Dublin

Marguerite and Wayne arrived in the morning from their overnight flight from Ottawa and we met them around supper time. They had already picked up a few grocery items and been to “Against the Grain” for lunch – one of the 751 pubs in Dublin. We started off in another pub for dinner until we realized that there was no food to be had so went back to “Against the Grain” for fish and chips and burgers (and beer – and wine).

The next day we took a walk up Grafton Street, heading to get tickets to the hop-on-hop off.

Along the way we stopped at Bewley’s Cafe and Theatre. We walked up the four floors of the coffee shop to the live theatre area (tourists going into places they really shouldn’t be). One thing about the Irish though – never an angry voice and often a joke.

Across the river to North Dublin, there were a few more people.

The hop-on-hop off is a live performance rather one of the canned ones you usually get and the drivers have a wonderful sense of humour.

Around one-ish we started getting hungry and it started to rain so we stopped for lunch at “The Bank on College Green” – now a pub instead of a bank with an interesting past.

The portions were enough to feed a small family so none of us quite finished.

When we left the restaurant, it had stopped raining so we continued on our tour. Eventually it started raining again and by the time we walked back to our apartment it was pouring. Welcome to Ireland.

The next day we headed out over to Trinity College and signed up for a tour. Our guide was a graduate and had lots of interesting stories. Notice the robe below. Prior to 1973 it was mandatory to wear the robe when attending classes. I can imagine our friend Chris walking around in the robe. After 1973 it became optional which meant that after that no one would be caught dead warning the robe (unless you were giving a tour).

It is a beautiful campus. Today there are about 17,000 students covering everything except architecture and veterinary science. Part of the land was reclaimed and some of the early buildings fell down multiple times and had to be rebuilt – hence (according to our guide) the lack of an architecture faculty.

After the guided tour we went into the library to see the Book of Kell’s (9th century gospels according to those 4 guys Mark …) and the Long Room (picture below) – the inspiration for the Hogwarts Library in Harry Potter books.

Also included was an ancient harp – a logo for Guinness and also a symbol of Ireland (reversed to avoid copyright issues).

Speaking of Guinness. Here in Canada we have oil tankers. In Ireland, they have Guinness tankers.

After visiting Trinity College we had lunch and then headed over to see the Famine Memorial on the banks of the river Liffey and then visit the EPIC museum (which covered all of the emigration from Ireland – of which there was a lot). It was very well done but was also Epic in length leaving us exhausted.

I’m going to leave Dublin for now although we still have another day (of rain) and are intending to go over the O’Donoghue’s Bar tonight to listen to the Irish music. I’m not sure how or whether we will survive the evening so I think I had better publish this now.

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