A Day in Dublin

Hugh Lane Gallery

I have been thinking wistfully these past few weeks that it has been some time since I last visited Paris. The thing I most love to do when I go to the City of Light is simply to wander around at a leisurely pace stopping as the mood takes me to: look at pretty courtyards, admire magnificent historic buildings, visit a museum or to lunch at a favourite café. So I decided this Saturday to do a version of my Parisian wandering in my native Dublin.

Garden of Remembrance

I didn’t have a plan other than I thought it would be nice to visit the Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane somewhere I hadn’t been for some time. On my way to the gallery I stopped to walk around the Garden of Remembrance which is dedicated to those who gave their lives in the cause of Irish freedom. The garden was one of the places Queen Elizabeth visited on her tour of Ireland last year. In a moving and wordless ceremony she laid a wreath honouring those who fought against her ancestors. It was a moment of great symbolism signifying reconciliation and acknowledging that peace now reigns in this often troubled island. The garden is an oasis of calm in Dublin’s inner city and to my great shame I have never before visited it. I used an exit from the garden that left me directly opposite the Hugh Lane gallery.

Interior of Hugh Lane Gallery

The very beautiful Georgian Charlemont House is home to the Hugh Lane gallery. It opened in 1908 and is believed to be one of the first galleries devoted to modern art. Hugh Lane (1875 – 1915) was a renowned collector and philanthropist who gifted his collection to the city of Dublin and so the Hugh Lane Gallery was born (the full story is more complicated and involves a dispute with Dublin Corporation and an unwitnnessed codicil to his will). The Lane bequest includes works by Degas, Monet and Manet. Others too made generous donations and gallery has also purchased works. The gallery’s permanent collection is both significant and interesting. I was fascinated by the section devoted to Francis Bacon. There you can see his studio which was moved to the gallery lock, stock and barrel from 7 Reece Mews, South Kensington, London with the aid of a team of archeologists.

Clarence Hotel

Fish and chips

When I left the gallery I retraced my steps and re-crossed the Liffey, the river that disects Dublin, by the Halpenny Bridge. I was then in the Temple Bar area of the city and it was time for lunch. I was wondering where I might eat when I passed the Clarence Hotel (co owned by U2 front man Bono and his fellow band member The Edge) and in I went. I didn’t go to the main restaurant but opted instead to eat in The Study, which is an elegant high-ceilinged room. I had a perfectly acceptable plate of fish and chips for a very reasonable €9.95 washed down, of course, with a glass of vin rouge.

Ceramic tile

After lunch I wandered around the Temple Bar Designer Mart in Cow’s Lane (Saturdays only 10am to 5pm). I didn’t buy anything but I was taken by the hand made ceramic tile decorated with hearts that you see in the photo above (www.karoart.eu). It costs €34 and there’s a hook on the back for hanging it up. I think it would make a rather cute Valentine’s Day present, perhaps better than vastly over-priced and soon-to-wilt roses.

I enjoyed my day trip to Dublin and I am left wondering why I don’t spend more time doing stuff like this.

20 Comments

Filed under Dublin, Travel

20 responses to “A Day in Dublin

  1. Isn’t it funny how we will travel the world and forget to travel with the camera down our own streets. i remember in prague walking with a fellow who was born there and as i was exclaiming and taking pics he said – You are Showing me My Own City.. I have never forgotton that.. I would love to see more of Dublin! c

  2. It’s so very true the grass is always greener etc. There is so much I haven’t seen in Dublin so I definitely need to spend more time wandering about the city! That said there are so many places I would love to see, including NZ. One day, maybe.

  3. What a great idea. I love nothing more than to go for a walk and just take in and appreciate my surroundings and spend time clearing my head. That pool is so serene and beautiful.

  4. That was the perfect little gift to pick up on your little sojourn. I think it’s adorable and definitely fits the bill for a Valentine’s Day gift. It was very interesting to read and see photos of Dublin. I hope someday make it there!

  5. I think it is great to wander around your own city as a tourist. I now do it regularly in Brusbane since I don’t have to go to work every day. I have grown to love it even more than I did before.
    I really do want to visit Ireland.

  6. What a great idea to look at your own city through different eyes. Since I haven’t been to Dublin (yet), it gave me ideas of where I might go when I’m there. Great post!

  7. Such a lovely post and you have inspired me to go to the Hugh Lane. Haven’t been there for years. And the fish and chips have made me feel hungry! Sorry not to have been back in touch, will do soon… All very best Sarah

    • Hi Sarah, I hope you had a good time in Paris. I enjoyed my *day trip* to Dublin. I hadn’t been to the Hugh Lane for quite some time either. The fish chips were good, I ate them in front of a proper turf (not briquettes) and log fire. Hope to see you sometime no need to be sorry for not being in touch. Thanks for reading and commenting. B xo

  8. I love wandering around with you, even if only in my imagination. I hope to visit Dublin this summer and I appreciate all the information you provide.

  9. None of us ever quite takes full advantage of the resources right in our own hometowns, our own ‘backyards’ so to speak. Good on you for making the opportunity to explore Home for a change. And Dublin is *such* a marvelous home indeed! Thanks for sharing the ramble with us. 🙂

  10. Yes you are so right – I look back with a little regret sometimes at some of the places I have lived and wondering why I didn’t take the opportunity to explore more when I could.

  11. What a lovely idea – taking a tourist’s attitude to your own familiar home. Fantastic.

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