the countryside and Diary 7, I now enters the
20/8 2021. I make a slow start, as my first site only opens at ten. I take the small roads, and despite the lack of sun, it is a nice drive. It is apparently where they grow the barley for whiskey and beer, and most have been harvested by now. Here are no bedrock, hardly any stonewalls, but lots of scattered small forests and hedges on the huge, flat hills.
A sign show of to Fourknocks Passage Graves Megalith Tombs, and I bite. It is a huge, green hill, way out on a field, made between 3000 and 2500 BC. To judge from the drawing, it is real hollow, but I can't get in. Well, I can get an arm through the strange ventilation holes in the roof, and it is really spacious. The original roof were wooden with a central pole. As most times, these ancient tombs offers a great view to the surounding lowlands.
I can't postpone it anymore; Dublin, here I come. The first site is The National Botanical Gardens, and it is open, though not the huge and great looking greenhouses. I guess, I could find a way to get in, but after seeing the succulent house from the outside, I don't bother. They have a single impressing Stephania venosa, that is all I find interesting.
I do the outside, from the scientific family-collections over the geographic collections, pass the colourful flowers and the arboretum. Here is a walled-garden along with some display of the Celtic farming. Here are several lakes, and apparently, it is a big thing, the swans are here: First time in 20 years. I'm more impressed by the flowers of the Globe Artichoke; Cynara scolymus, which I can't recall seeing in full flower before: They are huge!
The next on my short list by now, is the Howth Castle, on the other side of the central Dublin. I do a tour around most of the castle, but fail to find anything, resembling a garden. I find two armoured vehicles in front of a closed museum.
While I am on the peninsula, I do a tour down
the the town of Howth. Here is a weekend marked, but I don't
think I can talk myself into driving down here the next two days for
that. The town is nothing special, but the harbour
have a large
number of trawlers. The old buildings along the harbour is now
fish-restaurants and shops.
I reach the hostel a bit before two, but
apparently, they guy can only let me in at three, despite he is in
the apartment. I sit and work in the car, but at three, he postpone
it to four o'clock. Well, I have work enough to do, and don't feel like
leaving my stuff in the car, in this area.
I ditch my stuff, and walk a bit towards the centre of this big city - only a kilometre away. Here are an old elevated rail-system, trams and double decker busses. Walking is the this, causes problems, as the traffic is rather intense, and the light crosses immense slowly to change.
I have never heard of Spire of Dublin, but it is truly astonishing! It is a large, stainless steel, needle-like monument, 120 metres high. It is three metres at the base, 15 centimetres at the top. I find some milk, and head home, knowing I have two full days to explore the city. Day 19.
21. I'm up early, but the grey morning does not really make Dublin attractive. I do a lot of office-work, waiting for the sun. Give up on it at ten, and start on the central part of town.
Here are quite some rivers and canals, and they are crossed by many bridges. Some old ones in cast iron, some really fancy modern ones. One has the shape of the Irish harp. Here are not many boats and alike, but a great looking wooden sail-ship are docked here.
Many of the older buildings have real nice ground floor facades with ornamentation and bright coloured doors, while the rest of the building is so dull. Many of the side streets and alleys have copplestones, especially in the dock-area.
pass Oscar Wilde's house, and in the nearby park, there are a great
statue of him. And here are actually several parks, and quite big
find Merrion Square and Park. It is Saturday, and the traffic
is fare from intense.
Grafton Street ends at a huge, old mall; Stephen's Green Chopping Centre, and a park on the other corner. Here are some large lakes and huge beds with colourful flowers. I returns to the mall at noon, and get some lunch, not made up by chocolate biscuits for the first time. Great view over the square, where a man feeds the pigeons.
A bit further down the road, I find Iveagh
Gardens; I seen less interesting botanical gardens! It have
palms, a rose-garden and the biggest Holly ;Ilex aquifolium
have ever seen, Half a meter in diameter stems.
I am not really shopping, but I do enter some of the more interesting shops. One with traditional English wears, some with antiques and rarities- or odd junk. I try to enter one of the big churches, but it is Catholic, and a quarter is filled up by the shop, selling the same green plastic-junk, as the souvenir-shops. Further more, I have to buy a ticket! Well, they can keep their plastic and odd female goddess.
I had Kilmainham and Libertines marked up, but fail to find the interesting parts. I head back to the nicer parts, and keep finding new streets and alleys. I find the old market, and here are still quite lively. As I exits, it start to rain heavily, and I feel the urge for a latte.
The sun shines for a first today, as I head out, but only for five minutes. Then is start pouring down Dogs & Cats again. Within a minute, my paper-bag with the old shoos disintegrates, and I stick to the new ones. I pass the area next to the docks, and here are real cosy. Then I aim for home, figuring I have seen enough city for one day. Day 20.
22. My last full day, and I do consider heading down to the farmers market on Howth and out to Powerscourt Estate, but I feel, I have seen enough by now. Especially, as the forecast don't show any signs of sun - before the next three days. I do some work at the computer, then a stroll in the old centre of Dublin. It is really quiet this Sunday morning! I have the best intention on only making a few, but real good photos - that didn't work.
I find some new angles and alleys, but also revisit some of those I saw yesterday. I start along the river, which is dominated by all kind of bridges and new buildings. A few of the new ones are really fancy, with a different design. Most are just square boxes.
I turn into the old centre, which is real dead this Sunday morning. At ten, few shops are opening, but the streets and sidewalks are empty. At noon, a little action starts, mainly due to a football match between green Limerick and red Dublin. It is in good spirit, the colours are mixed, and I don't see any Garda; police at all.
I hear several locals, talking with what sounds like American accent, and so many names are familiar from America. Here are Kenneys, O'Brians, Regan, Monroe, Adams and so on. At one hostel, I listen to a radio for a long time, before I figured it wasn't American - despite I wondered why on earth we had to listen to that!
I find my way back to Grafton Street, but even it seems dead at ten. Around a corner, I find the Powerscourt Centre, which is an impressing building in a less impressive area these days. Pass the Hairy Lemon, the Old Market, both closed after ten. Then I find an area I didn't see yester day, with small shops.
That leads me to an area with real elegant, old
houses, like Bank of Ireland's building. Some look a bit odd, like
castles en´miniature in-between more normal city-buildings. Then I'm
back at the docks, and head over the river.
The sun emerges for a few minutes, but right
behind are some real dark clouds. I was heading for some old docks,
but turn in, when I reach the hostel. A short tea-brake, sorting
photos, and I head on, despite the gloomy sky.
23. I get up rather early, eat some breakfast and head straight to the airport to return the car. I have three hours to spend, but rather that, than three minutes too little.
I have taken 5182 photos, and driven 5218 kilometres. I usually say; more photos than kilometres indicate a great tour - but this was as well. I have spend 15.756 DKK; €2087, and additional 458DKK; €61 in Northern Ireland. Not bad at all! Below a thousand a day is considered cheep, these days.
Ireland is such a beautiful and friendly country, and I could actually consider to return one day - if the forecast promise a fair amount of sun. HIGHLIGHTS of Ireland