UK and Ireland, Day 7.

Alrighty, we’re on to day 7. This was our first full day in Dublin, and we got to see quite a bit. We toured Trinity, then hit a number of churches around town, then tourned the Guinness storehouse, closeing out the day by hanging out in the park. As always there are pictures you can check out. This was all written in the hostel that very night.

6/9 Dublin Hostel

Joel‘s taking his shower.. I just finished mine. It’s about 11:15.. We spent all day in Dublin today, and tomorrow we plan on getting up early (6 am) and taking the train to Galway, then from there finding some way (Bus?) to the cliffs on the Western shore, and checking them out.. then return to Galway, then head back to Dublin, to stay here in this room again tomorrow night. That’s the plan.. and it’s a good one. The only real fear at this point is finding the way to/from the cliffs, and making sure we get back in time for the last train to Dublin (6 pm, I believe.

But that’s tomorrow, this way today. We got up, and Robb lightened up his pack a ton (took out all the clothes) and Joel and I left ours here . I hid all my electronics in secret compartments/my sleeping bag, just in case the Russians tried to steal them. Lousy Communists. kegsWe headed out, and walked towards the city center. On our street there was a pub with a TON of kegs in front of it.. we’re talking well over 30.. It was nifty. Anyway, we headed to the city center, and our first stop was Trinity College. At Trinity college was the book of Kells, which I believe is the oldest surviving book in Western history.. Maybe it’s not.. I dunno.. let me check… Well it didn’t say, but the book is from around the 9th century, so at the very least, it’s over 1000 years old, which is pretty impressive. it’s a copy of the gospels written by monks… so it’s got the whole Big letter starting off the chapter, and pictures drawn in certain places, etc.. It’s really quite impressive.. and the museum surrounding the book of Kells (and other books of similar type stored in the museum) told all about the history, and ways these books were created. It was pretty interesting. Worth special note was one section that noted that sometimes monks would jot comments in the corner or margin… and there was an example where some dude wrote something about how the color ink he was using would become famous, cause he was using it so much. they’d eventually find a pile of bones with that ink pen attached to the end of the hand, or something. Those zany monks!

Trinity CollegeAfter the museum, we toured the campus for a little while, then headed off to the castle of Dublin. We toured around the outside of that for a bit, then hit a park… then hung out there for a bit, then returned to the castle.. but they weren’t letting people in for another half hour (the next tour time) and the description of the inside didn’t seem completely worth sticking around for (more like exhibitions/art stuff than castle stuff) so we kept on going.

Our next stop was Christ Church, which was another large Catholic Cathedral. We headed on in to this one, and viewed the inside for a while. cat and ratMy favorite part was a small wall section dedicated to “The Cat and the Rat”. The story goes that the former was chasing the latter, and both got stuck in an organ pipe, and were mummified… So they have the mummified remains displayed on one of the walls. That leads us nicely into the crypt, which was below… and filled with a number of tombs to important people of the church/town, and the treasures of the church. Most notable among the treasures was the giant gold plates and Eucharist serving dishes given by the king. They were shiny.

Leaving that church, we hit St, Patrick’s Cathedral.. another giant church… this one had a giant park along side, where we hung out for a little bit, but soon we were back to walking.

We grabbed some food, and continued our walk to… [wait for it]… The Guinness Storehouse! And there was much rejoicing. We downed out food, and headed on in. Upon entering we were greeted by some lovely Guinness greeting ladies. I quickly became of the opinion that every place I enter should have a lovely greeter lady.. most notably my bedroom.

6/9 Dublin Hostel II

Anyway, I will be unable to do this place justice, but I enjoyed it very much. the bottom few floors had a full museum about the brewing process, Guinnessand the history of Guinness.. from the beer itself, to its transportation, to marketing/advertising/corporate identity/etc.. It was really really kewl. Up a few more floors, and we were in the gravity lounge, where we were given a “free” [with purchase of ticket, but considered free by us now, cause we’re morons] pint of Guiness… they even made the shape of a shamrock in the head of it.. it was sweet So you’re treated to a 360 view of the whole city of Dublin, while drinking down a delicious Guinness. it was great. Joel pointed out that the very center of the building itself (where the lifts were) formed a giant Guinness glass as well.. and it totally did. Very clever.

We headed off to the gift shop after downing our drinks.. Joel and I were on the lookout for gifts for people back home… but it turns out that if you don’t know what to get someone back in the states, it becomes doubly hard to pick out something elsewhere.. when you have a ton of crap to sift through, along with the idea that 1.) you gotta get this thing on the plane without breaking. 2.) you gotta fit this thing in your pack without leaving anything behind, and 3.) you gotta carry the damn thing the rest of the trip, unless you want to mail it home, in which case 4.) you gotta sell everything else you own to pay for shipping. Woo!

So… we ended up both getting shirts for ourselves. Hurray for us!

Leaving the storehouse, we headed out again, and walked for quite some ways before we got to the Museum of Modern art I will give that place this: it was better than the Serpentine one… Museum of Artbut not by much… this one we didn’t see much of, but what we did see didn’t impress me. One room was showing a video of a person dressed in an giant ant suit,, pretending to be like an ant.. the video lasted 37 minutes. I did not stay for much of it. Maye it got a ton better near the end, with lots of explosions and hot chicks. But I kinda doubt it. Next was a series of rooms filled with paintings of the same slightly ugly looking woman in various stages of undress… from fully clothes, to sitting down with her pantyhose around her kneees… to pants-less lying on a bed.. to just plain naked. Here’s the deal.. someone might be a decent painter.. but that doesn’t mean that what they’re painting doesn’t suck anyway. These paintings, for example, where kinda good in that I could recognize what the image was supposed to be (unless there was some whole other layer I was missing that DIDN’T just look like fairly crappy soft-core porn), but that doesn’t make that art good… I’m going to stick with my original impression: It sucked.. and sucked quite hard.

We left there fairly soon thereafter… and walked through a long grassy park which was quite nice, then headed off towards Stevenson’s Park, scummy lakeanother large grassy area with benches and some flower gardens/ponds/fountains. While sitting around there (we had walked around a LOT this day, and near the end we very much enjoyed the comfort of park benches) it began to we went under a gazebo for a little while, then it let up (it never got worse than a sprinkle) we found a bench by a pond (and a nasty nasty scum filled pond at that) and sat there, and watched people feed the birds/ducks. We stayed there for quite some time, relaxing and talking. Robb began asking questions about who the first person to ever sit down was.. and who was the first one to invent a chair.. etc.. Joel and I searched for someone to take Robb away.. but alas. No one came.

In time we decided to jet.. and began the long journey home. We eventually found a nice looking brewery/restaurant, and ate there.. Joel and I tried there house Porter, and I thought it tasted quite a bit like Guinness (though a bit more bitter, I thought). I got a giant bowl of Fettuccine, and it was delicious [I can’t believe I ate the whole thing]. Robb had Cod, and Joel had chicken

6/9 Dublin Hostel III

Joel also got the House Ale, and spilled that last bit of it on his pants. he was not pleased, and I laughed at him. When we left/were kicked out of there, we walked back to our place, and stopped off at an Internet cafe, where I updated my blog with a quick message about being in Dublin, sent off an email or two (if I didn’t send one to you, it means I obviously don’t love you), then checked work email, and the Cubs standings (they’re 3.5 games down, and in 4th place, and I blame everyone but me. I forgot to check how Prior did on his first day back. but I’m forced to believe he pitched perfect game, and batted for the natural cycle.

We finished up at the Internet Cafe, and headed back to the hostel, where I watched the contents of two beers quickly leave my body… then we took our showers, and that brings us up to right now.. Robb and Joel are asleep, so it’s time for me to turn this off and sleep as well. Tomorrow ought to be excellent.

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