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Ireland — Dublin; Getting Our Bearings


Let’s continue where we left off on Monday. That would be Ha’penny Bridge on the River Liffey in Dublin, Ireland:

River Liffey as seen from Ha’penny Bridge

And as I mentioned on Monday, Ha’penny Bridge is a great place to just people watch for a bit:

Pedestrians on Ha’penny Bridge

Heading into the Temple Bar district you’ll find a lot of great places to eat:

Street-side menu

By the way, our favorite restaurant in this area is Quays Irish Restaurant — reasonably priced with great Irish cuisine and even better Irish beer (forget the Guinness; instead try Smithwick’s ruby-red Irish ale).

The locals look down on Temple Bar, with many considering it the tourist area, but I still saw many locals there despite those claims. It’s certainly a happening spot with lots of color, but make sure you price out the restaurants and avoid the pricey bars.

Temple Bar — Loud and colorful
Temple Bar on display

Our hotel was in this area, and we loved it. The rates were affordable, the digs comfortable, and the location superb. It was the colorfully appointed Blooms Hotel:

Blooms Hotel
Blooms Hotel

By now many of you are aware that both Ursula and I are avid fans of Hop-on/Hop-off busses. There’s not much better in most cities for getting one’s bearings and figuring out what one want’s to visit more in depth. So, after hoofing it about O’Connell Street Lower and a bite to eat we took our first Hop-on/Hop-off ride. Along the ride we passed beneath a foot bridge spanning market street that connects two structures at the Guinness Storehouse:

Guinness Storehouse bridge over Market Street

A short hop later and we found a destination we had to hit, and which you’ll see more in-depth next Monday. This is the Pearse Lyons Distillery, which is housed in the old St. James’ Church and a more modern adjacent structure:

St. James’ Church is now part of the Pearse Lyons Distillery
Pearse Lyons Distillery amidst the church cemetery

Now let’s head back into Temple Bar for one last image:

M.J. O’Neill’s in Temple Bar

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Ireland — Day 1 in Dublin


This week begins a new travel photography series. It begins with a two-day stay in Dublin, Ireland. After that we flew to Amsterdam to catch a Royal Caribbean ship, Brilliance of the Seas, on which we headed to . . . Ireland. During this series I’ll be showing you many sights in both Ireland and Northern Ireland, after which we’ll go transatlantic to Ponta Delgada in the Azores. Reaching Tampa, I’m going to keep you captive for a back-to-back aboard Brilliance of the Seas for a look at the Mayan ruins of Chichén Itzá. So, stick with this series and you’ll see over the coming months quite a diverse set of cruise destinations.

We’re going to start our look at Dublin with some general sightseeing, starting with the statue of legendary fishwife Molly Malone of Cockles & Mussels fame:

Molly Malone in the Temple Bar section of Dublin

But I’m taking things a bit out of order. Let’s head over to O’Connell Street Lower and have a look around beginning with this beautiful façade at the corner with Abbey Street Lower:

O’Connell Street Lower, Dublin

In the median almost directly across from the building above is a statue of Irish nationalist William Smith O’Brien. This statue was erected in the 1880s in Dublin’s South Quays area before making its way to O’Connell Street in 1929:

William Smith O’Brien

About 480 feet/145 meters north of Mr. O’Brien stands a 394-foot/120-meter stainless steel needle. This is the Spire of Dublin, which was completed on 21 January 2003. Not hugely popular when it was first proposed, it ‘in’spired (see what I did there?) several less than flattering nicknames. Those included “The Stiletto in the Ghetto”, “The Spire in the Mire”, and my personal favorite as told to us by our Hop-On/Hop-Off guide, “The Stiffy on the Liffey” (referring to the nearby River Liffey):

The Dublin Spire — “Stiffy on the Liffey”

Heading back south toward the River Liffey is another monument. The subject of this memorial is Daniel O’Connell, known as ‘The Liberator’, who was the de facto leader of Ireland’s Roman Catholic majority during the first half of the 19th century.

Daniel O’Connell

We’re now going to take in the sights along the River Liffey, which cuts Dublin in two and is home to some of Dublin’s residents:

Hangin’ Out on the Liffey

Hanging a right and proceeding west we reach the Ha’penny Bridge, officially called the Liffey Bridge. This cast iron pedestrian bridge is a fun place to hang out for a while and snap some people photos:

Ha’penny Bridge

Continuing on, make sure you zoom your camera across the river for views of the Temple Bar section of Dublin:

Temple Bar district as seen from near the Ha’penny Bridge
View of Crampton Quay

Today’s last two shots were taken from atop Ha’penny Bridge facing east. The second shot is zoomed in on the classically styled Custom House, and behind that building you can see the much more modern International Financial Services Centre:

Looking east from Ha’penny Bridge
Customs House and IFSC

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Fun Photo Friday — Circumnavigating New Zealand; Auckland Favorites 3


Queen Street Backpackers

Today we bid farewell to this long series covering an equally long journey. Along the way you saw Rarotonga in the Cook Islands. You got to see a circumnavigation of Australia. You then viewed another circumnavigation, this time of New Zealand.

Ferry Building Reflection

My next travel series will be another cruise. That journey originated in the Mediterranean and eventually went transatlantic. But until then I’ll be doing a photo run of sunsets taken here in El Paso, as we’ve had a spectacular series of them over the past several months. Look for a sunset a day over the next several weeks.

Mirrored Yachts

After the sunset series I owe my firearms friends some articles as well. Those I’ve yet to decide upon, but I’m leaning toward showing off a pair of classic Russian Mosin-Nagant 91/30 rifles (1938 and 1943)and a Mosin-Nagant M44 carbine (1944). I may throw in a First Look at a Ruger AR-556 MPR that week, or perhaps instead a First Look at a Ruger Mark IV Hunter or SIG P226 Enhanced Elite from2012. Whatever I choose, it’ll be fun. Alas.

007’s Aston Martin DBS

At any rate, we’ll be back to travel articles following those sunsets and firearms. I’ll close today’s Fun Photo Friday with this last image of our 2019-2020 Oceania Adventure:

Akdeniz Bar Café, Devonport

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Filed under Fun Photo Friday, Photography, R. Doug Wicker, travel, vacation