Escape to the Emerald Isle: A Taste of Dublin | 拜訪翡翠島:小遊都柏林

Escape to the Emerald Isle: A Taste of Dublin | 拜訪翡翠島:小遊都柏林

A popular legend at the Trinity College goes like this: If you walk under the bell tower and the bell tolls while you're under it, you will fail your exams. You have been warned.

A happy place where it always rains - that's my impression of Dublin.

Covering approximately 45 square miles with merely 1.3 million inhabitants, Dublin feels more like a large town than the capital city of Ireland. It possesses an attractive combination of hospitality, steep history, and comparatively low costs of living. which gives the city an aura of comfort and joy.

在我的印象中,都柏林是個快樂,時常下雨的地方。

她也是愛爾蘭的首都,佔地約45平方英里,人口只有130萬,所以並沒有其他大都會繁忙的壓迫感。這兒有悠久歷史,熱情好客的居民,生活費相較之下也算合理,因此整個城市瀰漫著小鎮才有的舒適,歡樂氣氛。

"They say you never cross O'Connell Bridge without seeing a white horse." - The Dead.

Irish Gaelic and English are the two official languages of Ireland and can be found on most signs. 

Dublin is also just a short flight from the UK -- perfect for a quick getaway with my winter visitors: my dearest mom and dad. 

From London, there are frequent non-stop flights to Dublin via the national carriers Aer Lingus and British Airways, or discount airlines like Ryanair and EasyJet.

From Dublin airport, the city center is just a 25-minute taxi ride costing around €20. Taxis are plenty and reasonably priced here, and it's an excellent way to get local knowledge as most drivers will be more than happy to give you their own list of Dublin's hidden gems.

都柏林也是個短途旅遊的好景點,因此這次決定帶著我親愛的爸媽從倫敦一起去拜訪翡翠島。

都柏林~倫敦只要一個多小時的機程,愛爾蘭航空英國航空,或廉價航空公司 Ryanair 和 EasyJet,都有頻繁的航班。

自都柏林機場到市中心最輕鬆的方法就是搭跳錶計程車。25分鐘的車程約 €20,價格合理,也是個吸取當地知識的好機會,因為司機們都非常健談,也都非常樂意為旅客提供他們個人心目中最棒的景點,餐廳與經驗。

The cast iron Ha'penny Bridge stretches elegantly over the River Liffey in Dublin. Built in 1816, this bridge is nicknamed after the halfpenny toll it once extracted from anyone crossing it.

Multinational flags dominate the facade of this traditional pub in Temple Bar. 

This being my parents' first trip to Ireland, sightseeing was certainly our top agenda. Mom wanted a selfie with the Oscar Wilde sculpture, dad wanted to pull his own pint at the Guinness Storehouse, and I wanted to check out the Long Room at Trinity College's Old Library.

Must-do list settled. Now, where do we want to stay?

這是爸媽第一次來到愛爾蘭,所以有名的景點必然是我們觀光行程的亮點。媽想與王爾德的雕塑自拍,爸要在健力士啤酒中心去學拉生啤酒,我則想去看看都柏林三一學院圖書館裡的「長閱讀室」(the Long Room)。

基本行程定案後,下一步就是要找個舒適又方便的旅館了。

View of the stadium and canal from the Croke Park Hotel across the street.

The Croke Park Stadium is the home of popular Gaelic sports such as Gaelic football and hurling. (Image Source: Croke Park)

Over the years many of my family vacations have been spent abroad. We would reunite somewhere in the world and explore new sights and cultures together. Therefore I have a pretty good idea about what mom and dad desire from a hotel: 

(1)  Clean, comfortable and preferably spacious room with tea-making facilities and a large bath tub;

(2)  Hot breakfast with made-to-order options, and good coffee, especially latte;

(3)  Central, pedestrian-friendly location with easy access to public transport system;

and last but not least...

(4)  Friendly, unintrusive service and attentive staff.

With that in mind, we scrolled through tons of reviews and opted for the Croke Park Hotel, right across from the most famous stadium in Ireland that bears the same name.

多年來,我的家庭假期通常都是在國外度過,大家約在世界各地見面,團圓以外還可以一起探索新的文化景點,因此我也蠻瞭解爸媽對旅館的喜好:

(1)  乾淨,舒適,寬敞,備有沏茶設施和大浴缸的客房;

(2)  可以單點的熱早餐,還有好咖啡,尤其是拿鐵;

(3)  地點中心,適合步行,而且方便搭乘公共交通系統; 

還有非常重要的就是...

(4)  友好,低調,周全的服務。

基於以上的考慮,我們讀了許多飯店介紹與網路評論,最後選擇的在愛爾蘭最有名的球場正對面的「克羅克公園酒店」(The Croke Park Hotel)。

Ranked #5 on TripAdvisor out of a total of 171 hotels in Dublin, the Croke Park Hotel is a modern, airy establishment in the more urban part of town north of the river, and a 15-minute stroll to the city's main artery - O'Connell Street. There's also a hop-on hop-off bus stop outside the hotel entrance. 

It may not have the period charm of old town Dublin, but it does offer in abundance the most friendly service, excellent Irish breakfast and opportunities for (sports) star-gazing.

** Read more about The Croke Park Hotel **

The Croke Park Hotel 是屬於 The Doyle Collection 旗下的現代精品酒店,在 TripAdvisor 上都柏林 171 家旅館中排名第五,旅客給予很好的評價。酒店位於河道以北,約 15 分鐘腳程可抵達市中心的 O'Connell 大街,酒店門外也有 hop-on hop-off 觀光公車車站。

這家酒店雖然沒有老城建築的古色古香,但它的早餐很棒,服務親切,價格合理,而且很多人來這兒「追星」,因為佔地利之便,許多愛爾蘭的體育明星都是這酒店的常客。

** 克羅克公園酒店詳細介紹 **

One of the many statues on Dublin's main boulevard - O'Connell Street. 

The Spire of Dublin, also known as the Monument of Light.

The main entrance of Trinity College Dublin.

With wide boulevards and scenic river walks, the Irish capital is pedestrian friendly and a pleasure to explore on foot. As for attractions further afield, we just relied on taxis and the hop-on hop-off sightseeing buses, both of which offer amusing commentaries along the way.

During our four-day trip we visited a lot of sights and had some lovely meals. And here are my Top 5 Dublin Destinations that no tourist should miss!

愛爾蘭首都的市中心有林蔭大道和優美的河畔,很適合步行。遠一點兒的景點我們就坐計程車或是觀光巴士,一路上順便享受司機有趣的解說。

我們在都柏林逗留四天三夜,參觀了許多景點,吃了許多美食。以下就是五個我認為是都柏林最有特色,旅客不可錯過的好地方。


1. For the Love of Books: The Long Room, Trinity College Old Library|書蟲的天堂:三一學院的長閱讀室

If you love the oldie worldie vibe of Cambridge and Oxford Universities in England, you'll definitely enjoy a visit to Trinity College Dublin.

Founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I, Trinity college - also known as the University of Dublin - is the oldest university in Ireland. The school sits in the centre of old town and while relatively bijou, it does have beautiful period buildings, pretty squares as well as an imposing 30-meter granite bell tower - the Campanile.

But no visit to the college would be complete without a walk through the Long Room within its Old Library.

如果你欣賞英國劍橋和牛津大學的復古氣氛,你一定也會喜歡都柏林的三一學院。

成立於1592年的 Trinity college Dublin -- 又稱都柏林大學 (the University of Dublin) -- 是愛爾蘭最古老的大學。這個由伊麗莎白一世創辦的學校坐落在老城的中心,小巧精緻,校園裡有許多漂亮的古典建築,綠茵的草地以及一座30米高,氣勢宏偉的花崗岩鐘樓 -  the Campanile。

不過對許多旅客來說,來到三一學院若是沒去參觀古圖書館內的「長閱讀室」,就好像沒來過一樣。

A painting of the Long Room chamber before the roof was raised in 1860. (Image: Wikipedia)

At nearly 65 meters in length, the 300-year-old chamber is a modern bookworm's dream. With dark wood paneling, high arches, marble busts of famous writers and philosophers and floor-to-ceiling shelves filled with 200,000 old tomes, it is a picture straight out of Harry Potter films.

To get to the Potteresque library you'll first have to pass through the Book of Kellis exhibition, where one of the most lavishly decorated ancient manuscripts of the holy Gospels from around the 8th century is on display. Don't miss the bookbinding instructional video that'll make anyone appreciate the craftsmanship and creativity of our ancestors. 

這間長近 65 米,有三百年歷史的閱讀室是每個書呆子的夢想。室內的裝潢使用許多黑木鑲板,加上挑高的圓拱型木頂天花板,很是氣派,好像是哈利·波特學校的樣板。書架上排滿了二十萬本珍貴著作,地上則擺了兩列著名作家和哲學家的大理石半身像。

想要參觀 the Long Room,你首先必須經過「凱爾經」展覽。這本源於八世紀的聖福音是世上最古老也是最堂皇的手稿之一,做工精美,用色鮮艷,真讓人佩服前人的手藝。


2. All About "The Black Stuff": Guinness Storehouse  |為黑啤酒瘋狂:健力士啤酒中心

We all know that the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin is a must-visit for beer lovers, but did you know that it is actually the most popular tourist attraction in all of Europe? 

In a worldwide public vote last year, Guinness Storehouse beat out famous landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, the Colosseum and the Eiffel Tower to clinch the top title.

Most of the 1.3 million people who go through its doors each year -- that's one in every three tourists -- will probably agree that it's a well-deserved accolade, because there really is something for everyone, even those who have no affinity for "the black stuff".

It's hard to mistake the Guinness Storehouse for anything other than the home of Guinness - it is housed in a seven-story building shaped like a pint glass! 

The self-guided tour at St. James's Gate Brewery (est. 1759) starts from the ground level, and as you climb up, you're invited to learn about the beer-making process, the company's heritage, and how to pull a pint of Guinness with perfect, thick, creamy 'head' -- that's what they call the layer of foam on top of the beer -- and you'll get a certificate to show for this newly acquired talent.

大家都知道,愛喝啤酒的人來到都柏林一定都要去參觀健力士啤酒中心,但很多人可能不知道的是,它竟然是全歐洲最最熱門的旅遊景點呢!

健力士啤酒中心在去年的全球公眾投票中捧得桂冠,擊敗了許多耳熟能詳的著名地標,如倫敦白金漢宮羅馬競技場和巴黎艾菲爾鐵塔等等。但是來過的人大概都會同意,這是一個當之無愧的榮譽,因為不管你喝不喝啤酒, Guinness Storehouse 都是個很有趣的地方。也難怪每年都有 130 萬人前來朝聖,這可是都柏林遊客人數的三分之一喔。

世界上大概沒有比健力士啤酒中心更有「酒味」的博物館,因為它的基地就是一棟七層樓高,形如品脫玻璃杯 (pint glass) 的建築!

參觀者自聖詹姆斯門釀酒廠的最底層開始自助導覽,一路來認識著啤酒製作過程,健力士的成長歷史,如何倒杯帶有濃稠白沫,漂亮完美的Guinness 啤酒,成功者還會得到一張證書,證明你有當健力士酒保的天賦。

Fresh-tasting Guinness is not the only thing the Gravity Bar is famous for. (Image: Conde Nast Traveler)

The end of the tour takes you to the highest part of the building - the Gravity Bar - where you can enjoy a complimentary pint of Guinness while taking in the spectacular 360° views across Dublin's skyline. 

We came by the hop-on hop-off bus but missed the return journey, as the last bus left the Storehouse at around 5.30pm. There are always taxis waiting outside so there's no risk of getting stranded, but it's something to keep in mind when planning your visit.

參觀的最後一站就是位於建築最高點的 Gravity 酒吧,360 度的落地窗把都柏林的全景呈現地一清二楚,是享受 Guinness 啤酒的最佳地點。 

參觀完畢才發現我們誤了回程的 hop-on hop-off 觀光公車,原來健力士啤酒中心的最後一班車約下午5:30就離開了。還好計程車很多,所以不怕被滯留在城市郊外。下次要記得就是了。

 

Guinness Storehouse

St James's Gate, Dublin 8, Ireland MAP

Admission: €20 adult  

Buy online and get 10% off 


3. Best Chicken Wings EVER: Elephant & Castle in Temple Bar |世上無敵的炸雞翅:大象城堡餐廳(坦普爾酒吧區)

Don't go home without trying Elephant & Castle's spicy chicken wings. They are famous the world over.

What kind of person would come to Dublin for American-style chicken wings? The answer: anyone who's ever had chicken wings at the Elephant & Castle in Temple Bar.

We learned about this gem of a restaurant from a tourist office employee. Having moved from Argentina not long ago herself, she was eager to share her knowledge of the local food scenes. and this place was her number one recommendation for comfort food.

Stretched along the south bank of the Liffey, Temple Bar is a short stroll from Trinity College and has been Dublin's cultural hub for centuries. and home to artists and musicians for centuries. Today, with its cobblestone streets, beautiful baroque-fronted houses and a cute weekend farmers' market, the area still retains a relaxed, bohemian aura. 

The nightlife, however, is what makes Temple Bar famous the world over. Pub crawl tours are popular all year round, but the ultimate event is definitely in March when tens of thousands of revellers kitted out in green take over the streets of Dublin to celebrate St Patrick's Day, with seemingly endless music, booze and laughters. 

什麼樣的人會特地來到都柏林吃美國式的雞翅?答案是:吃過大象城堡的炸雞翅的人。

這家餐廳其實是一位旅遊局小姐介紹的,我們想吃正統的愛爾蘭餐,來自阿根廷的她便很熱心的分享了一堆當地美食知識。Temple Bar 區裡的 Elephant & Castle 就是她的頭號建議。

坦普爾酒吧區依偎著利菲河南岸,距離三一學院僅有幾步之遙,數百年來一直是都柏林的文化中心,也是藝術家與音樂家的聚集地。如今它還保有許多狹窄古老的圓石街道,巴洛克式建築,每週末還有個小型農夫市場,讓這兒保留著放蕩不羈的氛圍。

但是 Temple Bar 名揚海外的主要原因是它精采的夜生活。無數酒吧林立於大街小巷,很多還有自家私釀的啤酒,加上每晚四處都有音樂表演,難怪慕名前來 pub crawl 的人潮不斷。每年三月的聖帕特里克節(St Patrick's Day)則是大肆慶祝的正當理由,處處可見穿綠衣,喝得醉醺醺的狂歡者,隨著音樂在路上翩翩起舞。

If you only take one photo of Temple Bar, The Temple Bar is the shot you need.

Beautiful artisan cheeses and local produce are sold every Saturday at the Temple Bar Food Market.

There's plenty of booze and laughters at Elephant & Castle too, but only for those with patience or the mind to plan ahead. It's normal to wait for over an hour for a table any time of the day, so walk-in is not recommended if you're tight on time. But the wait is certainly worthwhile.

When we finally got our table after a 90-minute wait, we were starving and ready to eat anything on the simple menu. However a scan around the restaurant revealed that every table had a basket of chicken wings, and it wasn't even complimentary. Our waiter explained that spicy chicken wings were the restaurant's most popular dish, so we ordered it just to experience the hype. 

We were amused by the nutritionally imbalanced meal (chicken & fries) that all the college students next to us ordered. But after just one bite of these crunchy, perfectly fried, tender wings, we also wished we had ordered more of them and less of everything else -- these were seriously the best chicken wings outside of the U.S.A.! 

In fact, they also have a sister restaurant in New York City at 68 Greenwich Avenue. One for the list!

位於坦普爾酒吧區中心,大象城堡餐廳提供多樣美酒,美食,難怪每位顧客都眉開眼笑。 也可能是因為這家餐廳成天座無虛席,他們很開心辛苦等待一兩個鐘頭後終於等到位子了。

經過漫長的等待,我們很幸運拿到靠窗最好的位子,但這時早已餓昏了,所以菜單上的每樣料理看起來都像山珍海味似的。點菜前掃瞄了一下周圍顧客的食物才發現,怎麼每桌都有一籃炸雞翅,難不成是免費的?問了服務員才知道,原來辣味雞翅是這家餐廳最受歡迎的名菜,所以我們也入境隨俗,點了一籃嚐新。

隔壁的八個大學生,每人都只點一籃雞翅加一份薯條,我們剛開始還笑他們吃的營養不均衡。萬萬沒想到自己嘗了一口炸得恰到好處,香酥不油膩的雞翅後,我們也後悔沒有多叫一籃。說實話其他菜也都很美味,而且份量挺大的,只不過這裡的 spicy chicken wings 可是我在美國境外所吃過最棒的雞翅!

其實,他們在紐約市也開了家姐妹店(68 Greenwich Avenue),住在紐約的朋友們真的是太幸福了!

Elephant & Castle

18-19 Temple Bar, Dublin 2, Ireland MAP


4. The Fight for Independence: Kilmainham Gaol|為獨立而戰:凱勒梅堡監獄

Ireland is such a prominent name in the European history and popular culture that sometimes it's easy to forget that the Irish Republic had only gained independence less than 100 years ago after centuries of English occupation. 

As Ireland prepares to commemorate the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising - one of the most significant uprisings to end British rule ever to take place - we were briefed by our taxi driver on the significance of this event on our way to the hotel. To better understand the political struggles of the Irish people, he told us, we must pay a visit to a prison called Kilmainham Gaol on the outskirts of Dublin.

Kilmainham Gaol is one of the largest unoccupied jails in Europe. Between 1796 and 1924 when it was in operation, it gain fame as the place that held some of the most famous political and military leaders in Ireland including the leaders of the the 1916 Rising.

名稱響亮的愛爾蘭,在歐洲歷史和流行文化佔有一席之地,加上又是旅遊勝地,有時候很容易讓人忘記其實「愛爾蘭共和國」是不到100年前才贏得獨立的年輕國家。

1916 年的復活節起義是愛爾蘭抵抗英國統治最重要起義之一,現在全國上下都在準備慶祝 Easter Rising 一百週年,計程車司機也建議我們保握機會好好了解愛爾蘭人為獨立所做的奮鬥。

最好的方法,就是去參觀在都柏林郊外的「凱勒梅堡監獄」。

今日,凱勒梅堡監獄是歐洲最大的空牢之一。於1796~1924年之間,它則關押了許多愛爾蘭著名的政治犯和軍事犯,包括1916年的復活節起義的領導人。

Now a government-run museum, no punitive activities take place behind the gaol's thick stone walls, and the only reminders of the bygone prison life come via a 60-minute guided tour that takes visitors through the prison cells, execution field and an on-site chapel. There's also an exhibition that tracks the history of the gaol and serves as a memorial for those who fought for Ireland's independence.

You won't leave this place feeling happy or relaxed, but you will take home a slightly deeper understanding and appreciation for Ireland, its people and the Irish mentality.

If you're planning a visit to Kilmaninham Gaol, to be sure to visit it early in the day as the hourly tours are small and fill up very quickly. Both red and green hop-on hop-off buses have a stop outside the prison.

現在「凱勒梅堡監獄」已成為了國營博物館,早已沒有從前陰森嚴謹的感覺。參觀者沿著厚厚的石牆,聆聽著導遊敘述過去的監獄生活,試著想像當犯人的滋味,監獄裡也有展覽紀念愛爾蘭歷年來的抗戰歷史。

監獄之旅不會讓你心情愉快,不過一定會讓你對愛爾蘭的歷史,愛爾蘭人的心態有略加深入的理解。

參觀「凱勒梅堡監獄」一定要早,因為每天只排六到八場導覽,而且票很快就賣完。紅色和綠色的觀光公車在監獄前都有站牌。


Kilmainham Gaol

Inchicore Rd, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, Ireland MAP

Admission €4 adult / Buy Tickets on location


5. Dublin's Favorite Son: Oscar Wilde | 都柏林最愛的文豪:王爾德

No Irish celebrity, past or present, deserves a playful memorial more than the 19th century writer Oscar Wilde. Born in 1854, the author, playwright and poet was most famous for his satirical comedies with a dark undertone, as well as his infamous imprisonment for homosexuality.

The statue Dublin has erected for this colorful character indeed reflects the man's flamboyant personality. Lounging leisurely atop a rock in Merrion Square overlooking the house he was born in, the stone sculpture of a 40-year-old Oscar Wilde appears surprisingly realistic.

Far from being handsome, Oscar Wilde was considered a dandy by his contemporaries. His formfitting outfit - a jacket in polished color stones with long, skinny trousers - exudes sartorial elegance. The leather-like loafers on his feet are adorned with intricate shoelaces. And that two-sided expression on his face, which may appear as a cynical smirk at the first glance, is actually meant to depict both joy and sadness.

從古至今愛爾蘭出了很多名人,不過最讓人津津樂道的文人,非奧斯卡·王爾德多莫屬。1854年出生於都柏林,這位作家,劇作家和詩人以諷刺喜劇紅遍歐洲,卻也因轟烈的同性愛情故事遭到十九世紀法律的嚴厲審判。

都柏林為他所樹立的雕像,地點就在他老家對面的梅林廣場

石雕的王爾德一身帥氣打扮 -- 彩色的夾克,窄管西裝褲,腳底則是帶鞋帶的皮鞋 -- 散發著優雅的氣質。他悠然的躺在大岩石上,俯瞰他的老家,臉上掛著看似玩世不恭的微笑,其實是有雙面的表情,代表著喜悅和悲傷。

Across from Wilde is a small sculpture of a naked pregnant woman with misery in her eyes - this is his English wife Constance, and the mother of his two children.

Not long after the birth of their second child, Wilde was tried and convicted of "gross indecency" for his relationship with a young lord. He died in 1900, impoverished and in exile, at the age of 46.

Exquisite, mesmerising and memorable - Oscar Wilde's sculpture reflects the charisma of this beloved literary giant and captures the romantic legacy of his work. It is truly a piece of art and well worth a visit. 

詩人對面是一位美麗的裸體孕婦雕像,這就是他的英裔妻子康斯坦斯,也是他兩個孩子的媽。在他們的第二胎出生後沒多久,王爾德便因為與一位年輕貴族墜入愛河,受到法律審判,而打進監牢。1900年,這位落魄失意的文豪死於巴黎,享年46歲。

王爾德的彩色石雕是一份精緻,迷人,令人難忘的藝術品, 貼切地形容王爾德的浪漫,與他作品的魅力。值得一遊。


Oscar Wilde Memorial Sculpture

Merrion Square, Dublin 2, Ireland MAP

Admission: Free