The Obamas arrived in Ireland on Monday, and while the president attended the G8 summit in Belfast, the first lady and daughters Malia and Sasha were able to fit in a 2-day whirlwind tour of Dublin, exploring their Irish roots.
“There’s no one as Irish as Barack O’Bama,” says the web-hit Irish folk song that went viral back in November 2008. The president’s great-great-grandfather was born in the Irish village of Moneygall, and Ireland celebrates this connection by always extending a warm Irish welcome to the president and his family.
Michelle Obama and daughters learned more about their Irish ancestry with a special tour of Trinity College, where they viewed archives documenting their family’s Irish origins and saw the Book of Kells, a 9th-century illustrated gospel manuscript.
Other highlights of the first family’s trip included a private tour of Glendalough, one of the most famous monastic ruins in Ireland, and a special Riverdance performance at the Gaity Theatre, where Michelle Obama addressed an excited audience.
And talk about a power lunch … the first lady dined on fish and chips in Dublin with the “first rock star of Ireland,” U2 frontman and world humanitarian Bono.
This wasn’t Obamas’ first visit to Ireland. Back in 2001, the president visited his ancestral hometown Moneygall searching for his “missing apostrophe.” On this visit, the president met his 8th cousin, Henry Healy, now known as “Henry the Eighth.”
You May Also Like:
Why We Love the Irish
Travel Like the President
Travel Like a First Lady
Cooking for the Clintons
Ireland’s best-known nickname is the Emerald Isle, and one visit there will make it abundantly clear why: Ireland’s landscape is defined by rolling hills, dramatic green cliffs and lush forests. The country is also deservedly famous for its stunning coastal scenery, and the many famous outlooks include the Causway Coast, the Cliffs of Moher and Ballinskelligs Bay along the Ring of Kerry.
Ireland has a long, rich history, and many visitors are enchanted by its mystical Celtic past: It’s still possible to see beehive huts that once housed pre-Christian settlers; Druid stone circles; Iron Age stone forts; and gorgeous old castles. Visitors can even stay in historic castles during their visit. On a stunning lakefront, Ashford Castle was first built in the 13th century and today hosts plenty of celebrity guests. The Schoolhouse Hotel is more than 500 years younger than Ashford Castle, but it nonetheless has an historic vibe, housed in a building from the 1800s. This Dublin boutique features classic rooms with antiques, floral prints and canopy beds. If you’re looking for value, the Arlington Hotel , within a short walk of Temple Bar, is a popular choice among young travelers, and offers perks such as free Wi-Fi.
- Oyster.com Staff
What do Harry Houdini’s brother and Dracula have in common? Items related to these 2 figures could possibly make a trip to Dublin a major success for auction specialists Mark Meyer, Billy Leroy, or Laurence and Sally Martin.
Dublin has been and continues to be Ireland’s transportation hub for almost 1,000 years. The Garda, the local police, are in charge of managing all lost property that’s found and turned in to them by citizens. If no one claims the items for 1 year and a day, then the items are put up for auction.
Mark, Billy, and Laurence and Sally Martin keep their fingers crossed, hoping to strike it rich with items like old leather briefcases (potentially holding historic documents), as well as a jockey-training simulator and even an old sealed box with the words “Attic” on the front. And we all know what items are stored in the attic: old, and sometimes priceless, items.
Don’t miss tonight’s all-new episode at 8|7c.
Go behind the scenes with our Knightwalkers slideshow and watch a sneak peek of the bidding war in the Dublin Auction Preview.
by Jimmy Im
When it comes to Belfast, more Americans remember its dark political history and forget that the New York-bound Titanic ship was built and made its maiden voyage from there 100 years ago this month. Belfast is hot on its heels of erasing the repercussions of its late civil war (the city is known as the safest city in all of Europe based on nationwide crime figures), and the Titanic is luring travelers the world over to check out the new and improved Belfast.
This month, the $156 million Titanic Building opened its doors, providing the world’s largest Titanic memorial. The museum center stands the same height as the original Titanic — about 10 stories high — and is designed to look like the hull of the ship. And don’t expect tributes to Jack and Rose. The Titanic Building is the real deal, with 9 informative galleries that start with Boomtown Belfast (when the city was at the forefront of shipbuilding) and the launch of the Titanic, ending with the Oceanic Exploration Center. So visitors can explore the wreckage discovered 2 1/2 miles on the ocean floor in 1985. Interactive features allow visitors to feel like they were actually on the ship. READ MORE