Day 51 April 6th 2017 Howth
A cloudy overcast day as we set off on yet another transport adventure. This time trip to the coast – a bus to Baldoyle to meet Frances and a day by the sea.
All went well – first our constant the Bus 15 from Rathmines to where we could walk to the 29a – the bus that would take us directly to Baldoyle. The 29a gave us a scenic ride through suburbs with beautiful gardens and homes to Baldoyle. Sitting up front, up top lead to a minor hiccup – once again overcome by the incredibly friendly Dublin bus staff. We had not realised not only were we the only two left on the bus, we were also past the end stop. Like a train the bus shunted up to a turning circle and came back – the driver took us around and back to said church which was the actual end of the line.
Met Frances and did a bay tour driving around the coast line to the lovely town of Howth where we had a brisk, chilly walk out to the lighthouse. Easy to imagine how lovely it would be on a blue skied sunny day with less chill factor.
From Howth we wound our way through narrow roads to another coastal town – Malahide.
Stopped for lunch at the Seaview Lounge at Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links nice spot with good food and the option of large or small portions. One of us had the “large” and it was as described!
Back to Dublin on the Dart this time – a new mode of transport for us and after 30minute delay on a cold, stark platform we preferred the Dublin buses. Still it deposited us at Connolly Station and a short walk to the GPO. One side of the GPO is operational while retaining early 20th century interior – polished wood counters and screens. Ornate decoration. A beautiful space.
In the rest of the building is a museum to the 1916 Uprising. Were we ready for more history or not? Unsure we decided to go and what a treat – the GPO Witness History exhibition. So interesting even the gift shop had beautiful stuff. So interesting we were still there when closing call came – luckily because we were then told about a talk taking place shortly after closing which again added to our knowledge and was both entertaining and informative.
Side track – one of my favourite things in the gift shop was a range of jewellery “Terrible beauty” with particular pieces designed around the women of the rebellion. Pieces I was drawn to seemed to be mostly ‘Grace’. Grace Gifford was active in the rebellion and married Joseph Plunkett hours before he was executed. ‘Terrible beauty’ is from Easter 1916 a powerful poem by WB Yeats.
The talk after museum closing was by Mick O’Farrell an author of several books about the 1916 uprising and his talk and latest book were 50 Things You Did Not Know about 1916 – a wealth of information about the minutiae of the rebellion on 1916, details that help build the human story of what happened. This included a significant number of children some of whom were participating in the rebellion and a number both civilians and rebels 40 of whom died.
The tour began with a short film about the people in the GPO managing the rebellion – loud, and taking you into the story.
The museum is engagingly set out and contains so much information it is hard to take it all in. However there is both audio-visual booths with engaging discussions with a range of experts. There are also a variety of display mechanisms which make it interactive and less overwhelming – artifacts, a visual board, computer information. All incredibly well presented – as we are discovering Dublin does so well.
After that brain faded and mind boggled we settled for take-away Falafel, a bottle of Beaujolais and home!