Ireland day 0283. Friday 08 July 2022- Downtime

Ireland day 0283. Friday 08 July 2022- Downtime
Today’s summary Spent the morning doing the washing and clearing up from the Achill trip, then a bit of shopping and trip to the library.   Went into Dublin in the afternoon to buy some insoles for my walking boots, then had a look round Grafton Street, St Stephens Green, and Merrion Street
Today’s weather Overcast but dry all day, some watery sun in the afternoon.   No wind.   feeling warm at 21C
Today’s overview location
(The blue mark shows the location of my route)
Close-up location
(The green line shows where I walked)
(No GPX today)

There were two unusual features to today.   The first was that the weather was actually warm – yes warm – for a few hours this afternoon.   I was even able to take my woollen jumper off briefly for a while as I was out and about – a rare joy.   And the second strange (well for me at any rate) thing was that I didn’t actually do a lot.   The exertions of Achill were slightly catching up with me, so by the time I had done all the washing of sweaty cycling gear, been down to the shops to buy some provisions, and collected a book from the library, I really didn’t feel like doing much else.

But equally I don’t really like sitting around being indolent as I find relaxing very stressful.  So I made a packed lunch and headed into Dublin to buy some new insoles for my walking boots and have a look at the city in its summer colours.   I also picked up my new library book with the intention of finding a quiet spot to do some reading.

In the end, it all turned out rather well.   Dublin was buzzing with life, and had a real summer city café atmosphere.   Then the outdoor sports shop had exactly the insoles I wanted and more to the point gave me 10% off when I showed my Dublin Walking Club card.   Then I decided to go and have a look round Books Upstairs – a quirky bookshop on the south side of the Liffey.   It was looking good too – busy and well stocked – and even better the café, which had been closed because of the pandemic last time I visited, had reopened.   The owners encourage you to linger in the café with a book, so I took them at their word and settled down with my library book and a cup of tea (I’m not sure that this is exactly how it’s supposed to work – you are probably really expected to buy the books you read in the shop, but at least I did buy the tea).

After I’d finished the first chapter, I headed over to St Stephens Green to sit in the warm outdoors – a real delight, at last – and have my lunch.   And another couple of chapters of my book.   I rounded off my summer tour of Dublin with a stroll down Merrion Street to see if the Natural History Museum had reopened yet.   Sadly it hadn’t and it looks like it might remain closed for the rest of the year.

Anyway I’m going to stop now as I want to keep this blog short so I can get on with my book.   See you tomorrow!


Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

What a great start to the day – half price Oxford Lunch Slab cake in SuperValu.   I won’t have to eat for a month now! I was recommended this book by a friend.   It’s the story of a Belgian explorer who got trapped in his ship off the Antarctic coast in the late 1800s.  Being a cheapskate, I ordered it from Malahide library to save me having to buy it.   I already read the first three chapters while I was in Dublin and it’s excellent.   Thanks, Alan!  
In the café at the Books Upstairs bookshop, on the corner of D’Olier Street.   It’s a great spot to settle down with a cup of tea and a book and you can gaze out of the window onto Dublin between chapters.   They never hurry you out, so you can stay as long as you like.   Perfect.   This is where I read chapter 1 of my Antarctica book There is, believe it or not, a Marks and Spencers in Grafton Street.   I went in there to buy some new underwear (Tesco stuff is OK but you have to have one or two luxuries in life) and I discovered there is this fabulous café on the rooftop, looking down on Grafton Street.   I thought I better not have yet more refreshments, having only just left the book café, but I went in to have a good look round regardless
The National Museum of Ireland, Natural History, is just to the left of Leinster House (next photo).   It’s the museum I was most interested in seeing, given my connections with its equivalent in London, but unfortunately it’s closed for renovation at the moment and won’t reopen until the end of the year at the soonest The back of Leinster House, from Merrion Street Upper.   The main entrance is on the other side, facing onto Kildare Street which runs parallel to Merrion Street.
Leinster House is the seat of the Oireachtas, the parliament of Ireland.   The Oireachtas itself comprises the President (Uachtarán na hÉireann, currently Michael D Higgins) and both the lower (Dáil Éireann) and upper (Seanad Éireann) houses
The Department of the Taoiseach in Upper Merrion Street.   In UK terms, it’s a bit like 10 Downing Street and the Cabinet Office rolled into one, I guess.
Interactive map

(No map today)

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