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Hello and welcome to this weekend’s virtual walk.
A few days ago, I had an early morning appointment in Dublin’s city centre. As our workshop is located in the suburbs, I rarely have to go into the city and dreaded the morning commute. So, I left home really early and got to the city way ahead of my appointment . As I had some time to spare, I thought I would take you for an early morning stroll around the trendy Grafton Street area of Dublin and share with you how my city looks in the run up to Christmas.
The city of Dublin was founded in 988 by the Vikings and is in most part a medieval city with narrow streets more designed for the horse and carriage than the modern motor car. As a result, traffic can be chronic and it’s quite a miracle that the civic authorities can get things moving. Like most cities the streets are quiet before the shops open, so this is a great opportunity to walk around freely.
Grafton Street and its nearby streets are located on the south side of the River Liffey that was developed from a laneway in the early 1700s and its line was shaped by the now-culverted River Steyne. Initially, a fashionable residential street with some commercial activity, the character of Grafton Street changed after it was connected to a nearby bridge over the Liffey and came to form part of a cross-city route. It suffered from dilapidation through the 19th century, with several run-down buildings.
During the 20th century, it became known for the coffee house, Bewley’s and up-market shopping and is a popular spot for Buskers. It has been assessed as one of the most expensive main retail streets in the world on which to rent.
At the Stephen’s green end of the street the is a fine Christmas tree and all along the street ( by night ) the festive lights are switched on . I love the way that John Brereton jewellers is decorated like a big gift box and how many of the shop windows have lovely Christmassy displays. Let’s stop outside the famous Bewley’s coffee shop . First opened in 1927, Bewley’s Café is set in a beautiful art deco building that stands out on its own . It is renowned for the high quality of its foods, coffee and tea as well as its priceless Harry Clarke stained glass windows, art and sculpture within the building.
Let’s take a look at one of Dublin’s finest jewellers – Weirs, that has stood on the corner of Grafton and Wicklow street since 1869 . In fact, they stock our Connemara marble jewellery and during the summer I was so proud to see our items in the front windows !
What must be one of the world’s finest department stores, Brown Thomas stands nearby. This shop is famed for its Christmas windows and displays and in fact I have the happiest of memories bringing my young children here to visit Santa many years ago. Let’s take a look at some of the wonderful windows – it must be magical when it’s all lit up !
Before I have to go to my meeting, I want to bring you to Andrew Street to meet Dublin’s most famous character, Molly Malone. This bronze statue of the famous Molly was crafted by the late Jeanne Rynhart some years ago and is one of the most photographed statues in Ireland . She represents an old, mysterious story set in Dublin, Ireland, that has firmly cemented itself within the Irish culture. The legend goes that Molly was a beautiful young woman who worked as a fishmonger until she died suddenly of a fever . After her death, the story says her ghost began haunting the streets of Dublin. Legend has it that Molly was a fishmonger in Dublin and the song goes :
In Dublin’s fair city
Where the girls are so pretty
I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone
As she wheeled her wheelbarrow
Through streets broad and narrow
Crying, “Cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh!”
Alive, alive, oh
Alive, alive, oh
Crying, “Cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh”
Righto, I had better head for my meeting but I do hope that you enjoyed coming along with me this morning . I hope you are taking a look here at www.connemaramarble.com for your handcrafted Christmas gifts and enjoy that we have FREE SHIPPING over $30 still in place right up to the 31st.
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