Moving right along…Day two in Dublin….warning – there are a LOT of pictures in this one.
Friday was a bit better as far as weather was concerned. It didn’t rain quite so much and it tended to rain mostly while we were inside buildings. We had our own breakfast in the apartment and then made it out of there by at least 9am, not too bad. First we headed down to see Dublin Castle. Pretty neat and we had an amazing tour guide. Since it was a working government building, we had to take the tour – couldn’t just let us wander about. It’s amazing how young the Republic of Ireland actually is. They’ve really only had like eight presidents since they became independent. We learned some more about the Easter Rising events and what happened to the rebellion leaders. Oh, and some girl dropped her lens cap into this giant pit at the base of the old castle. I’ve been clutching mine with my life the whole time. So, after the castle we went back down to the tourist information center and bought Hop On/Off bus tour tickets to get around and get a better tour of town. J also found a nice polo shirt and I found an awesome gift for some of my friends [specific details of souvenir purchases have been removed from the online versions of all Europe postings in the interest of preserving the surprise]. =) We went down the street to the Starbucks to try the wifi on the camera again… No joy. Apparently this “eircom” runs the wifi and you have to pay. Well, my picture emailing camera doesn’t have any money. Boo – but they had ‘fresh’ sandwiches, so we bought lunch to eat on the bus. Went and waited for the next hop on/off from the company we went with. They have 2 colors of buses that go on the route – red and yellow. Red buses have audio listening guides you can pick up and listen to the tour in lots of languages, the yellow bus has the driver giving a live (English) audio tour. That’s the tour we started with – funny guy, very nice tour. Your pass is good for 24 hrs, although the bus only ran from 9am to 530pm, but you could ride one evening and then again the next morning. So we rode the bus for quite awhile and got to see a lot. Dublin has so much to see (as do most places) but you really have to figure out what you actually want to see and do. Some things you might just be happy to see the outside and say “that’s nice” and move on – other things you might really like to tour. Don’t just do something because you should – it’s your vacation. rant over.
Anyways, you can hop on and off the bus all day and it’s stops at about 20 popular sites. We made it to the Guinness Storehouse and went in to tour and get our “free” Guinness. Tour price (€15/person) = €30 -10% off for our bus pass = €28. That is not free beer. The brewery/storehouse was really neat though. I went crazy with my 50mm lens in there! Loved it. Plus, it was interesting too – I especially liked the 9,000 yr lease at £45 a year. That was a lot of fun and there were a lot of floors! Plus the Gravity Bar at the top had a great 360 degree view of Dublin. That was very nice. After that we hopped back on a red bus – which honestly I preferred the live tour on the yellow bus. Then we got off at Kilmainham Gaol (jail). This is most famous for housing the rebellion leaders from the 1916 Easter Rising. It was a cool old building and a great tour – learned a lot about prison design – reform ideas, etc. and learned a lot about the uprising and the leaders involved and how their executions (which took place at the jail) swayed public opinion in their favor. Very interesting stuff. Also, learned that the main cell block for this jail has been used in lots of movies and even a U2 video. After the tour it took for-ev-er for our “every 10 min” bus to come. we were going to tour more on the bus, but decided to get off at at stop near our apt. and walk back. We stopped back and then headed over to The Brazen Head, the oldest pub in Ireland. Apparently, part of the building of the pub has been operating since the 1100’s! Seriously. It was neat and had a great charm. Had bangers and mash and tried Hot Whiskey. Yummy Irish beverage. After dinner we headed back to the apartment to get ready for Saturday and our first day of driving!
I just loved their use of text throughout the whole tour.
This wasn’t me working on my tilt shift, these little models were really that tiny.
There was a wall where you could leave notes….clearly, someone was happy to be here.
Up in the Gravity Bar – the expert Guinness pourers.
Check out the view!
Touring the jail.
Memorial for the rebellion leaders where some were executed.
The Brazen Head
Until next time…. =)