Rather than retrace our steps down O’Connell Street, we ambled over to Henry Street, location of several department stores. The nearby Moore Street Market, lined with vegetable, fruit, and flower stalls, was not yet in full swing, but enough so to give us a flavor of this everyday working persons’ part of town.
A short distance beyond, the Ha’ Penny Bridge leads directly into the heart of Temple Bar. This whimsical span, built in 1816 as the first pedestrian bridge across the River Liffy, is made entirely of white iron. Its name comes from the old half-penny toll that until 1919 was charged to cross it. Elegantly decorated with three lamps supported by curving white ironwork, it looks like something from a fairytale. I was quite taken with this bridge, arching gracefully across the river.
I was very disappointed to find that none of my pictures of this bridge turned out — I can’t show you what it looked like.
We crossed the Ha’ Penny Bridge and breezed through Temple Bar and back over to Grafton Street. On the way, Gino found a couple of girlfriends.
We came upon some street musicians and stopped to listen awhile. They played traditional Irish music, affectionately known as “trad.”
On Grafton Street, a shopper’s paradise, we lingered at a jewelry kiosk admiring the silver Celtic crosses and earrings with Celtic symbols: the Triskele (symbol for creativity, healing, and growth), the Claddaugh (symbol for love, loyalty, and friendship), and a motif from the Book of Kells.
But by now we’d had enough of searching for history, genealogy, and shopping opportunities — it was time to find a beer!