Ireland Travelogue – Day Three

September 14, 2009

“They build walls everywhere to keep the vikings out.”

We slept in until about 10:15, then skipped breakfast and went straight to the Old Jameson Distillery. Andy thought he had lost his credit card that morning and was stressing out quite a bit, I wasn’t stressing… there was no money on it anyways, but it was in my wallet.

We left for the distillery and walked along the tram tracks. We just missed the first tour, so we browsed the shop, looked over the touch screen exhibits, and sat in the cafe-like area. Greg wouldn’t let me go to the all Jameson bar while we waited… party pooper. We waited about 30 minutes for the tour to start. The tour guide had a very cool German-Irish accent. We watched a video and then they asked for volunteers to be official whiskey-tasters. Diana had warned us about this the night before, so Andy was in the front and volunteered very quickly. The tour was very nice even though the distillery was no longer located here and had been moved to southern Ireland. We learned all about casks and malt and triple-distilling. They enjoyed talking up their product. At the end, Andy got to try an American, Scotch, and Irish whiskey to say which one was the best.  Shots of whiskey for breakfast aren’t as delicious as they sound. We also got a complimentary whiskey. I chose to drink mine with cranberry and Andy elected for Ginger Ale (after his three shots). Apparently, in Spain they drink theirs with Coca-Cola but in New York they drink it with Coke. Make of that what you will.

Breakfast of Champions!

Breakfast of Champions!

After our whiskey for breakfast (Andy said mine was more acceptable for breakfast because it “had fruit”) we decided it would probably be a good idea to eat something. We went to a place called the Voodoo Club Cafe. I had a “deuces” which apparently means “tuna melt” and Andy had the Voodoo chicken sandwich. It was an Internet cafe, so we checked our Internets.

Then we walked what seemed like (to me, at least) forever along the river until we got to Phoenix Park. It was a pretty extensive place and there were a lot of young people on their way to the Coldplay concert (that Danny said he was going to.) We weren’t sure if we were going to be able to meet our plans for the day and make it to both the gaol and the Zoo, but we went into the Zoo anyway. I have been to a lot of nice Zoos and going to them always reminds me of my ex-wife, so this one didn’t impress me too much. Andy has only really been to the National Zoo in DC, so it was good for him. He used it to practice his photography skills. He got some nice shots. The last part was under construction, so we headed out.  The elephants were freakin’ sweet!  Two of them kept ganging up on a smaller one until they finally pushed him into the wading pond.  It was beautiful weather for Ireland but still not quite swimming weather which I assume is why the elephant bolted out as fast as he could.  Also I found out it is very difficult to take pictures of playful seals while they swim… so many deleted photos of blurry water that day!

Some of Andy's best shots from the Zoo.

Some of Andy's best shots from the Zoo.

Even though we weren’t sure we could make the gaol in time, we stopped at the Wellington Memorial. There was a cute dog there with a soccer ball and lots of people playing. The monument was large and impressive, but not as big an obelisk as the Washington Monument if I can judge these things correctly.  Always talkin’ smack about the monuments.  It was an awesome obelisk because it had big slanty stairs you could climb and sit on around it.

Wellington Monument in Phoenix Park

Wellington Monument in Phoenix Park

After a nice ten minute break, we started another looong walk wussy to the Kilmainham Gaol. We actually walked about three blocks past it and had to backtrack. We made it there 5 minutes before the last (6 o’clock) tour.  Just as I has planned.

The tour guide at the gaol I quite fancied. She liked to tell incredibly sad stories about the gaol’s history tinged with nationalist fervor. Things like: people being executed after only being able to spend 10 minutes with their new wives and such. I like women who are sad and political. Anyway, the gaol was very exciting and impressive and played an important role in the Irish Independence movements of the early 20th century.

I couldn’t stand any more walking so we took the double-decker Dublin Bus back down Thomas Street to the Temple Bar. We hadn’t explored that area too much, so we decided to eat there and looked for a restaurant. We decided to try something foreign since we had been partaking of mostly Irish fare. We stopped into a Tandoori restaurant where we got the “early bird” special at 6:30PM (again, when do these people eat?) We were the first ones there.

We turned in early as we knew the next day would be a driving day. We stayed up until 9:15 watching TV shows about Irish history on what seemed like their version of PBS.

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