Who am I?

A journalist student from Dublin, Ireland. I'm looking to show the world a view through my camera's lens and where I point it. You may even learn something about photography along the way! Weekly blog posts about my adventures.

Monday, 22 February 2016

Dublin Tourism Part 4: Luas Track Extensions.

At the moment Dublin City Centre is a disaster with the Luas Cross City works going on right through the middle of it. The bridge pictured below was completed almost two years ago by now and is fully functioning as a bus bridge. Don't get me wrong, the bridge is beautiful and really adds to the Liffey crossing system we have, I just didn't think the rest of the connection would take so long between the Green Luas Terminus in Stephens Green to the Red Luas Line on Abbey St and beyond to Broombridge.

New Luas Bridge over the Liffey
The connection lines are being laid from Grafton St, down Dawson St, around the front of Trinity College, through College Green, past the Screen Cinema on D'Olier St, across the new Luas Bridge to where it connects with the Abbey St Red Line and then on out to Broombridge rail station. This has caused chaos in Dublin City traffic wise since the summer of 2015 when it began.

The site where Fixx Café used to be, Dawson St.

Most people have now gotten used to the bus routes been changed to cater for the new lines and I actually like the new routes as they get me through town easier and faster. I can't imagine what town is going to be like after the completion of the new line and there are Luas running up and down the new lines. 

Pearse St
There has been a lot of improvement in the last few weeks and there are some lines down now to show the progress. I do think though that the connection between the two lines will improve getting through the city centre a lot and make it faster to get from Grafton St to O'Connell St.

College Green.
Once all the work is done and this mess is cleaned up our city will look great and I can't wait for the proposed finish date in 2017. For the moment, if you plan on driving through town, there are alternative routes online that you can follow to get you from one side to the other. I would not recommend driving through though because traffic is heavy enough as it is with all the buses and taxis around.

Hawkins St

With the 1916 Easter Rising Commemorations coming up though work on the new lines is going to stop for the month of March and April of 2016.

Outside the Screen Cinema
So be warned that traffic will be heavy for the coming months as plans are set to finish the lines over the next 10 - 12 months in the City Centre and we will have the new Luas running through the middle of Dublin too.

Dublin Tourism Part 3: 1916 Rising Commemorations Preparations

The Spire of Dublin was erected in 2002 and is made of stainless steel. It is pin shaped and stands at 121.2 metres tall. It is situated right in the middle of Dublin City Centre on O'Connell street and is one of the most popular meeting spots for the people of Dublin for a day out in town.

Dublin Spire, O'Connell St
It was designed by Ian Ritchie Architects and it was manufactured in Dungarvan, Co Waterford. It cost €4 million to erect. However none of this seems to have been taken into account with the planning around the 1916 Easter Rising Commemorations. A number of parades and other events are planned to take place outside the GPO which is right beside the Spire and event co-ordinators want to have the Spire removed for the two week long commemorations. 

Dublin Spire.
The monument which can be seen from most parts of Dublin is a set landmark in the city centre and is now even a tour destination. At night there is a light on the top part of the Spire to brighten it up and ensure it can be seen by both people on the street below and air planes. 

The event co-ordinators want to re-create the landscape of O'Connell Street from 100 years ago and that's why they want to remove the Spire for the two weeks. The cost of removing the Spire is set at around €500,000. 

1916 Tour Bus, O'Connell St. 

The Spire is going to be removed in sections which are hopefully going to be stored in a hanger in Dublin Airport for the two weeks. 

I have always known the Spire to be there from the time I was old enough to go into the City with my friends. It is going to be weird to walk down O'Connell St without the Spire there.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Dublin Tourism Part 2


Colin's Barracks is the Decorative Arts Museum of Ireland. The video above was shot the day I went to visit and have a look around. Some of the events on in there at the moment include a performance called 'Pull Down a Horseman', 'Hands on History', a 1916 Re-enacted: Foot and Arms Drills and public tours to name a few.

Court Yard, Collin's Barracks

The court yard in the Barracks is beautiful. It is 100ft x 100ft and this is marked out along the walls to show the history of the museum. Once in the courtyard, you can see everything there is that the museum has to offer including the café and the main entrance to the museum. The origins of the Barracks lay in the threat to Britain and Ireland by Revolutionary France. In response, the British Government decided to increase the number of Barracks in the British Isles.

Car park and future site to an exhibition in Collin's Barracks
I took my camera with me only to find that there was no flash photography inside the museum so I had to switch to my phone once I got inside. For the outside pictures though I got a beautiful sunny day and I just had to change my ISO settings a little for the amount of light each picture would let into each one of the shots.

Cannon inside the museum

These pictures inside the 1916 exhibition are all taken on my phone and I just wanted to show you some of the stuff going on inside. The museum is laid out beautifully and it is easy to navigate your way around all the different sites. There are exhibitions with voices and videos to talk you thorough some of the stories of people that died in the Easter Rising and other stories too.  

Dickie Bird the infamous horse

My favourite show was a small room on the imfamous war horse known as 'Dickie Bird' during the Rising. The show contains loads of information on his background and shows medals he won and talks the visitor through his storyline. 

Recruitment sign
The 1916 exhibition is worth the visit especially if you want to know more information on what happened throughout the rising and everything that went on around it. The tour is free and you can go and see the performances.

Man dressed for war

This is worth a family trip day out at some point in the coming months before March and the parade that is upcoming to celebrate 100 years since the 1916 Rising.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Dublin Zoo Romance

Dublin Zoo, Phoenix Park - Andy Waller
The day I got out to the Zoo to take photos and a video for this post turned out to not be the greatest day weather wise. I still got some amazing pictures none the less. Above is the entrance to the Zoo and below is the first thing visitors see apon entering the gates.

Zoo Entrance Views - Andy Waller
Dublin Zoo is not the first place that comes to mind when I think of 'Romance'. Then I heard about the Zoo's new feature. Have you gotten engaged recently and are you looking for somewhere to make your big day as fun, creative and special as possible? Well Dublin Zoo can now offer you that chance.
A camouflaged lizard - Andy Waller 

In one of the house's named Haughton House in the middle of the Zoo, they have the room set up beautifully and ready to go for the bride to walk down the aisle. Of course you can change the set up a little if your Bride-zilla has a few issues.

Door to Haughton House - Andy Waller 

Haughton House -Andy Waller

Haughton House, a restored historical building with magnificent views of the Zoo, is available 7 days a week for all types of wedding ceremonies.

Situated just in the middle of the park with great views, if you can get a good day weather wise for it, the surroundings of the house are beautiful and you may want to take into account a few extra visitors for the meal. The Zoo even has a dedicated wedding planner and you can have your reception in the grounds of the Zoo or go outside the Zoo to your own destination. They offer a full catering service and other gift ideas and picture opportunities with the animals.

A Monkey Playing - Andy Waller
A Turtle Relaxing - Andy Waller
 You can really get a sense of the couple to be wed by their choice in wedding venue and the wedding pictures. You can get to see their personalities shine through with the different locations of pictures before and after the wedding ceremony and if they chose to stay in the Zoo, there's loads of different locations for pictures with stunning backdrops and different animals that could set the scene for the newly-weds.

Dublin Zoo means a lot of things to a lot of people. The Zoo is cherished by many as a creator of wonderful childhood memories and experiences. I used to have an annual pass as a kid because I only live a few minutes walk from the Zoo. I used to go most weekends with my friends growing up to see the Tiger's and Monkeys. The Zoo is now offering couples the chance to create wonderful memories of their own by saying 'I do' in the grounds of this amazing place.

A Grey Wolf - Andy Waller
With this year been a leap year too, the women can propose to their men. So why not do it and start planning your perfect day at the zoo for the next year and make it special for both of you. The Zoo planner will work closely with you for the year and help you get the most out of your day out in the Zoo and help you have a fun and creative day for all your guests.

If it's not quite wedding season for you yet, the Zoo can be a great day out for you and your significant other any way. There's so much to do. The animals will all be out putting on a show for their audience and you can go along at any time to check them out. The Zoo is great and has food places and petting Zoo's if you want to get closer to some of the more cute animals. I don't recommend getting too close to some of them like the Tiger's and Lion's but the cute ones like the piglets and bunny rabbits you can pet in the Petting Zoo.

Maxi the Male Tiger relaxing - Andy Waller
There's also been several new arrivals at the Zoo to date for the public to try and see, including baby Elephants which are still hanging off their mother's tails.

Feeding time is probably the best time to get in and visit the animals, especially if you have small children with you. When feeding time is on, all the animals come out to try and get their dinner and they usually put on a show for the public too. All the animals have dedicated feeding time so if you can plan your schedule accordingly you could make your way around the park and see as many animals getting fed as possible.

So if the Zoo seems like a great idea for you and your other half to make a special day out of, do get onto them and let them help you. I personally would love to experience a wedding in the Zoo and watch how it happens because it seems like it could be great fun and a day that your friends and relatives will never forget.