Tag Archives: Dublin

Dublin again

Reading cage in Marsh's Library, Dublin

Reading cage in Marsh’s Library, Dublin

I saw more the next morning before I left Dublin than I did the whole day before; being a lovey day I walked to Marsh’s Library just behind St Particks cathedral. All their books are older than European settlement of Australia – how mind-boggling is that? It’s very much smaller and less well-known than the Long Room but a really interesting place. They keep the door locked and you have to ring a bell to be allowed in where the old gent gives you a little introduction and warns you not to lean over the ropes and touch the books! It’s all very quaint. They too have cabinets down the middle of the room with selected items on display; at the moment they are all science related and contain books by Galileo and Darwin. Apparently everything is quite unchanged since it was built three hundred years ago, even the three reading cages where you were locked to read any of the small books – obviously human nature hasn’t changed that much!!

I had a lovely time there and spent quite a while talking to a couple of the staff about all sorts, including their Facebook page; they are considering an adopt a book program to try to raise more funds, check them out.

Breakfast of coffee and warm apple pie at a cosy café just nearby went down well. Then I called in to a funky little shop called the Jam Art Factory and the guy in there was in for a huge chat too.  Seems almost everyone you talk to over here has a family member in Australia; his sister  has been over there for almost a year now. Anyhow he told me about a little church to go have a look at not far away, but off the beaten track, St Werburghs Church. I wasn’t sure I had the correct place, it really didn’t look like a church, but later I found out the towers had been demolished because of the security risk due to its proximity to Dublin Castle.  Talk about a find, it was a great place and there was a guy there who once I asked him one question kept me entertained for almost an hour. It has such an interesting history and has only been open for visitors last summer and a couple of weeks this year.

I still had time spare so-called in to the Chester Beatty Library; I only looked at the Art of the Book section – what an awesome collection, but all behind glass cabinets in darkened temperature controlled rooms, so it did feel a tad sterile after being at Marsh’s library a few hours earlier where everything is so old and just there, with that old book smell all around you.

Anyhow, by now I had to hot-foot it back to collect my  gear and get to the ferry port. At the train station I was asking the ticket guy why they had two names for the ferry port, Dublin and Dun Loaghaire – he looked at me strangely and said there’s two ferry ports!!! Well, f’n hell, I was all set to go a few stops on the train to Dun Loaghaire when in fact I had to find a cab and take a ten quid taxi ride to Dublin Ferry Port!! Almost had a major stuff-up there, thank goodness for all those questions I ask everyone.

The cabbie was one of those talkative ones so we had a great chat on the way and by the time we arrived my heart was back where it belonged and beating regularly again – not a million miles an hour like it was when told there were two different ferry ports. Oh well, it’s back to England now and looking forward to a week in the Lakes District.


Filed under Ireland, Mid-life travel, Travel

Two days in Dublin

Rosslare beach

Rosslare beach

Turns out Rosslare is more than just a ferry port – who knew? I had to wait around for the train this morning so took a drive down to the real town and beach. It’s quite cute and one of the nicest beaches I’ve seen in Ireland; and to think I’ve been here twice and wasn’t even going to look around – one of those hidden treasures people always talk about.

Ahhhh, bliss!!! Back on a train with nothing to do but sit back and relax while heading up to Dublin and a five or ten minute walk to my hostel.

Staying anywhere but Temple Bar was out of the question, Barnacles Temple House is where I ended up for 2 nights – in a single room though, I’m way to old to enjoy sharing.

The Old Library, Trinity College, Dublin

The Old Library, Trinity College, Dublin

I’m also becoming a pro at ticking one thing off my to do list on the afternoon I arrive, so dumped my gear and headed off to find Trinity College and the Old Library. Got a bargain too, because there was only half an hour left until closing, the entry fee was half price – saved a whole £4.50!!. As I wasn’t that interested in the Book of Kells,  I was happy with that. I don’t get tired of seeing the different architecture of these lovely old buildings, and the books – you can smell them, it’s divine! They have cabinets down the middle of the room with a selection of items from the library, the inks display really grabbed my  attention but I had plenty of time to have a squiz at all of them. I was so tempted downstairs in the shop to buy something but managed to curb myself!!

Found a nice pub in Temple Bar for dinner and listened to the music for a while before heading back to the hostel where I joined the other nerds and caught up on blogging – well, not caught up, but put in some time writing!

16th May 2013

Guinness vat

Guinness vat

I really didn’t feel like sightseeing today, but couldn’t bring myself to not see as much as I could in my short stay, so braved the cold and rain to find the nearest hop on hop off bus stop. Everywhere and everyone rates the Guinness Storehouse tour as one of the top attractions here so that’s where I spent the next couple of hours. It was interesting, looks like they’ve essentially gutted the inside of the building but left interesting features  and machinery intact. The circular seventh floor is pretty neat with a round bar in the centre of  the room with 6 big Guinness taps and glass windows all around for a great view of the city.  Your entry fee gives you access to the whole place and a pint of Guinness. It’s not that popular a drink at home and I was absolutely amazed at the number of people lining up for their free pint – my ticket still has the free drink stub attached!

It really was a miserable day so I stayed on the bus until we arrived back in the city and then just wandered back to the hostel for an early night – put earplugs in and slept like a log.


Filed under Ireland, Mid-life travel, Northern Ireland, Travel