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Published: April 21st 2015
Sunday. Spent the day in Dublin. The weather was cold and cloudy until the middle of the day, when it became cold and sunny. They tell me it’s because of the nor-easterly wind, which is bringing cold air over from Scandinavia. If one was able to find a sheltered spot in the sun, it was quite pleasant. I went in on the bus from my B&B, about a 45 minute trip. The buses are all double deckers, which brought back memories of the sixties and seventies in Sydney. The bus stop to go into town is right on the corner – what I didn’t know is that the bus stop when coming back is about a kilometre away down the road! You do get a lot of walking done here, the public transport seems to stop at the periphery of the city centre. They are building a tram system which will help, but as yet the tram lines are in separate parts of the city and don’t connect.
The city seemed very grey in the cold, cloudy morning, but when the sun came out it was quite different. I took a city bus tour in the afternoon, one of those
that takes you around past all the major city features. Very interesting. I also visited Trinity College and went to see the Book of Kells. I was surprised that it is in such good condition, being about 1,100 years old. It was fascinating to learn something more about the life and the work of the monks in those times. Trinity College in the bright sunshine was very impressive too. Called in at the station lost and found, hoping they had my jacket, but no luck.
Monday. Set off from Dublin for the south coast. Wanting to avoid the Dublin traffic, I planned out a wide loop around Dublin city. This proved a great move, as I was treated to picturesque country roads, pretty villages and interesting scenery. I joined the motorway southwest of Dublin and headed to Waterford, famous for its crystal, and for Edmund Rice, founder of the Christian Brothers and their schools, at one of which I of course teach. In the original buildings from around 1803, they have a very interesting museum which tells the story of his life, and a truly magnificent, modern chapel which contains his tomb. I enjoyed the visit, and conversed with
several of the staff there. The centre also operates as a centre to assist people with disabilities.
I also had time to explore Waterford a little bit, seeing the Waterford Crystal shop, and some of the historic buildings, some even dating back to Viking times.
From Waterford I headed south to the coast, rather than directly across to Cork, another good move as I was able to see the seaside town of Tramore. I should add that it was a lovely, completely sunny, and warm day (up to about 18 degrees), and the seaside was beautiful and although not busy like it would be in summer, there were plenty of people out enjoying it. The drive west along the coast from here was stunning, but it used up time as I kept stopping for the views. Thus I had to get a bit of a hurry on to get across to Cork and through to Kinsale, on the coast again. I saw much wonderful scenery along the way, but didn't stop for photos.
Where I am staying is on the coast at Garrettstown, just down the coast from Kinsale. My room has magnificent views out to sea,
and across the bay to the Old Head of Kinsale, where there is a lighthouse. The only sound I can hear is the sea. It was just off shore from here that the Lusitania was sunk, 100 years ago this year. The host here recommended a restaurant near Old Head, The Speckled Door, so I went there for dinner. Another great move, as I had a fabulous three course gluten-free meal of vegetable soup with GF bread, pan-fried plaice with vegetables, and almond and chocolate cake with ice cream! I also met some friendly locals and had another chat.
The most remarkable thing today? The weather! The cold wind has gone, and the forecast is very sunny and 18 degrees for the next few days. Since leaving the big city of Dublin, Ireland has begun to work its magic on me, it is a beautiful place.
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