Wednesday, July 27–Dublin city, Co Dublin

Walking to St Patrick's Park & Cathedral; Chester Beatty Library and lunch there; Dublin Castle; Dublinia; Dublin City Hall; Sunlight Chambers and along the Liffey; Temple Bar; dinner at the Mongolian BBQ; Musical Pub Crawl

Jury's Inn Parnell Street



I did a lot of walking today. I left my hotel about 11 AM and didn't get back to my room until after 10 PM.

The only place I didn't go to that was on my list from last night was the Whitefriar Street church but I did go to at least one place that I hadn't planned on because it was along the way to where I was going.

I began by walking from here to St Patrick's Cathedral, which took me past some places I've already been to or at least past already this trip. I did cross the Liffey on a different bridge, the one on O'Connell Street, so getting to it first took me a little further the other direction on Parnell Street from the hotel and down a different street as well.

Although there was a lot of people in St Patrick's Park, which is lovely and free and the weather was decent at the time, there were a lot less in the cathedral itself because they charge admission, which I wouldn't have minded since it goes towards upkeep and renovation on a marvelous building but the cathedral's one of the places included with the Dublin Pass. I paid for the guided tour, and there were only about five or six of us on that one so it was almost like a private tour, It's really a wonderful, delightful piece of art and architecture.

I then walked over to the marvelous and very well done Chester Beatty Library, which as I said earlier was probably my all time favorite place we went on the CIE tour Mom sent me on ten years ago for my 50th birthday. It was as marvelous and well done as I remembered. This time, however, I also had lunch in the very good café there as well because I wanted to eat lunch earlier than I've been doing since I had to eat dinner around 6 PM again before meeting for the musical pub crawl by 7:00 PM. The route from St Patrick's to Chester Beatty took me in a different part of Dublin Castle than I remembered from last time, and so did the route from there to back to Christ Church Cathedral and Dublinia so that was fun.

Christ Church Cathedral is also wonderful and well worth the visit. It is also included with the Dublin Pass but I again paid for the guided tour. This time there were only two of us. They lost me when they climbed up the stairs to the belfry–it wasn't just the number of stairs our guide told us there were, but she also mentioned no railing on the outside of the spiral staircase and going through low doors. I did, however, have no problems going down the stairs to the atmospheric and cool (both senses) crypt.

Dublinia was fun and well done, with lots of informative, and often interactive or multimedia exhibits, but I didn't spend as much time there as it deserves because I was there at the same time as a large group of young foreign English language students.

Somewhere along the way I stopped in at the Dublin City Hall to check out the very well done exhibit there on the history of the city and the local area, and the marvelous rotunda upstairs. The City Hall's not far from Christ Church Cathedral and Dublinia, so I'm not sure in which direction I was going when I stopped there.

I also somehow went about ten minutes in the wrong direction going from Dublinia over towards Temple Bar and made what was supposed to be a ten minute walk take over half an hour. After I'd rectified my mistake and was back on the correct track to Temple Bar and Oliver St John Gogarty's, where the musical put crawl starts, I went past lots of other interesting buildings including the wonderfully decorated Sunlight Chambers, which were originally the headquarters for the Lever Bros soap company, so there's these two marvelous murals about hygiene and cleanliness. I think I also stopped in at least one very nice church as well, but it's late, I'm tired, and I can't remember now.

Even with my unintended detour I still got to O St J G's by 5:30. No one would be upstairs collecting/selling tickets for the tour until about 6:30 so I had a bit of a wander around the Temple Bar area, and had a very nice dinner at what is probably the only Mongolian BBQ in central Dublin–which Mom would tease me about–because as with all the other ones I've been to the food is fresh, freshly cooked for you, as healthy as you want to make it, and quick.

Calling tonight's program a "musical pub crawl" might be a little misleading in one sense, if you're expecting to go to several different pubs and to hear different musicians at each one. We went to only two other pubs besides the place we met, which was on the upper floor of a very cool older pub that also has guest accommodations–we also went to the Ha'Penny Bridge Inn and finished up at Brannigan's bar which is not far from here. All three places are older pubs and the last two are family owned & run.

We also only had the same two musicians for the whole evening, but since they were a couple of nice guys, good entertainers, excellent musicians (one guy played button accordion, the other played guitar and bodhran and sang), and played several different types of traditional Irish music it didn't matter that we didn't have lots of different musicians at each stop. And the charming and attractive young woman who greeted us at the beginning is also a very talented Irish dancer who performed for us at the second place.

I hate to admit it but I stopped in at the McDonald's around the corner on my way back here to my hotel since it was now about 10 PM and I wanted something to eat since I'd had dinner so early, and after having experience with my hotel room service's very limited offerings after 10 PM last night I wanted somewhere that served food and was still open. I could have bought something at the Tesco across the street too, I suppose.

As I was coming around the corner from O'Connell Street to Parnell Street I saw a couple a little ahead of me I recognized from the musical pub crawl, and when they turned in to my hotel I reassured them that no, I wasn't following them but was also staying here myself.

I just had a bit of a chat with Michael over the phone. As well as keeping my siblings posted that I've arrived at my next destination safely and keeping them posted as to what I've been doing and where I've been going I also like to occasionally find out how things are going on their end as well.

It's almost 1 AM and time for bed. Tomorrow's going to be rather like tonight was, but I'm going further afield. I've got a ticket for dinner and a show at the Irish House Party at the Landsdowne Hotel and need to leave here, or downtown, not much later than 6 PM to be there in time. I'm not sure what I'll do for the rest of the day before that. My suitcase that I was having repaired should be ready sometime tomorrow. I'll call in the morning after breakfast and check. If it is, I'll probably walk over to pick it up (less than half an hour), take a cab back here to drop it off, then maybe walk on back to the National Museum of Ireland Natural History and the National Museum of Ireland Archaeology for the afternoon.

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