Our wonderful visit to Scotland now over, we have arrived in Ireland with our first stop being Dublin. This is my second visit to the capital city; I do seem to remember the weather being better last time. As Dublin is really just a jumping off point for our two weeks in Ireland, I really didn’t plan much other than some walking around and rest from our constant movement in Scotland. Our hotel location near the Ha’penny Bridge lent itself to easy walking along the river and the sites in the Docklands and Temple Bar areas.
As the rain seemed to be our constant companion during our stay, we only ventured out a couple of times. Our walk to the Docklands took us past the Famine Memorial. The memorial, which stands on Customs House Quays is in remembrance of the Great Famine, which saw the population of the country halved through death and emigration. The statues depict the starving Irish people walking towards ships to bring them overseas to escape the hunger and poverty of the Irish famine, Quite a powerful display along the river. Heading further into the Docklands, we head toward the Jeanie Johnson. The ship in the river now is a replica of a three masted barque originally built in Quebec, Canada, in 1847. The original Jeanie Johnston made 16 voyages to North America, between 1848 and 1855, sailing to Quebec, Baltimore, and New York carrying passenger escaping the famine ravishing Ireland. Unfortunately, while the internet said it was open, it was not so seeing the ship was not happening this day.
As we head back to the hotel we decided to stop at the EPIC Irish Emigration Museum before leaving the Docklands. EPIC is a privately owned museum, founded by Neville Isdell, former chairman and Chief Executive of The Coca-Cola Company, who was born in County Down. What a wonderful museum that highlights the far-reaching influence of Irish history, and the impact on the world the 10 million Irish men and women who left Ireland behind. The museum is located in an old warehouse formerly known as the Tobacco Store, built between 1817 and 1820 to store valuable cargoes of tobacco, tea, and spirits. What a great building that allows halls for different exhibits. There is so much information to absorb in the museum that the ticket allows the holder to come back the following day to continue the visit. The gallery includes a picture of the metal sculpture of ships through time taking the Irish from Ireland to other lands.
Our visit to the museum complete, we head back toward the shopping area behind the hotel to get things for dinner before going in for the evening and work. The following day, it is off to the airport to pick up a rental to head south to explore the Emerald Isle.