In the heart of the Hibernian Metropolis

Bloomsday Festival Street Carnival.jpg

The novel Ulysses is unique because many of the buildings and places from the book are still with us today. It’s a wonderful experience to relive the iconic moments of the novel and follow in the characters’ footsteps by visiting those original locations. Traditional stops include the James Joyce Martello Tower and Museum that overlooks the sweep of Dublin Bay. This quirky building is a 19th century military tower where Joyce briefly lived.

Another gem is Sweny’s Chemist on Lincoln Place, where Leopold Bloom bought his lucky bar of lemon soap. This Victorian pharmacy with original fittings and fixtures, not to mention potions and lotions, is now run by volunteers. While you are there, why not pick up your keepsake bar of lemon soap or join in one of the daily readings from Joyce’s works.

Follow Leopold Bloom to a tragicomic funeral at Glasnevin Cemetery, and look out for Joyce’s father’s grave while you are there. Another firm favourite on the Joyce trail is Davy Byrne’s Pub on Duke Street where you can refresh yourself with a gorgonzola sandwich and a glass of burgundy. It’s what Leopold Bloom chose for his lunch on Bloomsday in 1904. Around Davy Byrne’s pub there’s a lively street carnival atmosphere, with Dubliners bursting into the songs that feature in Ulysses.

At these authentic locations you will receive a warm welcome from passionate locals who are happy to share their own Bloomsday stories. Some are born on Bloomsday like Tupac Shakur while others marry like Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. Who knows, you might fall in love like James Joyce and his wife Nora Barnacle.

What will be your Bloomsday story?

Marty GilroyNews, Blog