Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Goth tourist in Dublin

As I mentioned in a previous post, I spent the first weekend of September in Dublin.
Things I saw

I went to two art museums, the National Gallery of Ireland and The Hugh Lane Dublin City Gallery. Both were exquisite and had free entry. Nothing extremely goth art was on display, so I am not going to write about them much. All I'll say is that if you are in Dublin, they are extremely nice places to spend a couple of hours.
Another not particularly goth or gloomy place to visit but in which I had a great time was Teeling Whiskey Distillery. They arrange tours and it is the only working whiskey distillery in Dublin.
In these huge tanks water leaves alcohol. They all had names and the liquid goes through from the biggest to the smallest. There are three copper ladies in a row.
Rebecca on the right can hold 9 000 liters. She is the smallest one. If I remember correctly the biggest of the sisters has the capacity of 15 000 liters or more.

A tad more goth-y or at least more geeky place to visit would be the old library of The Trinity College. The quality of photos is awful due to lighting conditions (to preserve old books). One could photograph only in The Long Room. If you think there is something familiar in this place, it might be because you have seen its doppelganger in the movie Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones.
They have around 200 000 books in this library and many of them are extremely valuable first editions. The most priced book of this library is the Book of Kells, It was written and drawn around year 800 and it contains the four Gospels. The most intriguing thing about it are the marvelous drawn decorations. Underneath this Long Room in the photos is a huge exhibition area dedicated solely to the Book of Kells. 
The most goth tourist attraction I found on a 48 hour trip was Marsh's Library. They have many ghost stories and other peculiar and sometimes morbid things on display. Among them a copy of Jonathan Swift's dear friend's skull. No photos are allowed to take in the library, so alas, I have nothing to show. They do have great photos and information on their website, though.

The Marsh's Library has stayed pretty much the same for 300 years and is an almost pristine example of 18th century library. James Joyce, Jonathan Swift and Bram Stoker have all visited it and used its services. The library still has the chair Mr. Stoker rested his bum on while he read about witchcraft!
One thing particular makes this place the gothiest place I visited and it is because their history and that they made a small comic book about the weirdest tales. It was created by John Rooney, the illustrator, and Julie Burke, who is the Education and Outreach Officer of the Marsh's Library.

I bought a copy and I must say it is great! I adore the style of the illustrator. All incidents or stories consist of a one picture and a text box but they are really amusing and sometimes a bit gross. My favorite story is about a 3500 years old mummy that was found in a cupboard at the library in 1888. Nobody knows how it ended up there!
You can read this small treasure online, if you want to, though I must say that buying it for mere 2 euros for a physical copy is a very good deal. They also have beautiful photos of details of their collection on Pinterest.

Prospects on shopping

In the post before the trip I wrote that I would like to go to goth clothing shops, if possible. There were a couple of alternative fashion stores in the Temple Bar area. They were nice but they mostly sold rock, psycho-billy etc. styles so I end up leaving without any purchases.
Obviously for those interested in Celtic myths, jewelry, and things related the Green Island is a heaven. Celtic necklaces are beautiful but not my style anymore, so no products came to my possession. What I really wanted to have was a selection of animal themed sticky notes. The bat and the dodo are my favorites.
 The sticky notes were sold in the shop of the National Gallery of Ireland. It contains 8 different animals in 8 different sticky note piles and it costed about 12 euro.
From an Irish gift shop called Old World New I found this beautiful thing. "Wolf's Bane. Potion No. 5. Slightly bitter potion to take the edge off your Lycanthropy. Drink at your own risk."
I am not sure if one can actually use it and store some liquid in it. The bottleneck is really small and it would be a pain in the ass to try to clean it after usage. No matter, it looks gorgeous by my window, next to a candelabra I found at a flea market last summer.
Next up: Creepy Reads Review after a long pause!


  1. Oh, great impressions! Dublin is also a dream of mine! When I go there sometime, I´ll remember your post :)

    1. Thank you! I forgot to mention, the Marsh's Library has pretty cool Halloween program, if you would happen to visit Dublin in October. :D

  2. Sounds like you had a nice break away.

  3. I really must get over there sometime soon.

    1. To Dublin, or the whole Ireland? I got this feeling that to really experience it one should not merely stay in the capital but to wander around the whole country. :)

    2. I`d like to tour around a bit I`d also want to go to The Isle of Man.

  4. Some great finds! I would love to go there one day!

  5. That library, THOSE STAIRS!!! You definitely found some nice places!

  6. Beautiful post, thank you for taking the time to point out some more darkly inclined destinations. The old library of The Trinity College seems particularly interesting.
    I wish that your best trips are ahead!