Day 4: The Dublin Bus Tour

October 5, 2010 17:40 – 17:40

Today was a bus day. Busy, too. But, bussy, as well. We began the day by walking to the Seapoint DART stop, where we caught the train into Dublin. If you’ve never caught the DART, it’s much like any other urban/suburban above-ground train station.

On the way into Dublin, we saw a number of interesting-looking buildings. Hopefully, someone can tell me what this one is. It looks like it didn’t fare well during an earthquake:

Arriving at Tara, the DART stop nearest Parnell Square, we then took a cab to the Hugh Lane museum, which houses Dublin’s largest collection of impressionistic paintings.

The Hugh Lane is at the Dublin City Gallery. Like the Smithsonian museums in Washington, DC, the best museums in Dublin are free. Unlike the Smithsonian, however, wielding cameras in Dublin’s museums is not allowed. So, if you want to see what we saw, you’ll need to fly here & see for yourself.

After seeing the Hugh Lane, we popped around the corner to the Candy Café for lunch. I mis-ordered, and ended up with a very wet “Cajun chicken” sandwich. Karen did better with a ham & cheese panini. Studying the menu while we were eating, I learned that I could have chosen much better. If we’re ever at the Candy Café again, I’ll be better informed.

Following lunch, we then caught the Dublin Bus Tour bus (hence, our “bussy” day), which we’d booked online last night. It’s one of two “official” Dublin bus tours. This one has 23 stops. Armed with your ticket, you can get off at any stop, and then get back on any of the busses at any of the other stops. So, we got off at the stop for the National Gallery of Ireland, the Museum of Modern Art, the Dublin Castle, and a few others. The busses have a partially open top, and are great for sightseeing.

Our first stop was at the National Gallery of Ireland. It has a few impressionistic paintings—our favorite—as well as a number of paintings by Jack Yeats, whom we never really discovered before this trip. His paintings are really nice—he could have been an impressionist. Ireland can be rightfully proud of his contributions.

Just across the street from the NGI, there’s a park with a very interesting statue of Oscar Wilde—one of my favorite writers. The statue is very whimsical.

There are two “monuments” nearby sporting a number of his well-known quotes. According to the bus tour, he’s the most quoted writer in history. I’m not sure about that, but he is a cornucopia of snippets.

“I drink to keep body and soul apart.”

After the National Gallery, we hopped back onto the bus, and rode to the Dublin Castle. We’ve been in enough castles that we weren’t really eager for a guided tour. For me, the outside of a castle has always been more interesting than the inside. So, we settled for a walkabout, and some exterior pictures. Actually, much of the castle didn’t look that much like a castle to me, so I’m showing only the parts that struck me as castleque.

Leaving the castle, we hopped back onto the bus, and headed next to the Museum of Modern Art, which is located at the site of a decommissioned hospital. We strolled around the grounds until we felt at home. Here’s the entrance from the inside.

I decided not to look for the sign identifying this sculpture. It couldn’t possible have been anything more interesting than my imagination assigned to it. Actually, it reminds me of Snoopy.

This one was also interesting, and also remains nameless in this blog.

This strange structure was also visible from the grounds, but we never figured out what it was.

The new wing overlooks a very nicely manicured park.

The park had a small castle-like building of its own:

Back on the bus, we drove around other parts of Dublin, including Phoenix Park. We’re planning to go back there tomorrow, because that’s where the zoo is—the third oldest in Europe, and one that’s famous for its lions. While there today, however, we saw the American Embassy. Unfortunately, the bus driver announced it too late to get a good picture. With the sun as the main backdrop, it turned out pretty washed-out.

Also inside the park is the Irish president’s residence—the Irish White House, I guess:

The current president of Ireland is Mary McAleese, who is serving her second of two seven-year terms. She’ll finish up in 2011.

While touring, I was surprised to find a discount mohel shop. (This one’s for you Jim, if you’re reading this.)

I’m not sure what “ONE FOR THE LADIES” refers to, and I’m sure I don’t want to know.

Close to the end of the bus tour, we spotted this, which is the tallest monument in Europe.

We decided to head to one of Niamh’s recommendations for an early dinner—Hugo’s. Niamh steered us right! At the server’s recommendation, we opted for the beef. Unlike the sauces I’d had before today, the brown sauce that came with the sirloin was excellent. It even worked great for dipping their delicious chips. To go with dinner, I had a French La Brie cabernet sauvignon, and Karen had an Australian shiraz cabernet. Both were exquisite.

After dinner, we cabbed down to the Pearce DART station, and then DARTed home. On the train, we had a lively conversation with a couple visiting from Ottawa. They’re here for 8 days, and having a great time, as are we. Tomorrow, it’s off to the zoo. After that, we’re going to check out the local Tesco (a hypermarche), have dinner at the Lobster Pot, and then catch the 8 pm performance of Chicane, a comedy, at the Mill Theatre in Dundrum.

I’ll sleep now… and proofread in the morning.

  1. One Response to “Day 4: The Dublin Bus Tour”

  2. Nice shots… what a lovely place

    By Maki on Mar 13, 2012

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