Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christkindlmarkt, with an Irish twist!

And no - amazingly, the Irish twist did not involve Guinness!

Despite our lack of a Christmas tree (can you tell I love my Christmas trees??), we decided we'd do our best to get into the Christmas spirit this weekend.  We were initially going to go to my parents house for the weekend and do the German Christmas Market in the city where they live, but as I'm heading there next weekend (when my lucky hubby is heading to Manhattan for the winter wedding of one of his best friends - wish I could be there G & F!), doing laps across the country wasn't exactly the best idea when I had plenty to do here in anticipation of Christmas.

SO...we did the Dublin Docklands Christmas Market.  It was a lot of fun!  There were plenty of people with the same idea and it all felt very festive.  It was also the warmest it has been in Dublin in weeks (read: the ice is almost gone!!!), so that made the walk there and back much more enjoyable.  We went by way of Lansdowne Road (I mean the Aviva Stadium):
We walked over the new Samuel Beckett Bridge, a beautiful structure designed by the famed Santiago Calatrava, who also designed Dublin's James Joyce Bridge, along with the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Turning Torso building in Sweden, and his current project is designing the new World Trade Center Transportation Hub - quite the resume, huh?  The Samuel Beckett Bridge is said to evoke the image of a harp laying on it's side.  I think it's beautiful and it's very impressive in person.
I love the long shadows of a winter afternoon.
By the bridge is the brand new Dublin Convention Center (lovingly (locally) referred to as the Heineken Can):
And there's a great view of the still-being-developed docklands from the bridge - the convention center, the O2 (the Point), the Dublin Wheel...
We also passed the Jeanie Johnson famine ship:
and finally arrived at the Christmas Market:
I'll let these photos speak for themselves (for the most part!):
Mmmm...Mulled Wine!
C had a great time, although she was not happy that we wouldn't let her crawl all over the wet ground!  The folks at Pie Minister had their own message for dealing with the hectic Holiday season:
Love it!!
After a delicious lunch of bratwurst and deliciously naughty fried sugared dough balls with mulled wine for me and beer for the man, we happened upon this:

Oh sweet heaven it's the Haribo stall.  :SWOON:  My sweet tooth(s) were doing a happy dance at the sight of this, but not as much as P's.  He grabbed one of those bags and hardly missed a scoop.  I said "don't get too much, it'll be expensive!" but he didn't really listen.  Here's what 25 Euro worth of Haribo looks like:
But let me tell you it was delicious and worth every penny!  Thank goodness C isn't old enough to know what she's missing!

On our way home we went through town, past Trinity College and the Central Bank of Ireland (a little trivia - the Bank of Ireland (formally the Irish Houses of Parliament) has no windows because back in the day they taxed per window, so they save a pretty bundle by bricking them all in.  It's still a beautiful building, though, inside and out!):

It was very pretty out and about and the streets were packed with Christmas shoppers.  What recession?! 

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