Ireland, Dublin Tuesday 12th June

After our massive day yesterday, there were still a few things that we wanted to do. We had planned on trying to get to Trinity College to see the Book of Kells. Unfortunately due to a drink being spilt all over Belinda at the pub, we needed to get some washing done before leaving this morning. This is getting moved to things to do next time in Dublin.

We ended up getting a cab again over to O’Connell Street. We wanted to go on the South side walking tour. We went with the same company that we had done the North side with yesterday. Our tour guide was Peter and he spoke very clearly. We headed down O’Connell Street and he explained how the statue of O’Connell on the intersection was not destroyed in the 1916 uprising, but sustained damage from bullets during that rebellion.

We then crossed the River Liffey and he explained that the government won’t allow any building over 6 storeys, so there aren’t any high rise offices or hotels. It helps to contribute to that quaint old fashioned European town. We had a look at some of the Georgian architecture on the South side.

We then headed into The Temple Bar area. This was an area I was eager to explore. Peter explained that there were plans to build a bus depot in the 1970’s and a company started purchasing land to put the plan in motion. Then, due to the creative people that had rented the shops in the area, the area became a cultural quarter in the 1980’s, so the government decided not to proceed with the bus depot, thankfully. It was initially built as merchant’s quarters and shops when customs house was nearby, then custom’s house was moved to the north side and further down the Liffey. It was really pretty and I enjoyed looking through this area.

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Temple Bar area looking north

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Close up of the shop signs in The Temple Bar area

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Streets around The Temple Bar

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Gorgeous flowers around The Temple Bar

After having a ‘coffee break’ (Diet Coke for Bel), we had some small time to explore this area independently. We continued with the tour up to Dublin Castle. We decided to leave the tour at the Castle as Phil wanted to get back to the Post Office to see the exhibition on the 1916 uprising. We wandered back through the Temple Bar area and crossed the River Liffey on the Ha’penny bridge.

We went to the GPO and paid the entrance fee of 16 Euros for the two of us. This was really informative and we could have spent longer in there, however time was ticking. I really enjoyed the video presentation that played within the exhibition, bringing the time and characters to life. It really gave a fabulous overview of the situation, told through the eyes of Peter Connolly. Phil liked the whole thing.

We were getting really hungry by now and so looked for somewhere to eat. We found Flanagan’s, an old Irish cafe on O’Connell Street. It was perfect. Phil had steak and I had a Chicken Kiev. It was delicious and the service was amazing.

We then got into a cab and went to Kilmainham Gaol where we had tickets for an afternoon tour. We got there in perfect time and joined the tour. This is the gaol that the people responsible for the 1916 uprising were executed. We also learnt that this was the gaol that the convicts being sent to Australia were held, prior to transportation.

This gaol worked on the concept of silence, separation and supervision. Due to the Irish being under British rule, there were many political prisoners held here over the years, some who, when independence was granted in 1922, went on to have long political careers. It was interesting.

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Old section of the gaol

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Looking into the East wing

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Building from the courtyard

After this tour, we caught a cab back to Megan and Paul’s house. We were shattered! Over the last 4 days we calculated that we had walked over 34 kilometres. Our poor feet!

Megan and Paul cooked us a delicious dinner and then we needed to pack as we had a VERY early morning flight the next morning to Pisa, Italy. The taxi was coming to pick us up at 3:45 am!!!!!!!

We have really enjoyed exploring Dublin and look forward to coming back again. Unfortunately we didn’t find any leprechauns, although we looked, except for the souvenir shops. Luckily for us, we had great weather, with no rain. No rain meant no rainbows to look for the leprechauns with their pots of gold.

 

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