I purchased a ticket on a hop-on/hop-off bus to see some parts of Dublin that I didn’t get to yesterday. The main interests were Dublin Zoo, Guinness Storehouse and Kilmainham Gaol. I decided to ride the loop once before getting off to see the sights. I made it as far as the Kilmainham Gaol before deciding to get off and check it out.
I just didn’t know what to expect with the Gaol. I have to admit that I was surprised how much I enjoyed (feels like the wrong word?) my tour of the Kilmainham Gaol. I spent about twenty minutes in the museum while waiting for the tour to begin. It was eye-opening to see the displays; the ounces of food per day for the prisoners, what the prisoners did to end up in jail, the reformations of the jails. The tour started and we went through the old parts and new parts of the jail. I can’t imagine being sentenced to be there for even 24 hours.
More importantly were the stories about the different uprisings, most noteably the Easter uprising in 1916 and the different people involved. So many interesting stories of men and women.
Now Rob, ignore this next paragraph. When we watched the video at the start of the tour they showed pictures of the different men who were executed as part of the Easter uprising. One of the pictures looked just like Gary Lightbody (from Snow Patrol)… it was one of the Pearse brothers. For those of you who care, check out these links: http://www.westlandrowcbs.com/ImageFetch.ashx?Size=2&ImageID=18 and http://www.freewebs.com/padraigmor/willie%20pearse.gif and let me know what you think. Am I nuts?? I just kept thinking, “I wonder if he’s a descendent of the patriotic and passionate Pearse brothers?” OK, enough of my crazy thoughts.
After the jail I came out with a decided chill to my bones. I hopped on the bus that went to the Dublin Zoo, but I decided not to visit it because it was freezing and time was ticking. I still had to do another loop to end up at the Guinness Storehouse and do my tour there, plus get back to Dun Laoghaire in time to pick up my clean laundry.
So after about 45 minutes (I guess?) I ended up back at Guinness and went inside. It was amazing to see the displays they have. They actually had a huge pool filled with barley that you could dip your hands in and smell it. I worked my way through the exhibits on the preparation of the beer and then looked at all the memorabilia. Finally I ended up at the Gravity Bar to get my free pint (oh, we were able to visit the tasting room and have about 1/4 pint of guinness)… it was tasty:)
After Guinness I needed to get back to Tara Station as quickly as possible to catch the train back to my town. I have been looking forward to clean laundry for a couple days now, and I didn’t want to arrive at the laundrette to find it closed. Thankfully, after practically running up the hill from the train station, I got there before it closed. I ended up having about a 10 minute conversation with the man working there and it was so enjoyable. He suggested that I use a free afternoon and take the DART to Dalkey (town about 15 min south) to check it out. Apparently it’s a lovely town plus it has a castle in the town. So I might do that Sunday afternoon. I don’t know.
I booked my trip to Northern Ireland. I’m going for the day on Monday. I just need to find an internet cafe to print out my voucher for the trip. I don’t have a printer with me, such is life…
Dinner was Indian food at the restaurant called Shakira. The appetizer of crisp bread thing with sauces, samosas, aloo gobi , basmati rice and naan bread. It was delicious.
I’m off to soak in a nice hot bubble bath and then hit the sack. I need to wake up earlier today to get to Trinity College for the first tour of the day. Plus I need to visit the visitor centre to book my shuttle bus out to Newgrange (don’t need a whole tour and already have a Heritage card to cover my admission to the site). I’m planning on going Tuesday morning. I’ll let you know how it works out.