Isolde’s Tower


Posted by wendy | Posted in expat life | Posted on 18-10-2010

If you are into Wagner or legends you might have heard of Tristan and Isolde. If not you can read all about it here about Wagner’s Opera or general useful information here. Oh yes, there is also a movie made in 2006 about this story.

To tell you the truth, before the movie, I have never heard of this legend. It’s one of those epic love story that apparently everyone knew about except me.

The jest of the story is that Tristan, a nephew of a King Mark, went to Ireland to pick up the king’s bride to be Isolde, an Irish princess. On his way there, Isolda drank a love potion and fell madly in love with Tristan. Some story says he drank the potion some say she drank the potion. The net net is that they fell in love. Isolde had to marry the king and kept meeting up with Tristan. Needless to say, the king was pretty POed when he found out. To remedy this, Tristan drank a death potion and killed himself.

You probably just want to watch the movie or if Wagner’s opera to get a better idea of the story.

Isolde’s tower is in Dublin! It’s kind of weird Dublin Tourism never publicized this. I found it by chance by looking through some other website.

If you are looking for it, it’s on Exchange Street Lower. It’s right in Temple Bar next to an apartment building appropriately named Isolde’s tower.


It is just a big hole on the ground with metal grate around it. It also got a little plaque explaining what it is. It looked like at one point you could walk down there to take a better look, but when we were there it was locked.

A blip about the tower,


From the gate,


As you can see, it kind of looks like a well, and it’s very old!

I would highly recommend go checking it out if you are in the area. It’s a great piece of history!

Irish Short Film Festival


Posted by wendy | Posted in expat life | Posted on 08-10-2010


One good thing about Dublin is that there is always something to do.

Currently, there’s a Irish Short Film Festival going on every Thursdays until the end of November. I have been very excited about this. I love films and I would love to see what kind of films are being produced in Ireland.

The venu is located at Beweleys. I remember one of my very first trip to Dublin, we came here for a fry. Then it closed down in the early 2000 and then reopened again. I remember going back when it re-opened, I was bitterly disappointed by the menu. The fry was gone replaced by generic lunch food. But it seem to have gone back to what it was again.

It’s a great old Cafe and I am personally very glad they reopened it. Beweleys is like an institution in Dublin.
The theater is all the way on the top floor. It’s a room with a bar and stage. It’s got a victorian vibe. It’s a very cute room with fire place (now defunct) on each side of the room.

And since it was opening day we were treated to pastries and coffee/tea! I love food, especially when it’s free!


The event host did a little talk about how the event came about and it was nice and cozy. I felt bad for them because there were only like 7 people in attendance. And half of those were Korean Ladies who didn’t speak much English. But I

I am glad we went though. We saw about 12 films and some are good and some are not so good. But I had fun.

One of my favorites is Granny O’Grimm. It’s just so hilarious! Later I found that it was nominated for an Oscar.

Here’s her again delivering a Christmas message,

I also quite liked this one, though Mr didn’t think it was great.

I definitely will go back every Thursdays to check out the films!

Helpful Hints on the Streets of Dublin


Posted by wendy | Posted in expat life | Posted on 03-10-2010


This is the most helpful hint that is ever placed on the crosswalk. This reminder has kept me being mushed on the street of Dublin many times.

I remember when I first visited Ireland (1999), these signs were not there and I would always look the wrong way. These are awesome reminders to look the other way! Of course, really everyone, you should look both ways. But at least looking at the right direction of traffic helps.

I got so used to looking right, when I went back to California for a visit last Summer I started to look the wrong way and almost got mushed on the street. It’s weird how you get used to things in such a short time.


Looking for My Valentine


Posted by wendy | Posted in expat life | Posted on 01-10-2010


When I was in town for Culture Night, I walked by a street sign that said “St Valentines’ Relic.” I was fascinated. I didn’t know St Valentine is in Ireland! As I was on a mission getting to Dublin City Trust I didn’t have time to go and find the relic that day.

I saw this post in Dublin Tourism site about a Fashion Festival the other day and decided to go. This site is awesome, if you want to check out what’s going on in Dublin definitely visit them.

I didn’t see much of the Dublin Fashion Festival. There just not that much going on, I saw a display of fashion at Hickey’s Fabric Store. They sell yarn but not a great selection and I didn’t get anything. I did see this little gem!


The directions for the festival events are so vague (i.e. See live cat walk on Henry Street, but doesn’t say where on Henry Street, etc.) I just gave up and decided to go look for St Valentine.

He is located in Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church.

I had to walk by the Dublin City Trust building again. It looks quite different!


The shutters is an awesome way of keeping everything inside. Also made me glade I went to see it on Culture Night. I guess normally it’s all shutters all the time.

Bunch of Irish Police Men on bikes waiting for the stop light. I guess they have to obey the law too!


After 1.5 km of hoffing, I arrived at the Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church.

It’s a very functional Church. I also discovered that ‘The Lady of Dublin’ , Patron Saint of Dublin, is here as well.


St Val is across from St Jude (one of my favorite saint) on a shrine to the right hand side past the confession boxes.


He is the box below the statue.

How did he end up in Ireland you ask? Well, when this Irish Carmelite priest, Dr John Spratt, did such an awesome job preaching in 1835, all the Jesuits showed up in Dublin to hear him preach. He got lots of presents from everyone and everywhere for being such an awesome priest.

Pope Gregory XVI was so impressed, he decided to give Dr John Spratt St Valentine’s relic. Epic Win!

When Dr Spratt died, everyone lost interest in the relic and it was put in the basement. Finally during the 1950s after a renovation St Valentines was put back in his rightful place. The reliquary is supposed to have a Holy See Seal on it. (I didn’t look that closely.)

Here’s a close up of the casket,

There’s also a rock (a little one in the a round porthole like reliquary) inside by the front door of the church. It’s a rock from Lourds where water started to flow in 1858. There were whole bunch of people going up to it touching it. That’s cool. I never seen people get to touch a relic before.


It’s a real working church where there were people giving flowers to shrine, and praying. In front of each saint, there’s a book where you can write your wish and pray for the wish to come true.

At some point, some guy started to practice the church organ.

I am not sure if I was suppose to read them, but I did. It’s like full of real wishes. Some of them are quite sad.


Here’s an photo of inside the church.