Dublin, meaning “town of the hurdled ford”, is the capital and most populous city of Ireland. The English name for the city is derived from the Irish name Dubhlinn, meaning “black pool”. Dublin is situated near the midpoint of Ireland’s east coast, at the mouth of the River Liffey and the centre of the Dublin Region.
Originally founded as a Viking settlement, it evolved into the Kingdom of Dublin and became the island’s principal city following the Norman invasion. The city expanded rapidly from the 17th century; it was briefly the second largest city in the British Empire and the fifth largest in Europe. Dublin entered a period of stagnation following the Act of Union of 1800, but it remained the economic centre for most of the island. Following the partition of Ireland in 1922, the new parliament, the Oireachtas, was located in Leinster House. Dublin became the capital of the Irish Free State and later the Republic of Ireland.
The City of Dublin is the area administered by Dublin City Council, but the term “Dublin” normally refers to the contiguous urban area which includes parts of the adjacent local authority areas of Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown, Fingal and South Dublin. Together, the four areas form the traditional County Dublin. This area is sometimes known as the Dublin Region. The population of the administrative area controlled by the City Council was 525,383 in the 2011 census, while the population of the urban area was 1,110,627. The County Dublin population was 1,273,069 and that of the Greater Dublin Area 1,804,156. The city’s population is expanding rapidly, and it is estimated by the CSO that it will reach 2.1 million by 2020.
We arrived in Dublin around noon and will stay overnight with departure at 5PM on Sunday. The afternoon of our arrival we have a “City Tour” by coach and a stop at Dublin Castle for a tour. We felt this would help us get orientated to the city. The weather was surprisingly good. We had sunshine and temperatures in the 60’s. I am not posting a large number of photos for two reasons. I have had a great deal of difficulty with the post because the photos will not format properly. Also for the most part the weather has not been conducive to obtaining good photos.
The second day, we planned to get a hop-on, hop-off bus but although it was cloudy there was no rain. As a result we decided to walk the town. The ship supplied a shuttle bus from the pier to the center of town, about 3 miles and 15-20 minutes ride. After arriving in town we walked around St. Stephens Green since it was not yet open. We then began to make our way west in the city towards the Guinness brewery at St. James Gate. I knew Guinness was an institution in Dublin but did not realize just how important it was to the city. Author Guinness obtained a 9000 year lease in the mid 1700 for about 65 acres of land in the city where the present brewery is located. Through the years Guinness has contributed greatly to the development of the city and its parks as well as housing and employment.
We enjoyed the brewery tour and also a couple of pints while looking out over the city in the Gravity bar atop the Guinness Storehouse. As we left the Storehouse it began to rain and we got quite damp on our approximately 2 mile walk back to the bus pickup. Along the way we stopped to have a traditional fish and chips lunch.
Dublin Castle Gate.
In town we were seeing zombies everywhere, young people dressed in tattered clothes and covered with blood. Only later did is see a sign which was promoting a “zombie walk”.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
There are so many old and beautiful buildings after a while you almost take them for granted. It is hard to believe that most of them are between 800 and 1200 years old.
It is neat (and useful for out of towners) that they remind you on the pavement which way to look for traffic.
Here we are enjoying a sample before reaching the Gravity Bar where we had our full pint.
All in all it was a great day but could have been made better if the weather coorporated. England and Ireland are certainly places we hope to return for a more full exploration someday.
Tomorrow is a sea day and on Tuesday we will be arriving in the Faeroe Islands. I am looking forward to this out of the way location and just hope the weather is good.