Danny Yee >> Travelogues >> Ireland: Munster + Dublin


We got rid of the car and got a taxi to our hotel, the Maldron, which was on Parnell Square on the north side, not far from the top of O'Connell St. This was ok, though checking-in took some time and our keycards didn't work initially and I had to go back to get them recoded. There was ethernet in the rooms but the wifi only worked in the lobby, so I was ok with my laptop but Steven had to go downstairs to use his smartphone and iPad.

Heading out for dinner, we walked down O'Connell St, across the river, and around the Temple Bar area. We ended up in Cornucopia, a really nice vegetarian restaurant.


We had breakfast in a pub down the road, where I also discovered the Chapters bookshop. We then walked across the river to Trinity College, where we went on a tour — our guide was a student with the "gift of the gab" — and visited the Book of Kells exhibition. That was excellent, though quite crowded, and the room upstairs, the "Long Room" was also amazing. (There was a nice medical history exhibition on in there, too.)

#3537 - 2011-07-09 10:01
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Trinity College tour
Trinity College cubism

Then we wandered up to the museum complex and split up so we could focus on what we were most interested in. Camilla and I went on a tour of the National Library and got to see the lovely reading room (with connections to Joyce, Yeats, etc). The Archaeology museum was really excellent, and I could have spent much longer in there. The Natural History museum, on the other hand, seems a bit neglected, with quite old-fashioned exhibits.

Hodges Figgis bookshop
National Library reading room
the old city hall

I visited some bookshops, the old city hall, which now hosts an exhibition about the history of Dublin, and the area around the cathedrals (though I didn't actually go into those). Then we all met up again for dinner, in another restaurant on Temple Bar, where I tried boxty.

book stalls in Temple Bar
the postal museum was shut
signs of discontent
Dublin has some excellent bookshops. The best two new bookshops I found were probably Chapters and Hodges Figgis. There was also a good sprinkling of discount bookshops and a few secondhand shops. I came away with three books: Irish Flour Milling, Wetlands of Ireland, and a secondhand copy of Mary Renault's The Friendly Young Ladies.


Yan wasn't flying out till Monday, so we could leave all our bags in her room.

A lots of places were shut, so our walk along the river looking for breakfast proved unfruitful and we had to cross to a pub on the south bank. The Decorative Arts museum was shut till afternoon, so got a tram to the east and wandered through the new development in the old docklands and across the footbridge, which gave great views of the Liffey.

docklands development
Samuel Beckett bridge

We went to Cornucopia again for lunch, which was again excellent. (We ended up buying their cookbook - Amazon, Amazon UK.)

We caught a taxi to Decorative Arts museum, which had a lot of stuff — military history as well as crafts and so forth — and stayed there till it closed. Then it was back to the hotel, goodbye to Yan, and a taxi to the airport.

There were quite a few things we didn't see in Dublin: the postal museum looked interesting, the Science museum was shut, and I could have spent more time in the National Museum. It's certainly a lot more interesting than Cork.

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