into is real, too.


Ryanair ‘Serious’ About Charging for Bathroom

The AP reports that the head of Dublin-based Ryanair is indeed “serious about making passengers pay for the right to relieve themselves on flights—and is flush with interest in the idea of mounting credit card-operated toilets.” Charging by credit card is logistically easier than charging by coin, as had been suggested earlier, which “wouldn’t work in part because Ryanair operates heavily in areas using both the euro and British pound.”

I’ve said it before about Ryanair (when they had some not-so-nice words about bloggers) and I’ll say it again now: oy vey.

What about someone who needs to go, but doesn’t have a credit card?

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