Day 3 |
Jun 01, 2012

Dublin, Ireland 

By Luciano “Luqui” Bernacchi, Birder and Glacier Guide

Co-ordinates: N 53º20'45", W 06º14'02"
Weather: Overcast- High clouds moments of a little sun
Air Temperature: 14ºC
Pressure: 1017 hPa
Wind: no wind

Today was spent at Dublin. Luckily the berthing for Silver Explorer was very conveniently located, a short walk from town, at Sir John Rogerson’s Quay. I woke up and after some breakfast, and a chat with the rest of the Expedition Team, we were all outside helping organize the buses for our guests. Two tours were offered. One was a full day to the county of Wicklow, an area known as the “Garden of Ireland”. However, I was appointed to join the half-day city tour of Dublin, referred to as “Highlights of Dublin City”.

(Speaking later with some guests and fellow members of the Expedition Team, they mentioned that the full day tour south of Dublin was very enjoyable, touring the magnificent gardens of Powerscourt designed in 1740, and the area of Glendalough with it’s 6th-century monastic ruins.)

After the full day tour departed, the two buses of our “Highlights of Dublin” city tour were ready to leave. Both the driver and guide were vey helpful, and our guide, John, was a very informative Irishman who did a great job.

The bus negotiated some of the narrow streets in Dublin, going past all the major buildings and historical sites. We made several stops, and twice stepped off the bus for a better look, first at Trinity College, Ireland oldest college, founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I, and later at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

I liked the feeling of Trinity College, the mix of tourists, students, teachers, and the atmosphere of academic life. After spending some time walking around the gardens and historical buildings, we entered the library, where the famous Book of Kells is guarded. Although I personally enjoyed the many priceless and ancient books, the so-called Long Room, upstairs, is a fascinating room with thousands of old volumes, and with an architecture and layout that are quite unique. The smell of old furniture and even older books is very pleasant. Walking through this room I felt overwhelmed by the presence of those books. I would have loved a photo but they weren’t allowed so I contented myself with a postcard of the place.

Next stop was at the huge St. Patrick’s Cathedral, where we all went inside, and as usual in such enormous buildings and all great works of art, my respects and admiration went out for the people who built it.

Once back at the Silver Explorer, lunch was served, and a free afternoon followed. Talking to some guests, I learned that they were planning some walks into town, to enjoy the atmosphere, and vibe of the Irish capital city.

The Silver Explorer dropped its lines and about 8.00pm and she sailed out of Dublin city, through the open East Link Bridge…. Goodbye Ireland, heading towards the Scottish Islands.