Ireland day 0232. Wednesday 18 May 2022- Iveagh
|Today’s summary||Val was at work so I spent the afternoon in Dublin. Bought a new pair of trainers after old ones failed, and then walked to Iveagh Gardens and back from Connolly via a Seamus Heaney exhibition, the Irish Whiskey Museum, St Stephens Green and the National Concert Hall|
|Today’s weather||Bright and blustery with some sun most of the day. Rain in the evening. Strong southerly wind. About 17C but feeling cooler in the wind|
|Today’s overview location
(The blue mark shows the location of my route)
(The green line shows where I walked)
(Click button below to download GPX of today’s walk as recorded, or see interactive map at bottom with elevations corrected):
Iveagh Gardens loop from Connolly
Sometimes even I need to go shopping. It’s not a voluntary thing, or something that I do for pleasure, rather it’s born out of necessity. Usually when we have run out of food or when my clothes start falling to pieces. That happened today when the sole came off my favourite running shoes and I realised that continuing to wear them might be a health hazard.
On our last trip to Dublin I had managed to get a cheap pair of trainers and at the time I’d noticed that there was another pair the same size still for sale. So today I thought that I’d go back and see if the other pair was still available.
First though, Val was at work and I had to go to the supermarket in Malahide, to get some milk and other essentials. This first shopping trip today actually turned out to be more successful than I would have imagined. For SuperValu had on sale today a trolley full of half-price fruitcakes – a bargain too good to be missed. It’s actually Oxford Lunch – a type of speciality fruit loaf with cherries in – and as far as I’m concerned it’s delicious. In these days of soaring inflation I thought I had better stock up so I bought four and stuck them in the freezer.
Flushed with this success, I returned to town and caught the next DART into town. I decided to walk to the shops from Connolly so bypassed the Luas and headed off down Talbot Street to the shops on O’Connell St.
Once I got there, I was relieved to find that the shop hadn’t sold their only remaining pair of shoes in my size. So I hastily picked them up and took them over to the checkout before anyone else could get the same idea. My efforts at negotiation weren’t as successful as last time – I only managed to get a 10% discount vs 20% last time. Still, they’re decent shoes and at €32 not a bad price.
Once the necessities were out of the way, the rest of the afternoon was my own. I decided to cross the river and head up to Iveagh Gardens – they looked nice when we visited them briefly last week as part of our MoLi [Museum of Literature] trip and I wanted to investigate them bit more detail.
My walk across town took me to College Green and as I was passing the Bank of Ireland, I noticed that inside one of the old bank buildings, an exhibition about Seamus Heaney – one of Ireland’s four Nobel-prize winning authors – was underway. It was laid on by the National Library of Ireland so I thought I would drop in on the spur of the moment and take a look round.
I have to say it was a bit like the MoLi – beautifully laid out, cerebral, and slightly content-free. Nevertheless I enjoyed the serenity of the displays, and seeing some of Heaney’s artefacts. I could particularly relate to display of his favourite desk – which was basically a piece of plywood laid between two filing cabinets.
Once I’d finished my literary sojourn, I headed across College Green and over to the bottom of Grafton Street. By chance, I almost literally stumbled on the entrance to the Irish Whiskey Museum. I’d heard people talking about it so I thought I better have a look in there, too. So I went in as far as the check in desk but when I saw the admission fee was €30 I didn’t go any further. The bit I did see looked quite interesting, if slightly tacky. I shuddered slightly at the thought of hordes of semi-inebriated tourists stumbling through their authentic Irish experience, marking another item on their “must see” lists as “done”.
A beat a hasty retreat and headed on down Grafton Street to St Stephen’s Green. On the way I paused to have a look at Bewleys cafe – it’s probably also in most tourists’ “must see” lists though I have to admit it did actually look quite nice. Perhaps we will even patronise it one day.
Eventually I made it through St Stephen’s Green and into Iveagh Gardens. I paused briefly to get something to drink and then had a quick wander round. It’s a nice spot – quite hard to get into, so a bit quieter than nearby St Stephen’s Green. It’s maintained by the OPW and is well looked after. There’s even a yew tree maze (pictured in the header image) which dates back to the 1800s. It’s sometimes called Dublin’s “Secret Garden” on account of its obscure entrances. It has a very long history but most notably in 1865 it hosted a Great Exhibition, a bit like that in London in 1851. The palatial building which housed the exhibition was sold to the MP for Galway but eventually it ended up being re-erected in Battersea Park, London, where it remained until it was demolished in 1894.
By this time it was looking like it might start raining (it didn’t in the end) so I decided it was time to head off back to the railway station. Notwithstanding the black clouds, I again decided to walk back rather than take public transport but that did mean I got the chance to have a look in the National Concert Hall on Earlsfort Terrace on the way. Perhaps one day when we are feeling in a cultural frame of mind we might actually dig out our posh clothes and go to a concert. It looked smart.
Now I’m back in the flat and Val has cooked up a rather delicious looking chilli. Outside the threatening clouds have started to do their stuff and it’s raining. The wind’s risen too and it looks altogether a bit too Novembery for my liking. Here’s hoping that spring comes back tomorrow!
Today’s photos (click to enlarge)
(Elevations corrected at GPS Visualizer: Assign DEM elevation data to coordinates )
Max elevation: 23 m
Min elevation: 2 m
Total climbing: 186 m
Total descent: -186 m
Total time: 02:58:32