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Passage through Dublin

After flying from Gatwick to London I was due in Maynooth, but couldn't resist the chance to wander through Dublin. Heavy pack on the back and camera on the front I wandered from the main bus station on O'Connell Street to the Spire (the tallest sculpture in the world) and down pedestrian Henry Street. It could have been any shopping mall in the world. I cut down to the River Liffey and saw Christ Church Cathedral, which I'm going to go out on a limb and call the most beautiful cathedral in the world. It is elegant and gothic. The first cathedral built on the site was in 1038 by King Sitric Silkenbeard (such a cool name) but the current building was founded in 1171 by King Henry II. It is a Church of Ireland church, and basically empty in a Catholic country (although to be fair, they never built a Catholic Cathedral within the old boundaries of Ireland because even the Catholic churches are basically empty in Ireland).

I wandered from Christ Church Cathedral to Temple Bar, one of the few places in Dublin with the original medieval street pattern (complete with cobblestone streets), but fairly missable as it seems to have had the culture sucked out of it by tourism/capitalism. Close to Temple Bar is Trinity College, founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I (making it the last of the seven ancient universities of the English-speaking world). The campus is quite beautiful. By this point I was running out of time, so I walked to Conolley station to catch a train to Maynooth.

I was quite surprised in a way that Dublin didn't seem very... Irish. It sort of looked like a lot of Australian cities. The pedestrian mall could have been translocated with Rundle Mall in Adelaide, while most of the buildings looked just like the neighbourhoods in London.  I guess the long occupation by the British left its heavy mark on the city, and the recent economic expansion has brought about the global homogenisation.

Reader Comments (1)

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July 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCar Rental Gatwick

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