Isles of Scilly to Dublin, Ireland: 222 Nautical Miles
The Azamara Journey is docked in Dublin until 2:00 AM Saturday morning to give passengers a chance to experience the Irish night life.
Dublin the capital of Ireland and has a population of approximately one million people. It is located in Dublin Bay which connects to the Irish Sea. The city is bisected by the River Liffey with its 11 bridges. The name Dublin comes from the Irish “Dubh Linn” (“Black Pool”). The Guinness Brewery is Ireland’s largest exporter and one of the world’s biggest breweries.
We are not on tour today – the morning tours are very early and the evening tours (ones we really liked) conflicted with my initial lecture. The ship is providing a free shuttle bus that will take us to Kildare Street, which is right next to Trinity College in the heart of the city. From there, we hope to be able to walk the historic parts of Dublin and still get back in time for dinner.
We stopped first at Trinity College – the oldest University in Ireland (founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I).
Athletic Field – Trinity College
Most of the people who visit the college go to see the Book of Kells (an illuminated Book of Gospels dating back to 800). There was a large queue to see the exhibit so we opted to see the grounds.
Queuing up for the Book of Kells
I expected to see a University similar to Oxford but instead, Trinity College was a mixture of modern and ancient buildings. It actually reminding me of Northwestern University back home.
Ellen at the “Quad”
Trinity College even had it’s own version of the Chicago Bean – in this case, you might call it the “Pea”. The sculpture was a highly polished sphere with the surface torn away to reveals “gears”. I couldn’t find the title of the piece but we did get a picture of our reflection in its surface.
Leaving Trinity College, we began our walk by heading to the Medieval section of Dublin. Our map pointed out the sights along the way.
The Four Judges Building
An interesting building from the 18th Century provided context for the area.
Our next stop was the Dublin Castle established by King John of England in 1204.
The Record Tower at Dublin Castle
Ellen with the State Apartments in the background
The portals at the Castle had statues on the top that I thought were Greek or Roman Gods – the one below is a somewhat different version of Lady Justice (called “Justice”)
Statue of “Fortitude”
Next stop was Christ Church Cathedral (dating back to 1172).
Christ Church – Side View
We met a local near Christ Church who, after spotting us a tourists, suggested we go down to the River and see the oldest pub in Dublin. We took his advice – we found the River Liffey but did not find the pub.
The River Liffey
The river is spanned by the Samuel Beckett Bridge that is virtually identical to the Rainbow Bridge in Jerusalem, both designed by the Spanish Architect Santiago Calatrava.
We decided to head to the Irish Jewish Museum which was about 2 miles away. The route was relative direct and passed some sites along the way before becoming pretty standard and commercial.
We passed Christ Church Cathedral on the other side and managed to get a good picture of this interesting structure.
Christ Church Cathedral
We also passed St. Patrick’s Cathedral (very close to the other large cathedral). This Cathedral (Protestant) dates back to 1190. Jonathan Swift (Gulliver’s Travels”) is buried in St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
After about 45 minutes, we reached the part of town housing the Museum. It was a very residential area but some of the homes were historically significant. The first house (below) belonged to Isaac Herzog, the first Chief Rabbi of Ireland (that couldn’t have been an easy job).
The second was the home of Irish actor, Barry Fitzgerald (“Going My Way” (1944) with Bing Crosby).
Home of Actor, Barry Fitzgerald
The weather held off (no rain – not too cold) as we made it to another branch of the river close to the museum. Yes, the museum was closed – a major disappointment. We had packed our lunch and ate it on a bench on the river bank. The river at that point was a mess with garbage bags floating among other debris. Yet, pricey condos lined the river advertising waterfront locations.
Looking for WiFi, we stopped in at the Dublin Hilton. Ellen got the WiFi key from the desk and I was able to log in and check e-mails. We also got some very good directions which took us past St Stephen’s Green – a very pretty park in the heart of the city.
From St. Stephen’s Green, it was a very short walk to our bus meeting point. Soon, we were on our way to the ship.
My first talk - “The CSI Phenomenon” – is at 6:30 PM tonight and my expectations are low (based on my last dinner time talks). As it turned out, all ships and all passengers are different. The attendance was about 30 and they were engaged. The feedback was positive.
We had dinner in the Window’s Cafe (my pasta was excellent) and then attended a special Dance Show headlining Jeff Warren (the Piano Man). It was a very night show with the ship’s dance couple – Hana and Milana - showing off their moves. We even danced a little.
We stayed for Showtime with Mandy Muden – Comedy Magician. Her humor was British and I only got some of it. The magic was secondary to the comedy. It was a fun evening.
We called it an early night since Ellen had a long tour starting in the morning.
Pedometer: 10,531 steps; 5 miles; 515 calories