Dublin Walkabout

Today was my last day in Dublin1, and tonight is my last night at Ariel House.

I can’t say enough good things about Ariel House – my room is comfortable, the bed is very nice, the breakfasts are wonderful2, they have a laundry service, and the DART station is a two-minute walk. Then it’s about a six-minute ride on the DART train to downtown Dublin, so even though it’s a little way out of the downtown area, it doesn’t cause a problem.

The best thing about Ariel House, though, is the people who work here. Everyone is amazingly friendly and helpful, ready to jump in to help with advice, recommendations, and help with making arrangements. It’s a wonderful place to stay, and I recommend it whole-heartedly.

Anyway, for my last day, I had nothing scheduled. This was the day I had set aside to catch up on the things that I had missed on the other tours. Of course, that’s impossible; there’s just too much stuff here in the city. Still, I had to give it a try.

First of all, I had to go take a closer look at the statue of Oscar Wilde in Merrion Square.

My next stop was the National Museum of Ireland. There are actually three of these, and I went to the Anthropology and History.

On the way there, I passed by this little spot, just tucked in between a couple of buildings.

It’s a Huguenot cemetery, right in the heart of the city.

I took a lot of pictures. I mean, on the previous days, I took between twenty and forty pictures. Today, I took over a hundred and forty, and most of those were at the museum.

I’m not going to post them all here, though. I’ll just provide a sampling.

Here’s a reconstruction of a passage tomb, made with stone from authentic passage tombs that have not survived.
This is an unfinished dugout canoe that is a little better than fifty feet long.
The National Museum of Ireland has the largest collection of Bronze Age gold in Europe, I am told. They also have some nice amber and bronze decorations.
A collection of items from the Dowris Hoard. I had to ask what the gourd-shaped things were. Got some interesting theories.
This is the Tara Brooch. It’s amazingly beautiful. The picture can’t do it justice.

There are a lot more pictures from the museum, but those will do for now. I have to get the rest of them uploaded and sorted.

I headed down to O’Connell Street, next. I had walked it a little bit on Tuesday, but didn’t get the pictures I wanted, so I came back today to take them.

The foot of O’Connell Street, from the O’Connell Street Bridge. That’s the statue of Daniel O’Connell, with the spire rising in the background.
Here’s the front of the General Post Office. I don’t think you can see them, but there are chips and bullet scars in the walls and pillars.
A look at the spire in the daytime. It’s really tall.
The monument to Charles Stuart Parnell at the top of O’Connell Street.
A view of the Ha’Penny Bridge from the O’Connell Street Bridge. It’s actually called the Wellington Bridge, and was originally commissioned by the Duke of Wellington, but everyone called it the Ha’Penny Bridge because that’s what the toll was to cross it.
Things are tough in Ireland right now, and there are a number of people begging on the streets of Dublin. This fellow created a poem explaining his situation.

At this point, I pulled out my map and decided to go find St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which I hadn’t got a really good look at, yet. It was quite a wander, and I got lost a couple of times. On the way, I passed Christchurch Cathedral again, but from a different angle than I had seen before.

I found St. Patrick’s, right when the sky opened up and rained. I stayed there under my umbrella, and the rain stopped after about ten minutes, so I was able to get these pictures.

I don’t know what these are meant to be, but they look kinda cool and they are on the sidewalk outside of St. Patrick’s.
St. Patrick’s was built outside the walls of Dublin so that it wouldn’t fall under the purview of the monks at Christchurch. It was a collegiate church, meaning it was run by a lay brotherhood.
The area north of the cathedral is a public park. It’s very nice.
The churchyard behind the cathedral.

 

The Guinness family financed the restoration of St. Patrick’s. Christchurch was restored with money from Jameson’s distillery. So, the two cathedrals were restored by whiskey and beer.

It was getting on in the afternoon, and it was a good long walk back to the DART station, so I headed back then. I went by way of Grafton Street, to try and get a few pictures there, and was well-rewarded.

Despite the fine drizzle, the street was very busy.
You have to admire someone who’ll haul down a hammer harp on a drizzly afternoon to do some busking.
These guys were down at the other end of Grafton Street. I could hear them from half-way down the street.
When I saw this scene, I realized that I was in love with Dublin. If you can’t see everything that’s awesome about this picture, then you have no soul.

And then I made it back to Ariel House.

Now, everything is packed, and I’m ready to head off to Cork – with a ┬ástop at Cashel – tomorrow morning.

I’m gonna miss Dublin.

  1. Well, except for the overnight when I come down from Belfast to catch the plane back. But that doesn’t really count. []
  2. Confession time. I’ve only had porridge every morning, but it’s their Orchard Porridge, with apples, raisins, walnuts, and stuff. It’s more than enough to keep me going for the day, and it’s delicious. []