You must visit Dublin. It can be especially pleasing at this time of the year, and in the early morning light. Impaled by the gleaming Spike, O`Connell Street positively sparkles. You can follow the light source down to the quays and watch it tease and dance along the River Liffey.
Last Friday morning, the my business of the day took me past the Ha`penny Bridge. That beautifully wrought pedestrian bridge was built in 1816. The toll for crossing it was, at one time, half a penny and, while crossing over its pleasing hump is a delight, the view of the bridge from the quays is even more pleasurable.
The city was quieter than usual at that time. Too early for the heave of shoppers, the school kids on their midterm break, and the ghosts and ghouls of the night, only troupes of workers were scurrying about awakening the city streets.
Even the River Liffey was slow to rise from her slumbers. Under the eyes of bridges she sprawled, with barely a murmur, as she headed on out to sea.
She undoubtedly improves, as she heads on out towards Dublin Port. There, the perilously poised Convention Centre, the Spencer Bridge and Ringsend Chimneys all stand in homage to her there, and are eager camera fodder. Make a point of going that way, if you can. But my camera and I had to wait for another day.
I did catch sight, however, of a clothed Liberty Tower. Yes, so much better than her naked self. I`d read about her dressing first in Down by the Dougie. It has been done to commemorate the centenary of the Trade Union movement in Ireland and you can read all about that here.
But first a cappuchino, and, since my business would take me along Capel Street, it seemed a fine time to check out Two Foodies In Dublin`s recommendation for Brother Hubbards. There are workers here too, though they`ve plainly moved on a lot from their forebears of a century ago. They were suited, young trendy types and, of course, trendy young serving types. All in all, its a place for the cool set. And me. Service is efficient and friendly.
Just a cappuchino for me, thanks.
And it arrives, all frothy and fronded in a perfectly sized cup and is strong enough to keep even the weariest worker perked up for the day. I delight in the little baking powder tins which see new life there as sugar caddies. I like the look of the confections on display and make a silent promise to check them out another day.
Late evening, and my camera gets another chance to explore.
This time I`m at that glorious building The Royal Hospital Kilmainham. Built as a home for old soldiers in the 17th century, it shows all the obsession with symmetry that architects had during that period and also an incredible amount of detail and craftsmanship in its doors, windows, and decoration.
I have scarcely enough time to catch the Eileen Gray exhibition, and of that more anon. But the light is fading and my camera is keen to catch a flavour of all that symmetry. Even though my preference is for the wild and slightly askew (much like myself) I am beginning to see some of the delight of all that symmetry. It draws the eye further on.
And further on I must go, for the ghosts and ghouls of the city are rising.
I wend my way back along the quays and along by Liffey. Lowered by the tidal pull of the sea, she is revelling in her dark and mysterious side. I leave her to her cavorting with darker beings and shadows of the night and head home with the weary workers to ready ourselves for another day.
More posts for you to enjoy:
Two Foodies in Dublin–and in other places. This duo love to travel and eat.
Down by the Dougie–Lots of interesting posts about this Wigan resident`s ramblings.
Aaron Q Henderson–Dubliner who revels in the architecture and history of his native city and other places.
RHK.ie-Royal Hospital Kilmainham website