Dazzling Dublin Docklands

DUBLIN DOCKLANDS. Grab a coffee, put on your sunnies, and explore the vibrant Dublin Docklands on one of those beautiful clear autumn days. 

Hey hey everybuuudy!

Is it just me or are crisp, clear autumn days simply THE best? I can barely concentrate in class when the sun is shining and the sky is blue. Also, the fact that it is cold enough to wear comfy jumpers but still warm enough to go for extensive walks doesn’t help. So basically, I spend the last couple of days mainly outside instead of the library – where I should be.

Last Sunday, I went to Dublin Docklands for the first time since I moved here in August. And I was absolutely blown away! The area is packed with contemporary art, modern building, old industrial elements, and cafés. I’m not done exploring yet but here are some first impressions of what is my current favorite quarter of Dublin.

Samuel Beckett Bridge

This iconic bridge is a contemporary but still traditional take on the Irish harp. I personally loved the contrast of this modern, cool bridge with the old, warm building in the backgrounds. It is kinda like a representation of Dublin as a whole. Old and new, traditional and contemporary, shiny and worn – it all comes together in a mix that makes Dublin so unique.

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The Samuel Beckett Bridge is inspired by the iconic Irish harp.

The bridge is named after the well-known playwriter and poet Dubliner Samuel Beckett. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1969 ‘for his writing which – in new forms for the novel and drama – in the destitution of modern man acquires its elevation’ (Nobelprize.org).

“The earth makes a sound as of sighs and the last drops fall from the emptied cloudless sky. A small boy, stretching out his hands and looking up at the blue sky, asked his mother how such a thing was possible. Fuck off, she said.”
― Samuel Beckett

God, you gotta love the Irish humour.

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Wouldn’t be proper docklands without some rusty hooks.

The Great Famine Memorial

There are two historical events you hear the most about when in Ireland: The 1916 Eastern Rising and the Great Famine.

The Great Famine took place in the mid 19th century and caused approx. 1 million people to die and another million to emigrate from Ireland. Back then, that was over a quarter of the population! Up to this date, Ireland’s population hasn’t fully recovered from the Great Famine. The Famine statues, in Custom House Quay in the Dublin Docklands, commemorate those many victims and shall remind us of how precious life is.

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A second series of famine sculptures was unveiled in Toronto to remember the arrival of these refugees in Canada.

Honestly, I didn’t expect to be touched by the sculptures. I’ve seen them online and simply didn’t think they would affect me much. WRONG. There’s something horribly real and human about those statues that leaves you shaken and deeply emotional. The expressions in the women and men faces as well as of the starving children they’re carrying instantly created a heavy feeling in my stomach. And the worst thing: The Great Famine might has happened 200 years ago but people today still experience hunger and starvation. I mean, how can problems like this consist along the planning of Mars exhibition?

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Ships like the Jeanie Johnston were used to transport people to the ‘New World’.

The Grand Canal Square

The Grand Canal Square, designed by renowned landscape designer Martha Schwartz, is one of Dublin’s largest public spaces. The most obvious feature of it: The ‘red carpet’, extending from the theatre into and over the dock. Its counterpart – the ‘green carpet’ -consists of paving with lawns and vegetation. The red carpet is made out of bright red resin-glass paving covered with red glowing angled light sticks – yes, they glow in the dark.

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The project cost over €8 million. Worth it?

That was my first little post about the Dublin Docklands. However, I will be back for sure to explore this edgy, modern area a little more. 

xx Lara

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