Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Dublin Day 2: 11,142 steps

Having gone to bed at 5.00 last night, we woke rather early to a bright sunshiny day. Too early for Dublin. We went out walking, as our puppy has trained us to do. We were in search of breakfast, but the bustling lively restaurant-filled city was still tightly shuttered and fast asleep. Down through Temple Bar, along the River Liffey, along big streets and little cobbled streets. I am always impressed with the displays of flowers in the warmer months of place with cold climates. The petunias here spill from every window. Finally found a place offering a big breakfast which we ate gratefully.
After breakfast we returned, and Michael registered for the conference he is ostensibly attending. He is (perhaps) on a panel presenting a paper. I say perhaps, because his co-author has been considerably less than communicative and Michael has not had time to prepare anything that properly fits. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.
We opted for a green tourist bus tour on one of those open-top buses, and gloried in the sunshine as we drove around the city, starting and ending at St. Patrick's Cathedral. There is quite a focus on alcohol here with sacred sites such as the enormous Guiness factory, and the Jameson whiskey distillery. We drove through the Liberties, down little winding streets, high on the hill and down by the river. We drove down O'Connell Street past the Gresham Hotel where my sister and I stayed for one night on our trip to Ireland in 1971. It was a different place then. The homogenisation of the world is so evident everywhere - the same names everywhere. Topshop, Zara, Body Shop, Pandora, Vuitton, Prada and all the airport familiars.
When we returned to St. Patrick's we went in and looked around, doing homage to Dean Swift. Beautiful cathedral, wonderful stained glass, and a choir singing and bell ringing. We thought about Swift's Modest Proposal and saw a very early copy. I bought a snowdome, as one would. Took a few pictures, as one would.
On the way back to the hotel we passed a monument to John Field, father of the Nocturne and composer of some truly beautiful piano music. A favourite of mine. And more Joyceana. And a free wifi plaque.

We sallied forth once more, and amazingly enough found ourselves at the Powerscourt centre, where there just happens to be a yarn shop. And while I was in there, some Donegal yarn just happened to leap into my hands.
Michael said it was lunchtime, and although I was still full of breakfast noted that it was past 2.00pm by now, and was indeed lunchtime. The central part of the building is a huge atrium, with a restaurant. So we ate. Nothing particularly Irish - salad with goat cheese, beetroot and candied walnuts for me, mini hamburgers for him.
When we were at Trinity yesterday I noted the existence of the Science Gallery, so we made that our next destination. Along the way there were some varied manhole covers, including a Warrior and a Chieftain.

The Science Gallery was not what we had thought. It appeared to be a conference centre, with a strange exhibition on fat. Not for us. We walked through the campus again
and out the Lincoln Gate. Past the Lincoln Inn, where Joyce met Nora Barnacle. We also passed a young man dressed as Joyce, no doubt a tour leader waiting for his group. We shall do that walk later. Down Kildare Street to the National Museum. What a gorgeous building, inside and out. There was a great door knob so I had to immortalise it here. There was an intriguing stone carving with three faces. We saw a vast display of gold, but feel we are getting jaded by fabulous displays of gold after the Inca Gold exhibition. Are we getting old? Have we seen too much? Are we just travel-weary?
No dinner needed. Cup of tea, a little chocolate. Bed by nine.

1 comment:

  1. And so many steps! I'm exhausted just reading it all.