Yesterday was my first full day in Dublin and I took advantage of the great warm, sunny weather to go exploring. I walked and walked, hoping to find my way around and get a sense of the layout of this ancient city. My hotel is by the Grand Canal, and a short 15 minute walk to the city centre, St Stephen’s Green, the Cathedral and the National Museum of Archaeology.
I was on a mission to find a local phone or SIM card, batteries, a brush and some other bits and pieces I had forgotten to bring.
I found a phone, and then left the battery charger in the store, meaning I will have to return today! I forgot the brush and batteries, so I’ll venture out again today.
The National Museum of Archaeology was really good, appealing to the erstwhile Ancient History teacher in me! I was surprised how much I remembered about Bronze Age Ireland and Britain! I also found the Little Museum of Dublin, a people’s museum, funded by public donations. I had a tour guide almost to myself, and again was surprised at how much of the history and literature of Ireland I could remember! Easter 1916, Yeats, Joyce, de Valera! Being a teacher seems like another lifetime, but the sense of continuity with my present life and career is strong in this place. I like to think of my ancestors walking these streets before they made that incredible trip to the other side of the world, a trip so easy by comparison today.
Today I will visit Mercy International, to take the books I carried over for Anne Hetherington’s book launch to her. I have to say I cursed their weight on more than one occasion, as I was forced to take them out of my luggage due to the additional weight I was carrying (despite the fact that QANTAS had told me I could carry 32k!
I would also like to visit the Mary Aikenhead Heritage Centre today: home of the Sisters of Charity. I’m keen to see the history of these major religious orders who carried their devotion and spirituality with them to Australia.
I’m a bit frustrated without my computer – I brought my iPad but the wifi connection is slow, and using this blog site quite difficult, so I’m using the free computer in the hotel lobby. I’ll try and log in each morning – as this seems the best way of communicating! The only difficulty is trying to upload photos! I’ll have to try and perfect that from the iPad, even though it is a nuisance. I might be able to set up a gallery for people to access. Facebook and email will cost a fair amount of data on the iphone. In addition, I am using Skype for phone calls and text messages.
The weather here today looks like it will be cool and overcast, but it is easy enough to get around. The hotel is comfortable enough: good water pressure and a good bed – the only things that one really needs!