- The Long Room at Trinity College. It’s as beautiful as all the pictures. The Book of Kells, too. But the Long Room even more so. Also, the Trinity College undergraduate who, seemingly very bored without a job for the summer, insisted on showing us around campus.
- Merrion Square and St. Stephen’s Green. Both really pleasant green spaces in the middle of the city and a nice mid-day break. Here sits Oscar Wilde in Merrion Square and James Joyce himself in St. Stephen’s.
- Joyce’s signature on a 1930 copy of Ulysses at the Writer’s Museum. It’s been a few years since I’ve read it in grad. school. Maybe time for another read when I get home? You know, actually reading all of it this time?
- The little neighborhood park tucked in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. And the nap that may or may not have been had on the grass there.
- A great grocery store and cafe called Fallon & Byrne. The made-in-house wild boar blood pudding the guy behind the meat counter let us sample was fantastic.
- The doors. Parts of Dublin were quite pretty, other parts felt drab and dirty, but the doors – unfailingly colorful.
The verdict? It’s always hard to know how much of your feelings about a place are fair or not, but to be honest, I didn’t love Dublin. I didn’t hate it. I just didn’t love it. Maybe because it felt so expensive, maybe because I got sick one day, maybe because of the stress of reworking the budget while we were there… but for whatever reason, though there certainly were some wonderful highlights, as a whole I didn’t fall in love with the city. Maybe I’ll try again at the end of the trip, give it another go.
Addendum: 7. The bog men at the National Museum of Ireland. Probably tied with the Long Room for my favorite Dublin experience. I’ve always been fascinated by the bog men – getting to see four of them in person was very exciting. Absolutely incredible the sheer amount of information the forensic scientists can figure out about how these people from thousands of years ago lived and died.