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Museum Mania

June 5, 2008

Tax Record

corey says…As the city woke, I observed. At first I had the streets to myself. With no shops or cafes open, I opted to visit Saint Valentine…or rather, his relics. Yep, he’s been hanging out with the Carmelite Sisters in Dublin for a good number of years, and you can visit him too at the Briar Street Church…which was right next to my hostel. His shrine was no larger than most of the other shrines in the church…and there are several. And his relics are discreetly placed in a box under his statue.

For the small number of people on the streets, there were several people popping into the church saying prayers and lighting candles.

I then started wandering toward Grafton Street. When I reached the normally pedestrian-only street, it was lined with delivery trucks and vans. A little while later, people dressed for work started appearing…women’s heels clicking on the cobblestone walk.

After recording a bit of a podcast in Saint Stephen’s Green, I walked my luggage over to Trinity College to stow it. The woman all but refused to charge me for it…she kept saying, “Students don’t have to pay.” Even after I noted that I wasn’t a student…I must look like a broke college student or something.

Then I headed to City Hall. It cost €4 and although it was pretty good, it didn’t have much I hadn’t seen before…except for the enormous mace one of the mayors had made for himself. It was ridiculously large and gold…certainly not a modest scepter.

I slipped over to Dublin Castle, I decided not to take the guided tour for €4 and just enjoyed the grounds. It’s still a functioning government building, so it has a weird mix of tourist and local traffic…and their wayfinding isn’t all that great.

I stumbled upon a door that housed the Revenue Museum. Who would have thought to have a museum dedicated to taxes? I found it more interesting than City Hall…however, City Hall had cooler things to look at. A teen was in the museum playing a game where you had to locate all the contraband on a yacht…cigarettes, alcohol, etc. Another interactive went back in time and showed items that required a duty tax…curtains, rugs, coal, windows and other “luxuries.”

I eventually found my way to the Chester Beatty Museum. I had heard good things about it, but no one ever told me first-hand about it. After spending some time in there, let’s just say, I can skip the Book of Kells…this book has hundreds of books that are older and more ornate than Kells…they just don’t have the Irish connection.

This museum of all kinds of books, prints and images is divided in to Asian art, Eastern Religions, Islamic and Christian. The text on the panels is expertly written…there are no panels that take the average person more than five seconds to read. They are wonderfully concise.

I had no idea I’d be spending nearly the entire day there. I did it in four shifts with a break for lunch, a visit to the beautiful rooftop garden and a nap on the comfy sofas on the upper floor.

The restaurant there was delicious…it’s walk-up cafe style and costs about the same as a place with table service, but the food was so delicious…the menu was made up of Middle Eastern recipes an I had a hard time deciding which one to choose.

Now, I’m settled into my hotel room for the night. It only cost me €50, but let’s just say, it kind of came at a price…I’ll fill you in on the details later.

My Dublin Photo Album

My Ireland Expense Report

3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 5, 2008 10:30 PM

    Oh Corey,

    You are keeping us in suspense. The blog is becoming a page turner. I’m glad you enjoyed Food, Folk and Fairies night since I was the one who recommended it. 😉

    Looking forward to reading more.


  2. June 6, 2008 12:53 AM

    Dear Corey,
    I am savoring your reports back from Dublin, especially that you visited the Whitefriars Street Carmelite Church (home of St. Valentine’s relics) and the Chester Beatty Museum. We also enjoy the food at the Chester Beatty – it is so fresh and tasty, and exotic. Lovely atmosphere, too. John agrees with you 100% about the Beatty collection – he spent two days there when we were in Dublin last year, and hopes to return again next month.
    Enjoyed your report about the Avalon Hostel. Of all the hostels in Dublin, it has always been one of the better ones, although I don’t think I could ever sleep in a 12-person room. It used to be owned/managed years ago by a man named Tom Kennedy who was really attentive, but I think he may have sold it.
    Like you, I love to walk Dublin’s streets early in the morning before the work force and shoppers start to invade. You can get to see so much in the early morning when you don’t have the crowds. I am looking forward to doing that next month.
    Hope you continue to have a great time. Are you going to do the hop-on/hop-off bus to get to the far corners of the city? There is a new area on the north side of the Liffey known as Blooms Lane/Italian Quarter which is a haven of Italian restaurants, delis, coffee bars, outdoor cafes, and shops. Very continental aura – Dublin-style. It has a really interesting wall mural of a modern day Last Supper, in a Dublin motif. I think you would really enjoy it. It’s across the Liffey from Temple Bar – ask at the Dublin Tourism Office for exact directions.
    Enjoy the rest of your stay – hope the weather is good.

  3. June 6, 2008 3:56 PM

    corey says…would you believe my hotel is just around the corner from Bloom’s Lane. It’s very nice. The designer made a great decision when he or she decided to put an arch over the alley…it creates a great space and is probably what gives it such a comfortable feel.

    Loads of cafes and restaurants in there and it comes out at the newly remodeled Jervis Shopping Centre.

    “Italian Quarter” would be a bit of a misnomer…there are several Italian restaurants, but there are more other types of places too. It’s very nice…North of the Liffey really has loads to offer visitors.

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