I spent a good chunk of my day in Dublin - where I rarely venture on the weekend - and now I'm back in the city, near the Custom House. Not really accomplishing. I was walking around for a while and now I'm drinking coffee while I type this.

I had to be in Dublin this evening to run an errand. Rather than go right home, I decided to go for a walk. The streets where I was walking were mostly deserted - it's pretty cool (about 45) and breezy - and there's not a lot happening down this end of town. I saw no tourists out tonight and the average Dubliner has way more sense than to be out walking on a cold, dark November night.

Dublin doesn't have a bright skyline like most American cities have. In fact, the only things that stick up high into the sky are the ridiculous spire on O'Connell Street and the dog ugly Liberty Hall. (Can you say a building is "dog ugly"?)

However, if you do walk around at night* you can find some well-lit, attractive old buildings like the Customs House. That's why I wanted to go for the walk this evening because even though a walk in late June would be more pleasant, the sun doesn't set until well after 10pm so you can't experience Dublin's fine buildings all lit up.

Earlier today I was at the new National Museum at Collins Barrakcs down the Liffey from here. I was there only once before and it was shortly after they had opened this new facility. I was unimpressed then and was in no hurry to return. However, today they advertized a family day to learn about Ireland and the Great War, so clearly I had to go. The family came too.

It was a mixed bag on the WWI events - they called it a family day, but really it was mostly aimed at gray-haired men and definitely not at anyone under 21 or so. The museum itself, however, really impressed me. The displays were a lot more substantial than I remembered them and there were enough interactive displays to amuse and educate the under-10-year-old. We all agreed that we'd have to make a return visit.

Before the National Museum moved in during the 90s, Collins Barracks was the oldest military barracks in the world still in use.

* Do watch where you go if you venture out at night. Don't go up the dark streets. It's far from danger free.