|Hello hello, and welcome to Dublin! I'm Candice, and I've hijacked Shauna's travel blog! These are pictures from our first full day as travel mates. We had a leisurely start to the day following a night in the pub (plus I was wrecked, having spent nearly 40 hours on the go!) so we didn't get going until about 10:30. We took a walk up to see Copper Face Jack's pub, then picked up some groceries and had brunch in Stephen's Green. It's a lovely park, right in the centre of Dublin, which used to be privately owned but was gifted by the Guinness family to the people of Dublin over a hundred years ago. There are swans, flower gardens, gazebos, and many beautiful sculptures including James Joyce.
After lunch we went for a stroll up Grafton Street, the main shopping area South of the Liffey River, and visited a Tim Hortons. I'm positive that when I was in Ireland 3 years ago this was the only Tim's around, but they're quite common now, in nearly every other Spar we passed! It's not quite the same as home though, as it's self-serve coffee. We spent a few more hours wandering the shopping district, then made our way over to Dublin Castle. Unfortunately the tours were all fully booked for the day, so we didn't get into the Castle (don't worry, we'll try again!) but we did get to see the Chester Beatty Library, which is home to some of the oldest religious texts in the world, and we got to meet Queen Elizabeth! She was thrilled! Dublin Castle is a very interesting building, having been built and added onto many times over the years - "18th Century, 19th Century, Windows 97"!
Back over near Trinity College, we finally got a picture of 'the tart with the cart' herself, minus the dancing leprechaun who usually loiters in front of her. She's a lovely statue, fairly recent (dating from the 1990's I believe) but probably one of Ireland's best known ladies:
In Dublin's fair city
where the girls are so pretty
I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone
as she wheeled her wheel barrow
through the streets broad and narrow
singing cockles and muscles alive, alive oh!
After that we crossed to the north side of the Liffey and took a walk up O'Connell Street, which is named for an Irish lawyer who fought for Catholic rights and often worked for nothing but trade. It's a gorgeous, wide street with many monuments. It's also the location of the General Post Office, or GPO, where the 1916 Easter Uprising took place. It's quite an inspiring place to walk. Of course, it's also home to the Millennium Spire, or the 'stiffy near the Liffey' - a rather controversial tower of steel. We continued on with a little tour of the shopping areas on the north before heading back towards Trinity and our hostel. All that walking sure worked up an appetite!