Urban Hiking in Dublin (Ireland)
This trip to Ireland, more specifically to its capital Dublin, began to take shape after a challenge proposed by friends. See them and discover the country of Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, among others, and bands like U2, Cranberries or Pogues were more than enough reasons to fly to the Emerald Isle. Known for its green landscapes but it was in Dublin urban environment that I began the discovery of the vast Irish heritage.
I came to the city in light rail “LUAS”. The last station is right next to St. Stephen’s Green Park, a green oasis in the heart of Dublin. This was the best place to start walking. I walked the trails of the park, observing the great diversity of birdlife and flora. Squirrels ran literally at my feet, looking for some crumbs left by visitors.
I watched carefully the sculptures and monuments that tell part of the history of Ireland. In the center of the park, the lake concentrates the greatest attention of the visitors. Around, we contemplate the tranquility of its waters on discrete garden benches.
I walk now for one of the main arteries of the city, “ Grafton Street “, a pedestrian street that brings together a multitude of shopping, dining and services, florists benches that embellish, musicians and other street artists that animate. It is certainly one of the mandatory sites to visit in Dublin. I get to a small coffee for a taste of the famous apple pie.
In a perpendicular street I see at the end “St. Ann’s Church,” a beautiful Anglican church. When I return to the main street, I to continue the way towards the Trinity College, the University of Dublin. I enter the campus through the small arched doorway on the west facade, dated 1751. The University was founded much earlier, in 1592. I walk the huge courtyard of the University where are the main buildings, including the Old Library with the famous “Book of Kells” the manuscript written by Celtic monks around 800 AD that contains the four Gospels of the New Testament written in Latin.
Back to the hubbub of “Dubline” (the main avenue that crosses the city) and by the “Dame Street” I get to the Dublin Castle, the heart of Dublin’s history.
Later the monumental “ Christ Church Cathedral ” (Holy Trinity Cathedral) is one of the city’s icons. It was built around the year 1030 and its medieval origin still fascinates who passes by. Near by I found “Leo Burdock – Traditional Fish & Chips“, a space with little more than 10m2, which since 1913 serves the typical “fish & chips”. It was the perfect meal to eat in the “St. Patricks Cathedral ” garden a little more ahead.
The Cathedral transports me to a movie set, a medieval movie where she would surely be the protagonist.
And so I did. Even on that cold and cloudy day, it was with great pleasure that I sat in one of the garden benches and slowly savored this symbolic snack. The Cathedral (see photo above) on my back transports me to a movie set, a medieval movie where she would surely be the protagonist.
After a short break after lunch I continue to walk now towards the River Liffey, born in the mountains of Wicklow County and after covering 125kms, flows into the Irish Sea. I follow its right bank and by the “Grattan Bridge” I walk to the other side, to the Liffey Boardwalk, continue eastwards. I cross the pedestrian bridge next to the “Merchants Arch” and arrived at “Temple Bar”, the cultural district of Dublin, with a lively nightlife that also extends to the remaining hours of the day. Preserving its medieval features, with narrow cobbled streets, it is a peculiar place with pubs and characteristic hotels.
Back again to the shopping area of “Grafton Street ” I finished this urban route with about 9kms in Dublin.
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