I had a lovely time with Seanan's aunt Bríd on my visit to Dublin this week, and had drinks/lunch/coffee with a few more good friends I hadn't seen in awhile. I also wanted to get a bit of sightseeing and picture-taking done (the new edition is still in limbo, but I'm always thinking ahead).
My first full day—Mount Jerome Cemetery. Now, I have wandered through plenty of graveyards in my time, but this one really takes the cake on the creep factor.
This graveyard is full of crumbling monuments packed so tightly you can't even approach many of them because there's nowhere to walk except on the stones, which I will not do. All of Dublin is dying to get in, you know. (Sorry, I couldn't resist.) There was a funeral going on while I was there. And check this out—not only do I find a Star of David in a Protestant cemetery, but there's a skull inside!:
I had wanted to pay a visit to the final resting-place of one of my literary idols—lots of famous Dubliners are buried here—but the place is huge and you can't read many of the inscriptions anymore. I thought I'd stop by the office if I couldn't find it on my own, but I got so creeped-out and sad from my first walk-through that I didn't have the fortitude for a second try. Plus it was about to rain.
(You walk down to reach those mausolea below ground level. Wasn't feeling brave enough to venture into the open-air corridor to read any of the names.)
Second day—the National Botanic Gardens. It was so nice to see (and sniff) so much life after a trip to the world's spookiest graveyard.
The Botanic Gardens are lovely, and even better, they are free! You can take buses 13, 13A, or 19 north to Glasnevin (fare €1.60), and a guided tour is €2. Definitely worth a visit if you're ready for a change from the hustle and bustle of city sightseeing.
Thanks to Diarmuid, I've also got a new lunch spot to recommend—Anderson's in Drumcondra (a ten or fifteen-minute walk from the Botanic Gardens), a first-class creperie. I got the vegetarian breakfast galette and a vanilla latté—scrummy!