Only happy faces bloom there
And there's never any room there
For a worry or a gloom there.
Nope, we're not back in Munich already, it's Dublin's secret park, Iveagh Gardens! Never heard of it? Never seen it? Don't blame you. This beautiful park is located right in the heart of City Centre, just a stone's throw away from St. Stephen's Green, but almost completely invisible to the outside world. Don't believe me? Check out the two entrances.
|See the "AWESOME PUBLIC PARK" Sign? Me Neither|
|Doesn't That Look Inviting?|
|Did Someone Break Venus' Nose?|
In the center of the park, a long green stretch is cut by an arrow-straight gravel path. Two matching angel fountains look at each other across the stretch, like some puzzle from an old Resident Evil game.
|Resident Evil Angel Statue|
|Iveagh Gardens Water Highlight|
This might not be everyone's favorite spot, but one corner of the park is planted with a circular maze leading in to a sundial on a pedestal. The circular maze isn't really a challenge to solve, and the walls are low enough to just step over, but it seems to be built in the style of a Buddhist labyrinth. These circular, easy-to-solve mazes are not meant to challenge, but to encourage meditation and contemplation while performing a mindless task. The Buddhists know all about the power of a repetitive task to clear away the stresses and distractions of the world. The Catholics meditate by praying the rosary, repeating the same memorized words over and over like a mantra in order to clear away conscious thought.
|Iveagh Maze Path|
|Sundial at the Center|
Maybe someday I will actually visit the Gardens when the sun is out... then again maybe not. The sundial does have instructions for taking a mostly accurate time reading. There is a mathematical adjustment that has to be added or subtracted depending on the time of year. Of course, sundials do not observe daylight savings time, so a further consideration must be made in the Summer months.
Iveagh Gardens is surrounded on all sides by high walls and fences. The entrances are tucked away in back alleys behind other buildings, so the average Dublin visitor would never find them. I assume Dubliners like it this way, as I usually find locals reclining in the grass of the quiet park and families with young children playing on the decorative rocks and large field.
This in contrast to the "Nice Day Melee" that occurs in St. Stephen's Green anytime the sun shows itself. Tourists, lovers, drunks, and teenagers (sometimes all four in one individual) converge on the park like the ducks and seagulls that follow them. It must be nice for locals to have a quiet place to retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city.
...Come to think of it, don't tell anyone! Pretend you've never read this article!