Dublin Bay cruises
I went back to Dublin in July 2014 and I did not regret my choice to go on a sea-trip with Dublin Bay Cruises. The cruises start from a central location close to the Samuel Beckett Bridge in Dublin and you can choose between going to Howth or Dun Laoghaire. It is possible to take the train "the Dart" back to Dublin city centre.
Beautiful sea views and a nice way to see the Dublin harbour and bay.Related to:
- Sailing and Boating
- Family Travel
Museum at Kilmainham
The Kilmainham Museum can be accessed before or after the guided tour of the jail. There are some truly amazing exhibits and some extremely poignant ones as well.
Here you will see letters written by some of the prisoners to their families before they were executed. There are some memorabilia concerning Michael Collins who was one of only two Rebellion leaders not to be held in Kilmainham Jail.
There are many fine examples of artistry, by some very talented prisoners and most especially some very witty cartoons on display. I could have spent many hours going through it all ( and I guess I did, although not as long as I would have liked).
The whole Kilmainham experience is well worth any effort one might make to get there and see it. the entry fee is really quite reasonable as well.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Museum Visits
Journey out to Glendalough for the day
I took a day trip coach tour to Glendalough from Dublin. We spent about 1.5hours at Glendalough. If I had done this independently I think we could have taken a more leisurely stroll threough the woodland, spent longer looking around the ruins and perhaps combined it with a lunch in the hotel to make a really good day of it. In the end the tour went onto Kilkenny which was also very good so I didn't mind at all.
The site at Glendalough is in the Wicklow Mountains about 45minutes drive from Dublin centre. It is a very beautiful place with two lakes, woodland and a mountain river flowing through the valley. It is also the site of an ancient monastery founded by the hermit St Kevin in the 6th century. There are ancient ruins of chapels, 'kitchen' and the prominent round tower which is a major landmark for the area. In early March the site was not very busy but I suspect in the summer months it could be very popular with tourists and hill walkers alike.
We were dropped by our coach down by the lakeside from where we strolled the one mile gravel path back to the site of the monastery and on to the coach which was waiting in the car park. We had stopped for a coffee in the pleasant riverside hotel and used the toilet facilities at the car park. It was all very relaxed and, with the details supplied by our tour guide, I felt very well informed about St Kevin, his life and the significance of the site. Apparently Michelle Obama, the US First Lady, had visited the site a few years earlier so it is clearly a place that is worth visiting. I certainly enjoyed my all too brief visit.Related to:
- Historical Travel
How about a day trip to Howth?
A suggestion made by a tour guide to visit the seaside village of Howth raised my interest. I was unaware of the place and had planned a trip to the Guinness Storehouse but, for considerably less money, I had a super morning's visit there.
I took the DART train from Connolly station for the 30minute ride. The village, (or is it a small town?), is part of the Dublin suburbs so has a residential feel to it but it also has an active fishing harbour and is clearly very popular with sailors because there is a large marina there as well. The return journey only cost 5.75Euro and it seemed good value to me.
I wandered around the harbour, watching the fisherman busy themselves on their boats and enjoyed seeing the Grey Seal that had come in close hoping for a quick snack of bycatch from the boat. On another part of the coastline there were geese and wading birds which always provide interest. There are also a large selection of restaurants and cafés. I'm told the fish is always very fresh and given the location I'd expect the fish to arrive off the boats and be served up on your plate within a couple of hours.
Unfortunately I didn't have time to completely explore the area as I had my return ferry to Wales to catch but there are well laid out walks that cover this area. I found a small ruined church, St Mary's and a museum about radio located in a Martello tower up on the top of the hill. I'm sure there is more to discover in this attractive seaside location. Ask for your free map at the shop next to the rail station.Related to:
I almost forgot, yes, if it is no raining, you can also do some sightseeing, checking out some churches and castle in this place, but to be honest, I didn’t come for that, if I did catch something it was probably on the way from one pub to another.
The Lord Edward
You hang around in this city, checking out all tourist places, but there is a time when you just want to visit a peaceful local place, where no tourist are there and this Lord Edward was the place :)
For an afternoon drink this was an excellent choice, only few local’s at the bar, you can enjoy some local beers and have a chat regarding PL football (what else?) and life in general. Apparently the person serving at the bar while we were there did some extensive travelling in his days and this made the conversations even more interesting.Related to:
- Beer Tasting
After the historical visits to the Guinness Storehouse and Ireland’s older pub the Brazen Head it was time for some fresh modern and new stuff, but eh… we are still in the beer business, no worry, next visit was to the legendary, even if its new, that is the Porterhouse!
This rather new place (established 1996) is Ireland’s largest independent brewery, yes this is a true real local beer brewery with special qualities. The Plain Porter is their trade mark, fantastic fresh quality beer. This place was also a good place for late lunch, I enjoyed the steak sandwich washed up with the Porter beer :)Related to:
- Beer Tasting
The Brazen Head
After the visit to the Guinness Storehouse, we decided to take a walk to the centre, to burn few calories as well as sightseeing on the way, and as usual in such case, out of the blue, you find yourself in a street corner looking at something unusual, that was written: The Brazen Head, I had no idea what is it but the curiosity sends me in to check it out, what a surprise it was to discover that this is Ireland’s oldest pub, established 1198, at list that’s what is says. With the nice weather permission we took two unknown beer for us and got relax in the court yard of this place.Related to:
- Beer Tasting
The Guinness Storehouse
The Guinness Storehouse is the no. 1 tourist attraction not only in Dublin, but in whole of Ireland. By no means, you do not need to be Guinness fan to visit here, and obviously high percentage of visitors seems are not, but still are visiting this site. For me as general beer fan, this was a must, I do not drink Guinness much in my own country or else where I’m travelling because I do try always to drink the local craft beer of any destination I visit, and now as I am here, this is the local beer, and this is what I was drinking.
The site itself is very interesting, tell history of the Brewery, how they make the beer, beer in general how it is brewed and so on. The highlight of the place is the bar upstairs where you can get as part of your entry fee one fresh pint of Guinness, and yes, it was testing excellent as it should :)
PS: It was probably the longest time I was standing on queue in a tourist sites, usually if they are crowded, I skipped them (I haven’t been to Eifel tower yet, even I was in Paris many times)Related to:
- Beer Tasting
Georgian: Merrion Square Townhouses (II)
Notice how this house is five windows wide! It would have been very prestigious indeed. There was a clear social hierarchy based upon how many "bays" your house possessed. Pity those whose Georgian townhouse was only two windows wide.Related to:
Georgian - Merrion Square townhouses (I)
Dublin is notable for its extensive and very well-preserved Georgian neighborhoods. The Georgian townhouse created both a urban way of life, and an influential vocabulary of architectural features. In this view, notice how the relative modesty of the exterior facades conceals the relative extravagance of the luxury that is found within. See how the windows on each floor are of a different height, revealing the function and prestige of the activities found within. The ground floor windows are tall, but the highest windows are found one floor up, which is where the "reception rooms" would be located.Related to:
Public Art: Daniel O'Connell Monument
Naturally, the O'Connell Monument is located at the foot of O'Connell Street.
O'Connell was known as "the Great Liberator," largely responsible for overseeing the popular movement to accord Roman Catholics full civil right in Ireland in the early 19th century. t's too bad that O'Connell is so high up on his pedestal - you can't really see him from below! The memorial is mostly the work of Dublin-born John Henry Foley (1818 - 1874); who also worked on the famous Albert Memorial in London.
John Henry Foley (1818-74) died before the O'Connell work was completed, so it was also worked on by his pupil, Thomas Brock (1847-1922). The completed sculpture was unveiled in1882. The figures on the frieze seem particularly good.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
Free Walking Tour
We only had a weekend in Dublin so were keen to experience and see as much of the city as possible in this time. We found details of a free walking tour run by Sandemans New Europe, and having previously enjoyed one of their tours in Munich, we decided to give it a try.
The historical information we gained on the sights we were taken around was fantastic, both informative and entertaining! The tour lasted around 4 hours (advertised as lasting 3), with a short break for refreshments. The tour started at Dublin City Hall and takes you on an interactive historical journey around the city with details of the struggle for independance throughout history.
Our guide was Sinead, who as well as informing you of the facts, also demonstrates firsthand the famous 'craic' of the city!
The tour runs twice daily, during the summer months anyway, 11am and 1pm. I would highly recommend this as a starting point for your time in Dublin.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Castles and Palaces
- Historical Travel
Located at the north end of O'Connel Street, this square contains the gate theatre, the City gallery and the Dublin writers museum along with the Garden of Remberance, the Irish memorial to their fallen in war.Related to:
- Theater Travel
- Historical Travel
Phil Lynott -Still in Love With You, Exhibition
UPDATE - This exhibition has recently ended ANOTHER spell at St Stephens (as well as a short time in London -Which I visited). Not sure if there are plans to re-open it again - will keep my eyes open for any 'leaks'
This is just a temporary exhibition, but if you can catch it, it's well worth a visit, especially for fans of Phil and Thin Lizzy, music fans, those of us of a certain age, who remember the 70's-80's etc.
Originally, the planned closing date was May 2nd 2011, but this was extended, and after briefly closing, re-opened again later in the year - I'm hoping there will be a permanent museum one day.
Once I read about this exhibition, to commemorate 25 years since Phil died, I booked my flight to Dublin! I was a huge Thin Lizzy fan, and Phil was my hero through my teen years and into my early twenties. I saw Lizzy play live 7 times, with their various line ups.
Set on the upper floor of Stephens Green Shopping Centre, with views to St. Stephen's Green, this is a lovely location.
I paid my 10 Euros entrance fee on the door (you can book through Ticketmaster, but there are aditional booking fees) and entered the exhibition, to be greeted by Philomena, Phils Mother! Apparently, she often pops down here.
I wanted to buy a copy of her updated book 'My Boy'-I'd read the original a few years ago (published 1995), and really enjoyed it. Well, I purchased a copy here, which Philomena signed with a lovely personal message- it is hard to believe that she is 80 years old - she appears at least 20 years younger, and with stunning green eyes! We had a short chat, then had a photo taken.
I spent a couple of hours wandering around the exhibition (and could have spent longer, especially watching the concert videos, and comments from other musicians-Joe Elliott, Imelda May, Bono etc).
The exhibition contains "the biggest ever collection of memorabilia, song lyrics, exhibits, paintings, tributes and photographs of the late rock legend",
It is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture and Sport, the Dublin UNESCO City of Literature, Dublin City Council, Dublin Tourism and RTE 2fm.
I particularly enjoyed reading the post cards and letters etc from the young Phil to his mother and road manager- quite poetic-not just a rushed obligatory message. Also the candid photos, and personal effects.
For a couple of hours, I was a teenager again, remembering the music, spotting album covers and singles that I still have today (sadly, I had to sell some of these LP's , when 'times were hard', but I'm trying to re-build my collection) and remembering my happy times spent at Thin Lizzy concerts, the thrill of buying their latest release, winning a copy of 'Whiskey in the Jar' in a local newspaper competition, my room at the nurses home, with my walls adorned with posters of Phil, head banging at local discos to Emerald, Boys are Back in Town etc, snogging with boys that were Lizzy fans - and special memories of a boy who 'looked like Phil' - Yes, being a Lizzy/Phil fan, led to a few special relationships!! Sadly, I never met my hero - I nearly did-I'd planned a night out to a club in Sheffield, that I visited frequently, but at the last minute, had to work a night shift - the night that Phil was there! Recently, I've heard from so many VTers that met him-Jealous!
I re-visited the exhibition at Easter, then again in October. (I later caught it in London, but it didn't have the same 'magic' - not because I'd seen it a few times already, but the lay out was different and a bit less 'personal')
Mon-Sat: 10am - 7pm (Last admission: 6pm)
Thurs: 10am - 9pm (Last admission: 8pm)
Sun: 11am - 6pm (Last admission: 5pm)
ADULTS: €10 (weekdays) • €12 (Sat/Sun)
CHILDREN (under 14): €6 (weekdays) • €7 (Sat/Sun)
FAMILY: €26 (weekdays) • €30 (Sat/Sun)
Family Ticket allows access for 2 adults and 2 children.
STUDENTS: €8 (weekdays) • €9 (Sat/Sun)
OAP: €8 (weekdays) • €9 (Sat/Sun)
GROUPS: Contact us on (01) 241 1500 for group rates
Also visit Phils statue nearby on Harry Street (off Grafton Street - look for the flower stalls), His pic on The Wall of Fame in Temple Bar, and his grave at %L[ http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/6f35e/47d3f/4/]St Fintans cemetery at SuttonRelated to:
- Historical Travel
- Museum Visits
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