On day 2 in Dublin, we simply went out to enjoy the sights, shopping and food. As we drove past a beach in Dublin, we talked about the start of this city as a Viking “longphort” (a fortification for the protection of the boats.) Was it on a beach such as this that the first buildings were erected? Well, no. The Viking fortification was near Dublin Castle along the Liffey River. So, with curiosity piqued, we wondered what a Viking marine fortification would look like. Back we went to the photos we had taken in Alesund, Norway at the Sunnmore Museum as well as those we had just taken at Guinness Lake in Glendalough a few miles outside of Dublin. After reviewing turf houses and boat-building sheds we concluded the stage sets for the TV series, Vikings, seemed to be right on. The longboats would easily sail up the Liffey. And the turf houses would be easy to erect.
Our curiosity satisfied, we turned our attention to modern-day Dublin. It is a beautiful and vibrant city with lots to see and do; all within easy walking distance.
Let me show you some photos!
After this, we are on our way to Greenock, Scotland.
The city of Alesund is a very special place. It spans several islands linked by tunnels and bridges and casts a spell on visitors with its distinctive Art Nouveau style of architecture. The city was chartered in 1848, but it was on a dark and stormy night in 1904 that the entire city center was destroyed by fire. Over the next three years, the city was rebuilt, almost exclusively in the Art Nouveau style. Today, Alesund is an important fishing port, centrally located on the Norwegian Sea.
We have been here before and were enchanted by the charm of the architecture. The history of the area encompasses the Viking Age, but this was an agricultural area and settlements were separated by great distances. The Sunnmore Museum, just outside of town (9:00am-4:00pm daily, 7.50/pp for seniors) details the lifestyle of the early peoples along with their architecture, industry and community.
One “must do” activity in Alesund is a visit to the Fjellstua Lodge atop Mount Aksla. You can walk up the 418 steps if you are so inclined, but the little Alesund City Sightseeing train will take you there ($24.00/pp/rt with a stop at Sunnmore, too.) As will the HOHO for $38.00/pp. And as will taxis for about 100.00/hour!
Of course, there is nothing wrong in simply walking around the charming town, shopping the quaint shops and enjoying a lunch or libation in a lovely café. This is a fun, entertaining and interesting port!