The Gasworks


Posted by wendy | Posted in expat life | Posted on 30-09-2010

When we were looking for a place to live last year, I came across this little gem.


I didn’t know Dublin had these. The only place I have heard of these type of building conversion is Vienna. It’s beautiful. I love these converted industrial looking buildings.

Basically the building used to be a gas holder (or gasometer) build in the late 1800’s. Instead of demolishing the holder frame, they just build an apartment building inside of it, which I thought is an awesome idea.

Because of the dog, the Mr didn’t want to live in an apartment. His theory is that it would be a pain on the butt to take the dog out for a pee at night. Which is ironic, because the dog is scared of the stairs in this house so we have to carry him up and down the stairs anyways!

I have always wanted to visit this building. It just look so cool! I had planned to go to a lecture at the Dublin City Gallery (I made the effort to book and everything!) but I missed it. I thought I could get on the train and get there at 11:00am. I totally mis-calculated.

Instead of turning back and coming home I decided to go look for the Gasworks. After consulting my phone (I don’t know what I would without it!) I was able to navigate back into DART and get off at the Grand Canal Station.


The track is above the water.

It’s surreal at the station because it’s like walking into Google Complex. As soon as you get out of the station you see at least 3 building with the Google sign and there are people walking around with their laptops and google badges.


I was a little worried because I didn’t exactly know where the building is. Even with the phone guiding me where to go, I still get lost.

So as I was wondering around, I looked up and there it was. It is really hard to miss!


Here are some shots. It is truly a beautiful building.




Dublin Culture Night – Part III


Posted by wendy | Posted in expat life | Posted on 30-09-2010


Christ Church, my last stop of the so far awesome Culture Night. It is totally worth the wait. Sure I could have done the self guide audio tour, but it is always nicer have a guy who knows the place taking you around.

I was a bit early, and the signing was now over but I took a video for you all to hear the pretty choir of Christ Church.

Here’s my sticker proving that I had the right to attend the tour!


The 8:00pm tour was so large, it was split into two. I was in a smaller group with a priest! (A real life priest with the outfit and everything!) I wish I took a photo of him but I didn’t have enough courage to do so. I am shy!

I totally forgot that this was a Church of Ireland and not a Catholic church. Good thing some guy asked a question otherwise I probably would look like a fool! It turns out that Protestant churches don’t have someone like the ‘Pope’ that governs all the churches. Instead, each country have their own ‘Pope’ like guy. For example, in England the head of Church of England is the Archbishop of Canterbury and in Church of Ireland it’s the Archbishop of Armah. So I guess each country rule their own churches.

The church was like a patch work of because part of it had fallen down. It’s got all sort of different architecture style all mushed together. If you look at the wall closely you can see that it leans to the left. The guide calls it the ‘leaning wall of Dublin,’ which I thought was pretty funny.

This is one of the baptismal fountains. The lid itself is very heavy! The priest said he tried to left it one time and he couldn’t do it.


See the stain glass in the room? The architect put in the stain glass of saints with the same name as him and his wife!

In the church, there were tiles like this all over the place.


It’s a medieval pattern. The architect liked these so he have them made up to place in the church. Except he didn’t know where they should go so he just like of put them where he thought was best.

These are the ‘real’ tiles in it’s original position.


It’s weird if you want to you can touch it or go stand on it. It’s amazing how these stuff have survived!

There’s also a heart of St. Laurence O’Toole. I thought Protestants didn’t believe in relics so it as a treat.


Some of the tourists asked the priest if anyone had opened it and he said no. It must be holy. But there’s no sign or whatever so if you don’t know it’s there you probably wouldn’t have seen it. The reliquary itself I thought was quite pretty.

The original bible holder. The king way back when (I think it was a Henry) wanted everyone to read the bible so he had one of these in the church. But he was afraid people might steal the bible so see those holes on the wings, that’s where the bible is chained down!


The church is full of moments done by the same artist. See this one below?


There should be an angle on both side. But there’s only one because someone didn’t finish paying so the artist took the other one back!

The guide also took us around the crypt. Even though it’s called the crypt, it is really not a crypt. The church is actually on the 2nd level, and the crypt is actually used to be the first floor.

Anyway, they had a display of costume from the show the Tudors. Apparently, the show was shot at the church a lot. They used it for weddings, etc. The guide said he saw a lot of Henry related weddings there.

Also the crypt was full of old monuments. At some point many of the monuments were moved to the crypt because someone thought that churches should be a place of worship and not an museum. So he chopped them up and moved them down stairs.


See the broken bits on top right? The guy broke it so it would fit in the crypt. The top bits is next to it.

The best part of the tour was learning about this guy,


Yes, Strongbow! I remember when we were here 10 years ago, the Mr was all excited about this guy. Now, I didn’t know much about Irish history so I had no idea who he is. If you want to learn more about him, you can click here.

Well guess what! That’s not him! His tomb was destroyed when the church collapsed. That’s some other random dude they took from some other place to replace him. You see, they had to do it. Way back when, when there’s no public bank, this is where people come together to exchange money. (I am not sure how that works though, wouldn’t it be really crowded?) When the tomb was now gone the king was afraid that people will stop commerce, so he had it replaced with someone else who kind of looks like him. If you look at the photo, the face is all worn off because of people exchanging and touching it. That is the best part of history! If you didn’t read up or take the tour you probably think it’s real and got all excited like the Mr.

The tour was totally awesome. The priest is a funny guy. He was cracking jokes and very charming. We were looking at a picture of the icons or whatever and he was explaining each symbolism and end up saying well that’s just his interpretation. He said people couldn’t read back then so this is like a power point for them to understand god. That’s hilarious! He was not preachy at all.

Over all, I had a lot of fun at the Culture Night, even thought I wish I went to more venus. There’s another one in October, so I definitely will try harder now I know the lay of the land!

Dublin Culture Night — Part II


Posted by wendy | Posted in expat life | Posted on 29-09-2010

After the stop at the City Trust, I hoofed it over to Christ Church. I wanted to catch the tour at 7:00pm. I made a mistake though, I didn’t ask the tour desk if I needed to RSVP. Instead like an idiot, I just waited where they said the meeting point was. I waited from 6:15 to 6:45pm and then went to ask again if I need to RSVP. The lady then told me I had to go to this other desk to get a sticker. Long story short, the 7:00pm was booked out and the only time left was 8:00pm. Sigh, I just wasted 30 minute! I could be in St Patricks catching their tour!

But it was actually ok, there was a choir singing while I was waiting, and they were actually really good!


And it was nice taking a rest after all that walking. I also got go around the church when there were very little people and check out the scene. It’s been 10 year since I have been to this church last. And it was a lot smaller than I remembered.


And you get to see the crypt (the treasure from the Church) for free. Oh yes, if you ever go to this church, you must go down to the crypt to see this.


These two were found in the church organ. The cat chasing a mouse! How classic.

Anyway, I wanted to see more so I hopped over to next door to see Dublinia. By now it’s quite cold and I had to queue outside. I was always curious about this place but I am glad I didn’t pay the 6.5 euros to see this. I wish I just walked a block down to see something else instead.

The most exciting thing that happened in this venue was a news crew was there while I was in the queue!


That little boy was a hellion, he wouldn’t stop screaming, teasing his brothers, and sisters. I later saw the news and if you look carefully you can see my coat! YAY, I was on TV!

Back to Dublina. Dublin was founded by bunch of Vikings. Dublinia is a museum dedicated to Vikings and how Dublin came about. Back in the 60s or something like that, the government found some Viking Settlement Ruins while building that area. Instead of preserving it, they just demolished it. So there’s no Viking stuff anymore, just memorials. (I am starting to see a trend of Dublin in the 60s!)

Instead you get Dublinia so you can learn about Dublin in Viking time. Here are some photos from Dublinia, so you can decide if it is really worth going. It’s not bad, but I am not 6 and I have been to a real Viking Museum in Denmark, and this is just not for me.


Here are some high lights.

Replica of a Viking ship,


Some display on bathroom behavior of Viking. Back then they have no toilet paper, so they use moss instead. Very educational!


This is actually pretty cool, a miniature of medieval Dublin.

A stuffed dog. He kind of looks like Oskar!

The best part about this section is that I got to walk over this,


It’s a bridge connecting the two buildings! I have always walked by and never knew you could cross it.

View from the bridge,


Dublin Culture Night — Part I


Posted by wendy | Posted in expat life, travel | Posted on 29-09-2010

One thing that is awesome about Dubin is there are events going on all the time. Last week, there was the Author Guinness Day where the pubs gave out free pints 17.59 (because Guinness was founded in 1759). Unfortunately, I didn’t make this one because I was too lazy to trekk the 10 minute to town to get a free pint. Plus Mr is back in the US and drinking alone (even with bunch of strangers) just doesn’t seem that fun to me.

I also was saving up for Dublin Culture Night. On Culture night, all the participating venus are free and opens until late. It’s a neat idea, you get to see ‘behind’ the scene of places. There were also parades and music events.

I was pretty excited! I spent time looking over the map to figure out where I wanted to go. Planning was part of the fun.

Since the time was limited, I budgeted only to go to 2 place. Though I could have gone to more because there were places open everywhere!

I end up picking Christ Church and the Dublin Civil Trust. Civic Trust had an exhibit on Victorian Publican life and I thought that was neat and Christ Church is pretty near to Civic Trust so it made sense to go there after.

On the way to the Civic Trust, I saw a parade! (Actually I saw 2 but only had time to take photo of one)

She must been freezing because I know I was!
Dancing Lady

First stop, the Dublin Civic Trust!


This is the only building that is in its original state from the early 1800’s. All the others on this street were demolished in the 60s. A pity really. It would be a nice place to hang out.

The building looks small from the outside but from the inside it’s huge! It’s 5 stories and there are skylights everywhere. Pretty smart design for letting the light in.


I kind of misunderstood the description of this venue. I thought there would be a replication of an Victorian Public House. But what they really meant was items salvage in the 60’s from a Victorian Pub. It’s weird that people were just going to throw this stuff away! It’s awesome.

If it were to survive, it would have looked like this,


And the sign for the pub would look like this,


It is a real shame that none of these stuff are around anymore. I suppose it makes what we have now just that much more special.