Dublin Day 2

Ha'penny Bridge over Liffey River, Dublin

Changing hotels today (more free nights), but it’s a 30 minute walk hauling luggage.

We’ll spend our day in the city today.

The daily news papers are full of labor actions against labor reforms, both here in Ireland and in France. Bound to make our life awkward, especially in France where the actions will affect the rail systems. Labor unions are very strong in Europe and as one of the key components of costs/productivity, reducing labor costs (and increasing employment) are part of the respective governments’ plans to revive their economies. In France, strikes in the oil industry are having dramatic effects on the supply of gasoline. Here in Ireland, a union strike against Tesco (grocery chain) will effectively shut some 70 stores unless Tesco brings in replacement workers.

Dublin takes its name from Dubhlinn, or Blackpool, which came from a tidal pool in the nearby River Poodle. This pool no longer exists, but its location is marked by the site of the Coach House and Castle Gardens (see photo) at the rear of Dublin Castle.

This afternoon, we walked to Dublin Castle.
Inside the castle grounds, there’s only one older structure, Record Tower, remaining. It was used as a prison at one point. With 15′ thick walls, unlikely to be breached. There were escapes, though, with the most famous one taking place in 1592 when some Ulster chieftains escaped through the toilet chute…

There’s Dubh Linn gardens in front of the Coach House, as well as a memorial to the fallen An Garda Síochána, (Metropolitan Police).

The Green in front of Coach House
Record Tower, Dublin Castle

We’d been through the State meeting rooms in the newer part of the complex during their Viking week, but hadn’t visited the gardens. After Dublin Castle , we continued on towards our original objective of the (narrow) Ha’penny pedestrian Bridge over the Liffey River. It’s called Ha’penny, because when it was a toll bridge, it cost a Ha’penny (half penny) to cross. It’s free now, the toll period of 100 years having expired.

The area near the Liffey river where we’re having another two fisted coffee is the Temple Bar area. As the name says, there are Lots of bars and restaurants in this quarter.

I have to say, the free 2G connection from T-Mobile is worth, not much when it comes to blogging. You forget what it was like not so many years ago, to use the Internet on a cell phone. Multi-megabyte photos take a while to upload if they do.

More photos on Flickr.

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