The first part of my journey took me over the Irish Sea towards the English Channel
On 20th July, in the company of my partner and two friends, I boarded the MS Magellan, a 728.00 ft cruise ship travelling from Liverpool to Honfleur, via Dublin, St. Mary’s, St. Peter Port and Rouen.
This was our second experience of travelling on a liner, having embarked for the Norwegian Fjords on the very same ship almost twelve months previously (though, I should like to point out that I spent considerable time around smaller vessels in my youth). Regular visitors to Book Jotter may recall I’m an inveterate thalassophile and a lover of islands but none too keen on flying. Therefore, sailing is not merely a less stressful mode of travel but one on which I positively thrive, whether in, on, under or near the sea – even (nay, especially) when the wind blows.
Over the course of two posts, I will share with you some the highlights of this trip, with a special emphasis on all things literary.
So fascinating a city is Dublin, it cannot be explored in a day. This was my third visit to Ireland’s capital, but I am still no closer to having ‘done’ this beguiling, ancient, multi-layered metropolis. I doubt it is even possible.
We docked at 7am and immediately came ashore, scrambling to the top of a hop-on, hop-off bus at Upper O’Connell Street, which allowed us to get off at any point and investigate an area of interest before catching the next one to come along and resume our tour.
The Dublin Writer’s Museum
I have long wanted to visit the Dublin Writers Museum at 18 Parnell Square, established to promote interest, through its collection and displays, in Irish literature and the lives and works of individual Irish writers. Next door is the Irish Writers’ Centre, which focuses on promoting contemporary Irish writers, while the Museum presents the literary heritage left by writers of the past. There are also smaller, more detailed museums dotted about the city devoted to people like Joyce, Shaw, Yates and Pearse, but alas, time didn’t permit me to seek them out.
There was, in any case, a vast collection of photographs, portraits, letters, first editions and evocative personal possessions on display. I could easily have spent several days poking around in this wonderful 18th century house, built by Thomas Sherwood.
Other Literary Discoveries
Merrion Square with the Oscar Wilde statue
EPIC – The Irish Emigration Museum
Sadly I didn’t make it to the Library of Trinity College or any number of other cultural attractions. They are for another time.
Look out for Part Two, when I head towards the Seine.