Wednesday, July 8, 2015

First Full Day in Dublin (2015 Summer Adventure Part 6)

Disclaimer: The main reason for these posts is to remember our trip in the summer of 2015. There will probably be too many details and lots of parenthetic statements. Feel free to scroll through and just look at pictures. Also, I teach math - not writing.

Our first full 24 hour day in Dublin was FULL!  Ian woke up around 5am and took a shower.  He hung out in the community room until 7am - planning our day and researching fun things to do.  I woke up around 5:30am and went for a 4 mile run along the river.  When I got done, we ate the free breakfast provided by the hostel - bread, cereal, juice, and coffee.  After breakfast, I took a shower and we got organized for the day.

We set off to Starbucks and had a real cup of coffee.  We decided what we wanted to do for the day.  We walked to Guiness factory and bought our ticket for the day.  (If I remember correctly, they only sell so many tickets per day.  Once you have the admission ticket, you can enter at any time.)  I filled my water bottle in their restroom. (This happened constantly on our trip - find a place for Alissa to get some water.)  Once we had our tickets (that cost 36 euros) we headed back across town to Trinity College.  On our way there, we stopped in a grocery store and bought some cheese, a smoothie, and a scone.  The small shop had a lot of carbs - crackers, bread, etc and dairy.

We were only interested in part of Trinity College and that was the Long Room and Book of Kells.  The intro exhibits to the Book of Kells were interesting and informative.  The viewing room of the Book of Kells was unfortunate.  (The Book of Kells is an (overly?) illustrated book of the Gospels in Latin from around 800 - if this trip was anything, it was a history lesson).  People stood around the display and looked and did NOT move.  I thought some assertive pace-setters would have been helpful.  We got a couple of glances at it (no pictures allowed).  I got frustrated so we headed upstairs to the Long Room.
The Long Room looked like a Harry Potter Room
The coolest thing on display was a harp.  It is the oldest harp in Ireland and the design for Ireland's seal/symbol was based on the shape of the harp.  The second coolest thing was a parchment calling the citizens of Ireland to freedom in 1916.
Oldest Harp in Ireland 
The Long Room housed 200,000 of the oldest books of Trinity College.  They had busts of famous figures such Plato and Irish statesmen in front of each bookshelf.  They also had displays down the middle of the room.  The Hobbit was on display and categorized under Norse Myth.  We finished exploring the Long Room and headed to the Dublin Castle.
Dublin Castle - bust (for us).  We used the restroom, looked around, and headed out.  We decided to grab some lunch and went to Bobo's.  I had a full Irish breakfast - YUM! Ian had The Dubliner burger - it had a special sauce and good fries.  I will forever be a fan of Irish and English breakfasts!  They usually include bacon and ham, eggs, tomato, baked beans, and bread.  Bobo's was my childhood dream come true - there were murals of cows on the wall and cowhide on the back of the benches.  It was a fun restaurant.  We were both a bit tired at the end of the lunch (jet lag?).
We walked to St. Patrick's (THEE Saint Patrick's Cathedral).  We did not want to pay to go inside, so we sat outside in the park and took pictures.  The park was nice, the church was pretty.  We saw the well where Saint Patrick used to baptize people in the 5th Century.
We started to meander towards the Guinness Factory.  We stopped in several thrift store on our way, but did not find any gems.  One thing I learned while living in Korea - don't just do the tourist-y things.  Walk into small shops, look into the barber's, peruse the post office - try to take in the ordinary along with the extraordinary.  It reinforces the idea that the way they do things in other countries and cultures is not necessarily good or bad, just different.
The Guinness Storehouse is a seven story building where we learned about the brewing process.  It was a really well done museum (I don't know if museum is the right word to use, but it is the best I can come up with).  It is a self-guided tour of each stage of the brewing process - which is scientific and has changed over the years.  It was interactive and engaging.  We skipped the Tasting Room where you learn how to pour (from a tap) the perfect pint.  The tour ends on the seventh floor with a free pint and a 360 degree view of the city.
On our way back towards the hostel, we stopped in St. Augustine and St. John the Baptist Cathedral (the longest name ever?).  We voted (lit an electric candle) and prayed to Jesus.  We hope Jesus wins.  In our experience, Mary usually does.  We ate dinner at Apache Pizza for dinner - Hawaiian pizza.  It was odd to us that a restaurant in Ireland is named after a Native American Tribe.  The pizza was only 10 euros - we felt like it was a good deal.  We headed to the hostel, checked our email, and went to bed between 7-8pm.  We were exhausted.

What a full day! Looking back, I am impressed with how much we did in a day.  I made a note that the weather was windy and chilly.  If the sun was out, it was comfortable.  I also made a note about how good the coffee shop music is in Ireland.  It is from 10-15 years ago, but far superior to American coffee shop music.

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