Expect a typo free version soon. Apologies for not having this up before now, and thanks for taking a look.
Alrighty then – welcome to Dublin !
We’ll start off on the Northside of the City, near where I work. This is the Four Courts. It’s the primary courts complex of the city and has been occupied by garrisons in 1916 when Irish rebels sought to overthrow British Rule, and again in 1922, following the signing of a treaty which ended that conflict it was occupied by anti-treaty forces, at what would be considered in many ways the commencement of the Irish civil war. Ultimately the occupying forces were shelled by the newly formed Irish army, many of whom would have fought side by side with those inside the buildings during the war of independence with Great Britain.
This stock photograph shows the building on fire in June 1921.
It’s a bit more peaceful in my picture taken last month. We only fight inside the building and generally don’t use weapons.
Here is the star of the show – the G Travels G Shock – just after it arrived in my room :
And here it is getting acquainted with the legal setting it finds itself in :
The courts have risen for the summer vacation though, so the G did not get a chance to fight a case with me unfortunately. If it did, it would have to look like this…pardon my blurry face ☺
The first day I had it I was getting ready to move to new rooms so I couldn’t take it out and about much. Ultimately it spent the night in the new place and this is the view from my balcony that afternoon, looking up the river across to the Southside of the city and back towards the city centre :
Night falling, time for me to go home. This is looking up the other side of the river towards the docks :
The next morning, we went on a little stroll around the City. Dublin is divided in the middle by the River Liffey and there is some good natured and not so good natured tension between the North and South of the City. The North is considered less privileged and more ‘real Dublin’ whereas the South is considered both by itself and the Northside as being a far more nobby place altogether. I was born and grew up on the Northside so you know where my allegiances lie. We’re walking down the South side of the River at the moment, and one landmark we pass is this hotel, famously (?) owned by U2, the Clarence :
After we pass the Clarence we cut into Temple Bar. This was throughout the 1980’s a very run down area, full of drug dealers and derelict buildings. Its had a lot of work done and is now full of bars and restaurants, and market squares, like this one in Temple Bar Square :
If you find yourself in Dublin looking for a pint and some traditional Irish entertainment you could do worse than Temple Bar, although it is very much more full of tourists than locals, and does attract a lot of stag & hen parties.
The G Shock did certainly come to Dublin for a pint, but we’ll go on somewhere slightly less busy first.
Through Temple Bar, and turning up Dame Street we pass what is now the Central Bank. This building was used rather more famously as the parliamentary building for what is known as Grattans’ Parliament. This Parliament, led by Henry Grattan, sat from 1782 to 1800 as a somewhat independent Irish parliament. The Act of Union of 1800 ended the arrangement and it was this Act which probably caused the ultimately successful rebellion against British Rule. Had the arrangement been left in place, who knows what could have been.
Right beside the Central Bank is a place quite dear to my heart – Trinity College Dublin. I studied here, and worked in the College Bar while doing so, for four years between 1996 and 2000. This is the front arch entrance on college green. Trinity College houses the Book of Kells – four books of the Gospels illuminated by monks during around 700 AD – 800 AD. The queues are a bit long today so you’ll have to visit it in person (here’s a handy link for the curious) http://www.tcd.ie/Library/old-library/book-of-kells/
This is looking towards front arch across front square in the centre background. The building on the left of shot is the exam hall. I spent many painful hours in there…
This is the campanile, or bell tower, and the red bricks in the background are the Rubrics – the oldest surviving part of the college, from around 1700. Trinity was actually founded in 1592 when a Charter was given to the organising citizens of Dublin by Queen Elizabeth. Formerly if you were a Catholic you had to get permission from your Archbishop to attend – it was regarded as a very British and Protestant establishment. This was not changed until the 1970’s.
A more pleasant part of the college – the sports fields. Cricket :
And Rugby, which is where I also spend a lot of time. There’s a fair amount of my blood fertilising that grass ! Together they’re referred to as College Park and this is a lovely place to walk around, read a book etc. especially during the Summer. They are open to the public and unusually quiet today. Its amazing how quiet and peaceful it is here when you consider that you are right in the centre of the City :
Ok now we’ll walk through the modern part of the College, on our way to Grafton Street, the main shopping street on the Southside.
The building in the background is the Berkely Library…I probably spent too much time on the Rugby pitch and not enough time in here :
At least these kids found something useful to do with that piece of modern ‘art’ in New Square (the names of places in Trinity are pretty literal…). In the background is the Long Room which houses the Book of Kells.
I think the G Shock is getting thirsty. This guys knows of a good pub just behind his left shoulder :
That’s Phil Lynnott, a great Dubliner and a great musician. Lead singer of Thin Lizzy who you may or may not have heard of. ‘The Boys are Back in Town’ is probably one of their better known songs.
Phil stands outside the International Bar, a proper Dublin pub, and I think now is a good time to stop for a pint. The G agrees.
This is what you call a G-uinness :
As the afternoon is getting on, there’s just time for a quick stroll across the river to the Northside. This is the Ha’Penny Bridge – so called because it was once a toll bridge and that was the fee to cross.
On the Northside, the main street is O’Connell Street. This is the General Post Office, another building that featured heavily in the 1916 rebellion :
This plaque tells why :
Here’s Daniel O’Connell, often referred to as ‘the Liberator’ in Ireland. He was probably the most famous campaigner for Catholic Emancipation in Ireland and advocated strongly that Irish men and women were Irish first and catholic or protestant second, and that religion should not cause differences between them.
And the newest monument in Dublin is on this Street – the Millenium Spire…no it doesn’t have a point…no pun intended.
I’m a bit tired of walking around the City, so enough for the second day. Tomorrow we will take a trip into the Countryside to see some of that green that Ireland is rightly famous for.
This is the valley of Glendalough, County Wicklow, site of a monastic settlement since some time in the eighth century. Its just over an hour’s drive from Dublin City Centre. You can see its Round Tower in the background. The Round Tower was used as a local landmark for people to find the monastary, and also as a place of refuge from the inevitable Viking raids. The unarmed monks would flee to the Tower, pulling up the access ladder, and wait it out while the pillaging went on beneath them.
St. Kevin is the saint associated with the valley. He believed in an ascetic hermit like existence so as to be close to God, and chose the site of the monastary for its natural beauty – whatever about his beliefs, you can’t argue with him on the location :
After a day tramping around Glendalough, it would be wrong not to take the G to relax for the evening in a decent Pub. I just realised that I forgot to introduce you to perhaps Dublin’s most famous resident yesterday – Molly Malone. You may have heard the song ‘she wheels her wheelbarrow, through streets broad and narrow, crying cockles and mussels, alive, alive-oh’…we have to walk past her, on College Green again, to get to the Pub.
In Ulysses, Leopold Bloom says it would be a good trick to cross Dublin without passing a pub. To be honest, I don’t see the point in trying. This is the best one in Dublin, The Stag’s Head. Its hard to find, which is great as it keeps it off the Stag party trail (no pun intended again…) – pm for details, I’m not giving away the secret here…
This is the snug. That’s a term for a small detached bar in an Irish pub which usually has a hatch between it and the bar to be served through. It traditionally provides privacy for those who perhaps don’t want to be seen in the pub…myself and the G will sit here…
I really like that picture - it captures perfectly this particular room, which is a favourite place of mine.
Anyway, yet another G-uinness…
And as things get slightly blurry…probably time to hit the road for home…this is the view from my front door in Inchicore.
I’ll be going in to bed, the G Shock will be away off to Australia tomorrow. It was a pretty good drinking buddy I must say, and I wish it the best, along with all who wear it and have worn it.
Thanks for reading ☺I'm very new to this DSLR camera stuff, but hope you enjoyed the pictures.