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.