Let's Talk Ulysses, and Food
I was told before I left for Dublin that I absolutely had to go attend a Bloomsday event. June 16 is a national holiday in Ireland, and Dublin particularly, thanks to author James Joyce for writing stories like Ulysses, Dubliners and Finnegans Wake , which all have some connection to the Islands capitol city.
None of my housemates knew who Joyce was so when the week of Bloomsday rolled around I was on my own. Festivals and reenactments take place all over the city and I found myself torn wanting to see all of them. Thankfully Callie, another student on the program, was going with her academic administrator on a Bloomsday tour so I tagged along and ended up at the famous Glasnevin Cemetery.
I had no previous knowledge of Glasnevin, nor did I know it was north of the Liffy, but it ended up being a great tour, with an exceptional tour guide. The cemetery was established by Daniel O'Connell , who was heavily involved in the Catholic Emancipation movements of the early 1800s, and whose goal it was to create a common burial space where anyone, from any religion could rest in peace.
O'Connell is only one of the many Irish historic figures that is buried in this 124 acre plot of land with roughly 1.5 million graves but our tour focused on those figures that were depicted in some of Joyce's novels.
Taste of Dublin
Although it was an early morning and a lengthy tour, Callie agreed to join me on the last day of Taste of Dublin in the Iveagh Gardens after our Bloomsday adventure. For me this event was a must before I started my internship with Food & Wine Magazine. This annual festival was jam-packed with a variety of venders doling out samples of homegrown Irish products alongside ethnic cuisines. Making our way around the venue we sampled everything there was to offer and it was more than filling including breads and oils, cheeses, stir fry, cold cuts, chocolate, ice cream, wine and beer.
Maybe it was just the exhilaration of the experience but going to festivals around the city felt like the best way to get to know the area and the culture. Bloomsday and Taste of Dublin were the perfect mix to fullfil my book obsession and love of food!