Hop onboard our Bloomsday Vintage Bus!
As you might know, Bloomsday is an annual celebration of the life and work of Ireland’s most famous author, James Joyce. On the 16th of June each year, the streets are taken over by ‘Costumed revellers’ commemorating Leopold Bloom’s famous journey throughout Dublin. The Dublin Visitor Centre are extremely proud of Dublin’s literary connection and decided to host a complimentary Bloomsday Vintage Bus Tour to honour our most favourite wordsmith. We were super excited that Joycean scholar and bon vivant Senator David Norris was on hand to wave our group off on our merry way.
Onboard we had a fabulous mix of Dublin locals, English Language students from the Dorset College and International Visitors! In fact, one Joycean fanatic travelled all the way from Houston Texas to soak up the atmosphere. All of our guests embraced the spirit of Bloomsday and made an incredible effort to dress in period costume. The gentleman looked very dapper in their 3 piece suits and bowler hats and the ladies looked very elegant with their wide-brimmed hats and corsets. A special shout out to Colleen from the Dorset School who was managed to find period-costume for all of her class!
Joyce loved his home city as much as we do and famously once said “when I die Dublin will be written in my heart”. He namechecks his home city of Dublin in every chapter so it is fitting that our Tour passed all of the landmarks immortalised Ulysses, Dubliners and Finnegan’s Wake. Our Live guide Gerry has an encyclopaedic knowledge of Dublin’s history and all things Joyce so he was the perfect man to guide our merry band. Sometimes people feel daunted about reading Ulysses. British war censors were so bewildered by the text in Ulysses that they believed that it was spy code! Far from being stuffy or highbrow, our Bloomsday Extravaganza was a fun-filled jaunt around Ulysses. Everyone on the Bus was amused by Gerry’s anecdotes recalling the life of James Joyce and Dublin at the turn of the century.
Following our City Centre Tour, our Bloomsday Vintage Bus travelled out to Dublin’s necropolis Glasnevin Cemetery, home to 100 Joycean characters. On the way, our fabulous Bus Driver Geoff solved Joyce’s riddle on how to cross Dublin without passing a pub (a difficult feat). At Glasnevin Cemetery we joined the costumed mourners who were there to partake in the re-enactment of Paddy Dignam’s Funeral. Tired but happy we made our way back into Dublin City, I am already planning my Bloomsday Regalia for the Dublin Visitor Centre Bloomsday Vintage Bus Tour!