Dublin day 2 and Howth
Tuesday May 18, 2010
I waited to post again for a couple of reasons, one being what I wrote about yesterday was more sad than happy. Then two because sometimes when overwhelmed you have to mill stuff over before facing it again. So I am starting new with a better take on yesterday and on how I actually want to remember it without all the over emotional melodrama.
Yesterday morning I woke up do to the constant construction noise outside about 7am. After not being able to sleep due to the drunks singing the night before, this has been the same story every night! Oh well, at night the drinking songs and live performers are fun to listen to. Sort of like waking to bagpipes in Edinburgh.
After moving slowly and having a fight with bike rental kiosks because they won’t accept my American card (again foiled on being able to do the biking thing over here). So instead I walked north of the Liffey to the Writers museum. Which was very inexpensive, came with a free audio guide and was housed in a BEAUTIFUL Georgian mansion redesigned and painted, only to add to it’s grandeur, in the late 19th century. So it was really enjoyable, educational, informative and fun to go to this particular museum. I of course went for my Oscar Wilde obsession and came out loving and appreciating even more Irish authors for their struggle and fight to be published. Along with fighting against censorship, political, church, societal pressures and stigmas. I really came to appreciate how many female writes came from Ireland and fought extreme oppression in order to publish their works! So basically it was one of those great moments where I went into learn a little and came out with a completely different view on Irish writers! I very much suggest this sight for the book worm!
After this I went to a nearby park called the remembrance park and ate my lunch and watched pigeons, which are amusing no matter how many times you see them! Then after consulting my handy dandy guide book I decided to next hit the National Gallery of Ireland, which is of course an art museum. I had bought a really cool set of Oscar Wilde quote magnets and wanted to take it back to my hostel and go over the ha’ penny bridge so I headed in the Temple Bar direction. I then noticed an Urban Outfitters which I enjoy shopping in at home so I stopped briefly only to regret it later. I was on the top floor heading to leave when all the sudden I hear this woman throwing a fit! I look over and notice this horrible scuffle with her and this other man. My first instinct was that she was being attacked then I realized no one was making a move to stop it and recognized the guy as the security detail from when I came in. In less time then my mind could fully register what was fully happening she was on the floor, arms behind her back screaming about being in pain and her innocence. Of course this just happens in the world and it’s not a huge deal but I personally have a hard time watching real things like that happen. Obviously because it could have been prevented had the lady not fought the guy and just the look on his face he wasn’t happy to have to do this. So yea I was a bit jittery after this and immediately went back to the hostel to calm down. Though when I headed to the National Gallery the exercise and quick stop for tea made it a little easier on me.
The National Gallery was a very nice museum with great selections on Irish and international (European) art. I of course am an art and history junky and particularly enjoyed the 18th century art and a few select pieces in the 20th century gallery. I spent around 3-4 hours here just wandering and thinking and trying to find some some hidden messages. It was great fun and relaxing!
After this I went a block over to the national library exhibition where they had some nice old artifacts on display. Then it was a trip a few doors down to the libraries geology center for a quick look up of my relative James Steen which I found a few leads and planned on coming back the next day.
After this it was time to take yet another break and then head out for the evening, where I found myself at a comedy club. This particular club was the “International Comedy Club” where it’s rumored Eddie Izzard randomly stopped by one time to perform. Anyway this particular night was an 8 euro cover and a wonderful group of four men doing nothing but improv! Oh and it was all driven by audience participation so basically it was like “Whose Line is it Anyway?” the Irish version. Much more alcohol, much more vulgar and be happy to understand about half of what the hell they said! Well really I understood most of everything but all the rest was true so it was a super fun time I will not forget! I also will not forget getting lost without a map last night, but after some really nice great Irish folk helped me find my way I was back at the hostel safe and sound for the night!
This morning I up and moving about 7 again and after breakfast and getting my luggage organized I walked back to the Genealogy center to try and get some help. I really didn’t find out much more there really is not any documents that go back past around 1850. So it was a bit of a dead end but I’m glad I tried.
After this I jumped down to the Archeology museum which I am so glad I decided on! I saw some fascinating pieces of jewelry and stone work from Ancient Ireland with amazing gold pieces including the famous small old ship that some of you may have seen pictures of. Then there was a room with ancient peat bog sacrificial killing burials. There were three bodies from Ireland which had been found all with gruesome and sad deaths but an interesting peek into that part of history. Why this occurred I need to research it a bit more but it was a common occurrence at this time all over Europe and something very few people realize that in Europe their relatives were doing human sacrifices! So the Aztecs and Romans that we talk about were not the only ones doing these sort of grotesque crimes. I would say that probably my favorite part was the section with other items that had been found in bogs, such as medieval shoes and clothes from the early 17th century which was just spectacular and made me rather giddy to be able to look at and study these spectacular pieces!
I did have to leave the museum after only a short time because I wanted to go to Howth for the rest of the day. Howth is a small fishing village on a peninsula just north of Dublin. The DART of Dublin take you right into the center of town and then one is free to wander. I stopped first at a cafe and had an AMAZING lunch of veggie wrap and pooh bear delight ice cream! Then I chose for a mind blowing 2 hour hike around the large cliffs and heather covered hills outside of the city. Oh was it worth the exhaustion and fear of falling off the cliff the views just about knocked you down with how dramatic and beautiful they are! Yes the pictures are great but you have to stand there in the fog, wind and cold; with the gulls talking and the smell of fresh, salt water! I will not be able to go to the Cliffs of Moher this time around nor will I get to see Dover in England but even though I am missing that I can go home and talk about these that I saw and fell madly in love with! The walk was like I said around 2 hours and took you by so many amazing and dramatic drops and rocks and then finally turning off in a few directions right by this beautiful light house. I chose a shorter route due to my commute back to the city and trains and buses get fewer and further between after about 7pm. The trail looped back to the town where I stopped again for tea and a very good piece of chocolate chip cheese cake! Then it was back to the train, train back to Dublin and now Hostel.
I am going to now get off and make myself some food, rice with pesto is in order and then schedule my tour for Tara and Newgrange tomorrow.