On Wednesday Jono and I went up to Dublin for the day to be tourists. I’m always keen to find out what is out there for visitors to Ireland so this was a great chance to try not one but two places.
I have been to a couple of tourist attractions before that I found weren’t the best, not on Wednesday though. I was so impressed by both places and would go back on both of them again – with my Canon camera next time – long story.
Anyway after getting the early train our first visit was to the Pearse Street Library where they have a Biodiversity photography exhibition on. One of my photos is in it and I was delighted to see it in the library along with the other shortlisted entries.
A short walk across to the other side of the River Liffey took us to Epic Ireland in The chq Building. I was completely and utterly blown away by this place. I have to admit my mind tends to wander when I go around museums or galleries, I do have a low attention span but not in here.
Epic Ireland tells the story of an Irish nation. You get a glimpse into the lives of the people who left Ireland and travelled all over the world. Saints, scholars, doctors, farmers – all are given a chance to tell their stories.
It’s done in the most amazing way. You begin at departures and are given your passport which you stamp in each room. Every room is different and the technology is just amazing from the lights, to the interactive screens and everything else.
I’m so overwhelmed about it that it’s hard to describe. We both spent most of our visit saying wow! The only downside for me was that I didn’t have my good camera with me and I didn’t have long enough in there – both my fault. We were there for two hours but I’d booked a bus tour at 1pm so we had to leave way too soon.
It is the most fascinating place and not only interesting but moving. It struck a lot of cords with me as my parents left Ireland in the 50’s and went to the UK. As a family we all moved from the UK to Australia in the 1970’s so to hear stories of people who have moved away and what became of them was so interesting. Anyway don’t just take my word for it go and visit, it’s well worth it. You can check out their website here.
Next on our day trip was the 1916 Dublin Bus Tour – Beyond Barricades. I’ve never been on a bus site-seeing tour before so I was thrilled when I got invited along.
This was such an adventure. We boarded the bus on O’Connell Street and took a step back in time.
The bus is a double-decker. The ground floor is dark and full of military equipment and we were ushered upstairs by one of the ladies ‘involved in the Easter Rising’. You see this isn’t just a bus tour it’s the Easter Rising bought to life by two extremely talented actors.
Through their dialogue we are taken on a roller-coaster of emotions. Everything we heard on the bus is true. We heard about life and death, love and loss, as the bus made it’s way around the streets of Dublin.
There were two stops along the way – one at Stephen’s Green and one at Dublin Castle – both locations featured in the Easter Rising. The only thing I would say is that Jono did struggle getting up and down the stairs of the bus – but bearing in mind he is disabled and not great with stairs or standing for long periods of time. So just to let you know if that might be a problem.
I was hoping to tweet through the tour but I was so moved and almost in tears (which isn’t like me!) that I couldn’t. If you want a glimpse into what the 1916 Rising was like I would say this is definitely the trip for you. You can find out more here.
All too soon it was time for us to leave Dublin but not before fish and chips at Beshoff’s, overlooking the Spire. We had a wonderful day and I would highly recommend both these experiences. Thank you so much to Epic Ireland and Dublin Bus Sightseeing for their hospitality. I have hundreds of photos to go through and will link them to this post when I’ve uploaded them.
Disclaimer I was given complimentary passes to EpicIreland and the 1916 Bus tour but I’d happily go back again as a paying customer.