Ireland Travelogue – Day Two

September 13, 2009

“This entire country was designed for people 20 centimeters shorter than me.”

This day was a lot of walking. We woke up at 9ish and we bought the full breakfast in the hotel for €10. Andy had pudding that tasted like meat.  I highly recommend the full Irish breakfast.  Nothing like bacon, blood pudding, eggs, toast, fruit, yogurt, sausage, juice, and coffee to get your day of marathon walking going. I ate mostly yogurt and eggs, not sure what state my stomach would be in.

We went to Trinity College first, and walked around it several city blocks looking for the entrance. Andy wanted to go in the entrance to the Dental School but I thought better of it, so we continued going around. You wouldn’t even let us go in the second entrance that would have taken us to the Book…eventually. The whole place had very high walls around it preventing you from seeing anything at all, really. It also had a train track running through it which reminded me of my alma mater, Grinnell College.

When we finally found the entrance and went in, we saw the Book of Kells and its respective museum (the only place in Dublin that didn’t accept the Dublin Pass). The exhibit was very nice and informative, and the book itself was beautiful, but we couldn’t read it since it was in Latin (duh!) We walked out to the college grounds and listened in to a tour guide who was explaining about “Gielguds,” fluent speakers of the Irish language. According to him, they were an “insufferable people.” They are insufferable people… bah. All the buildings around us were hundreds of years old. They were the notably oldest parts of the college, and the guide said they were mainly used for dormitories and administrative offices.

Class was indeed in session.

Class was indeed in session.

After leaving the college, we took a walk down Grafton Street, a walking avenue with shops where they have some street performances. There were some very excellent human statues, including one really amazing one who I believe was supposed to look like Winston Churchill.

At the end of Grafton Street is St. Stephen’s Green, a very nice park near the city center. It was a beautiful day: 75 degrees, no clouds in the sky, a nice breeze. We relaxed on the green a bit and did some people watching. I had worn shorts that day and I was very comfortable, which was lucky since apparently shorts are not something one often wears in this country.  This was the best part of Dublin.  The rest was a city… and cities suck.

Two views of Andy relaxing on St. Stephen's Green

Two views of Andy relaxing on St. Stephen's Green

Next we went to St. Patrick’s Cathedral which was a lot like Christ Church but less old and with a lot of information about Jonathan Swift, who was a dean of the church and who was buried there. It also had a very nice green outside of it with posted rules that there was no ball-playing allowed, but of course tons of kids were kicking a soccer ball around, and who would be able to resist it on such a nice day?

We walked a block north to Dublin Castle, (it wasnt a castle) which was also a palace and an administration center for the Irish government. We waited in the waiting area for the guided tour. A saucy gentleman gave us the tour through palace rooms, courtyards, and an archaeological site with excavations of the base of one of the now-defunct towers.  It was very disappointing, no guards, cannons, or parapets.  It could barely be defined as a castle.  I felt like I couldve laid siege to it.

I don't know if these guards for Dublin Castle were quite up to the task.

I don't know if these guards for Dublin Castle were quite up to the task.

We returned to Grafton St. via our favorite Thomas St. and ate at Captain America’s Restaurant and Bar. Andy had a gravy burger and I had a veggie enchilada with chips. I left a tip even though we didn’t think we were supposed to.  Look at that sign.  How could we not eat there.  It was like Shennanigans with all the goofy crap it had on the walls.  Plus with Captain Americas as the theme it felt like we were eating in the U.S. embassy.

We wanted to see what they think American food is like.  They got close, but not exactly right.

We wanted to see what they think American food is like. They got close, but not exactly right.

After Captain America’s, we went back to St. Stephen’s and checked out the South side (this is how beautiful the day was, relaxing on the green was the perfect pastime.) There was some kind of Hare Krishna festival going on with a guy playing the ukulele and a dancing puppet. We stayed a while and watched people play “football.” A group of kids with balloon swords came out of nowhere and milled around a bit before seeing another similar group of kids across the green. They started running towards each other and one enterprising child yelled “Dirty Celts!” at the other group. It was an epic battle, like something out of Braveheart. After the battle subsided, we sunbathed a bit more.

We thought about going to a hotel for Irish dancing far to the south where our Dublin Passes would get us a CD and a glass of champagne for free, but instead we decided to head back to our hotel where there was also Irish dancing.  I still miss the CD that got away…

On the way back to the hotel, we saw a very cool street band playing. Andy wanted to buy their CD but he had absolutely no money.  Rub it in why dont you…

I like the hat the drummer is wearing.

I like the hat the drummer is wearing.

We went to listen to the Irish music and watch the Irish dancing in the basement of our hotel. We met some people there: Danny, a Quebecois, and Diana, an Aussie. They were staying in a hostel in Dublin and had come to see the dancing too. Diana was doing a round-the-world trip and Danny had been in Ireland for a month and a half traveling around. Apparently he had no money and all he had left was a plane ticket home and a Coldplay concert ticket the next day, which I thought was hardcore. Andy got Diana to take our picture and then asked her to e-mail it to me (he knows all the tricks, although it didn’t seem to’ve worked.) We also met Anne and Katy, Americans going for study abroad in Cork for a semester. We went upstairs to the pub after the dancing ended and ended up hanging out with Danny and Diana ’til about 2 in the morning. Andy was very sloshed. Well, you know, when in Rome… We got fried food at a restaurant called Eddie Rocket’s and then went to sleep.

Here is a map of where we went on this our second day:


One Response

  1. I guess you missed out on two CDs that day!

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