We sure enjoyed exploring the literary aspect of Dublin today! So many great writers have come from this city: Jonathan Swift, Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw . . . the list goes on and on.
We started our morning by visiting the Writers’ Museum. Even though it is only a two-minute walk from our hotel, we had decided to save it for the last day of our time in Dublin, a quiet Monday after the wild sports weekend that saw the high street (where we are located) teeming with hordes of sports enthusiasts.
Dublin is one of the relatively few places in the world that has UNESCO status as a city of literature (the others, as we learned, are Edinburgh, Melbourne, Iowa City, Reykjavík, Norwich, Kraków, Heidelberg, Dunedin, Granada, and Prague).
The Dublin Writers’ Museum is a quiet place, full of humble display cases that exhibit the books and biographies of the city’s most celebrated writers, poets, and playwrights. Many first editions of books are on display, and you can also see many of the possessions of these creators, such as pipes and typewriters. Here are a few photos from our visit . . .
After this pensive experience, we headed towards the Temple Bar area of town to visit the Leprechaun Museum, which promised to feature live storytelling and an immersion into the fairy folklore of Ireland. Given my career as a fantasy writer, this sounded like something I would immensely enjoy.
Alas, it was a disappointment. To be fair, I think the experience depends greatly on which storytelling guide happens to lead you along. Ours seemed rather disinterested and lacked a lot of storytelling ability (since Marcie and I both make our livings as storytellers, we felt rather qualified to make this judgment!). I have to say, I find it rather ironic that we’ve met so many vibrant storytellers in this city—taxi drivers, the bus drivers, barkeeps, and everyday folk—and the most lacklustre one was the one we paid to see.
Disappointed, but undaunted, we headed further into the Temple Bar area of the city. We loved the atmosphere this part of Dublin. The streets are cobblestone and the shopfronts colourful.
They sure do celebrate writing in this city—you don’t have to look very hard to find evidence of it. Walking along the River Liffey, we came across the Bachelor’s Pub, which has an entire outside walk devoted to quotes from Dublin’s writers.
Also, you can find plaques on the sidewalks throughout the city commemorating locations from James Joyce’s Ulysses:
Eventually, we found Joyce himself at the Temple Bar (the pub, not the area) and enjoyed a drink with him . . .
I will confess that I haven’t found tons of doors to collect in Dublin. They are mostly Georgian in style and while admittedly colourful, they look all too new and fresh for me. I like my doors old and weathered! But here’s one that caught my eye today, nonetheless . . .
We’re now ready to head back to England, with a flight into Bristol, and a train ride across to London where more adventures await us.