Saturday, December 24th, Dublin

St Michan's Roman Catholic church; Capuchin friary and church; Smithfield market; "Story of Ireland"?; Anglican church of St Michan's; down to the Liffey & the Four Courts; St Mary's Abbey; up a side street along the Liffey; lunch at Fujiyama; Carrolls Irish Gifts to look for Irish perfumes and CDs of Irish Christmas music; taking the rest of the day off with dinner at Murray's bar

Jurys Inn Parnell Street



Although I had a very pleasant day, there's not really a lot to report on so it won't take me long to type up today's notes.

I slept well but not long last night, waking up this morning a bit before 6 AM. Since there weren't that many places I wanted to go to today, and I'm sure there will be even fewer places open tomorrow on Christmas, after breakfast I worked out where else I want to go next Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday on the basis of whether I already have plans and if so where those are.

I headed out about 10:30 AM. This morning it was still quite windy but not raining at the time.

I first accidentally found St Michan's Roman Catholic church, which I hadn't known about and which seemed to be closed this morning. The Capuchin friary and their church were actually next along my way–I unexpectedly came to it on my way to the other St Michan's. This church was open, and was also very lovely.

I next came across what I now know is the old fruit & vegetable market in Smithfield about which I can't find any recent information and which didn't seem to be open.

When I was here in Dublin this past July I occasionally saw signs for something called "the Story of the Irish" which looked very interesting but which I couldn't find anything for online. While I was wandering through the Smithfield area with the Square and the nearby currently closed Old Jameson Distillery and its tower with observation deck (also closed), I did find the old location of "Story of Ireland" with a sign on the door saying "Closed until further notice" which might explain why I can't and couldn't find any information about it.

I did find the ancient Anglican church of St Michan's with its mummies but they are closed for the Christmas holidays although their web site doesn't indicate that. From there I walked down to and along the Liffey towards the Four Courts. Although by this time the sun had come out from behind the clouds it was still quite chilly especially when I was exposed to the full force of the wind along the river, which was so strong I had to take my cap off and carry it instead.

I did find the remains of the old St Mary's Abbey but that's also closed and there's very little to see from outside the site. I then walked back up the side street closest to the Liffey instead of directly along it to get out of the wind some until I got back to O'Connell Street to get back here to this neighborhood.

I did have a very nice lunch at Fujiyama, the sushi place, which is very pretty and comfortable.

Before I left this morning I had looked up where I need to be to catch the tour I'm going on to Malahide next week and it's the Dublin Sightseeing office just across the street from Fujiyama. I was going to stop in and see if they could print a real ticket for me but they were closed.

I did stop in at the large Carrolls Irish Gifts nearby but the guy I talked to there might not have known their inventory well. When I asked him if they had any Irish Christmas music CDs I got the same kind of reaction as when I'd been looking for French Christmas music CDs in Paris two years ago. He didn't think they had any. He did, however, recommend the nearby location of Golden Discs ( which I didn't get to today but is only a few blocks away from my hotel so I'll check them out on Monday.

After that I just took the rest of the day off. I hung out here, reading and watching something streaming via the hotel's wifi until I headed out for dinner around 6:30 PM. I first wanted to try the Parnell Heritage bar but there were no shorter tables available on the ground floor and I thought I'd check elsewhere and come back and try upstairs if I had to. Instead I had a very nice dinner at Murray's bar, pretty much at the corner of Parnell & O'Connell. I'm pretty sure I didn't go in there in July because it's such a nice, pleasing place I'm sure I'd remember. I hadn't taken my camera so I'll have to at least pop back in and take some pictures before I leave.

And that was pretty much it for the day. I came back here to my room and have spent the rest of the time reading and watching streaming videos. Tomorrow's going to be much the same but even quieter. All the movie theaters in the neighborhood are closed, as is Doctor Quirkey's Good Time Emporium which I was also thinking of checking out. Unless any of the hop on, hop off tour buses are running–which I now doubt–I might wind up just having to take a long walk down to and along the Liffey just to have something to do and get outside.

Breakfast here in the hotel is the same hours tomorrow. I have a dinner reservation at 6:30, which I made when I checked in because I wasn't sure I'd be able to find somewhere else to eat on Christmas (I now know that at least the Murray, where I ate tonight, is also open). I have no idea what I'll do for lunch and so that might be fast food if any of those places are open. Abbey Presbyterian church, which is up the street and which I liked quite a bit when I was there yesterday, has their Christmas service at 10 AM. I think I'll go, to have something to do on a day when almost everywhere else is closed and to remember being home in Portland where I went to the Christmas Eve candlelight service at First Presbyterian for a very long time up until I moved to S Florida fifteen years ago.

It's now after 1 AM and time for bed.

Merry Christmas from Dublin.

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