My favorite picture of the Irish countryside

09 June 2009

Ireland Trip Day 2

The morning of day 2 we discovered that just because Ireland is famous for its breakfasts doesn't mean their hotels serve them. Our breakfasts at almost every hotel consisted of Cornflakes, Rice Krispies, Weetabix, and some sort of bread. Tea and coffee were also available (as they were everywhere).
Our first activity of the day was a bus tour of Dublin. We had a day tour guide, Sally, who explained some of the things we saw around the city. We saw lots of Georgian architecture, which is very prominent in Dublin. The Georgian doors are a famous site because of the different colors and knockers of the doors. The reason, Sally claimed, for the different colors was for the men who got "confused" after spending the night in the pub, and confused a different door with their own (along with a different bed and a different wife). The women's solution to this problem was to paint the doors different colors. When the problem persisted, the men claimed they were colorblind! :) We also saw the ha'penny bridge (pedestrians had to pay a half penny to cross the bridge, which spanned the River Liffey), the Molly Malone statue, a.k.a. the Tart with the Cart (a very busty interpretation of the figure in the song Molly Malone), and The Phoenix Park (a very large park that holds the President of Ireland's house, the U.S. Ambassadors house, and the cross erected for Pope John Paul II's mass in Dublin). We stopped at St. Patrick's Cathedral and had a guided tour provided by Sally. Some people of interest here were: Jonathan Swift (Gulliver's Travels) and the Boyle family (think Boyle's law in chemistry).
Our next stop was Trinity College (my favorite place in Dublin). This was mainly to see the Book of Kells. Book of Kells, pretty, old, cool, but then you go upstairs. The first time I walked in, I said, "It's the Beauty and the Beast library!" It has floor to ceiling books (2 floors), the oldest harp in Ireland, and is simply freaking awesome. George Lucas used the image (without the permission of Trinity, big no-no) in Attack of the Clones for the Jedi Library.
Some had considered paying for a Castles and Cathedrals Tour after the bus tour. Since I knew where the things on the tour were and we'd already been to St. Patrick's, I led people around. First we went to my favorite fish and chips place in Dublin (they give you a bag of fish and chips the size of a small child...Ashley and I shared). We sat on a wall in front of Christchurch Cathedral to eat, and fed pigeons chips throughout that time (I was entertained by the pigeons, as usual). We then proceeded to tour Christchurch where I reminisced about playing in the Cathedral last year and experienced the crypt (very cool). I then walked a group down the street so we could see where Handel's Messiah was first performed. Granted, the building is no longer there, but there is a plaque outside commemorating the event. We then went to Dublin Castle and took a guided tour. I enjoyed the tour partly because I have become obsessed with the movie Michael Collins (great movie) so I enjoyed seeing the actual Dublin Castle. We also saw an area of the original castle structure that had recently been excavated.
Our dinner was at a pub called the Portobello in Dublin. The main problem with this venue was the fact that there was a football (soccer) match between Manchester United and Barcelona. I think there were people hovering behind me just waiting til I left the entire time I was eating. We thought we should of auctioned our seats off! That night Ashley, my Uncle Pat's niece, Manda, and I went down to the pub at the hotel. It was so packed because of the match, but it was fun! Barcelona won, but the ManU fans didn't riot too much. The best part of the experience was a drunk guy who wanted us to come to a karaoke bar with him and his friends and thought Manda was Ashley and I's ma. It was entertaining.

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