So after the Arthur’s Day festivities, we had actual work to do and places to see. Even though Dublin was small enough to walk places, we were lazy Americans. So we purchased a two day ticket for a “hop on-hop off” bus tour around the city. It took us to all the important places that we needed to go. The first place we got off at was Trinity College. The campus was massive and covered in luscious green lawns and trees. Class was in session and it was difficult to get in the buildings without paying a price. For example, to see the Book of Kells (a gold printed version of the four gospels) you would have to pay nine Euros to even get inside. One thing I will say about Dublin is that it is waaaay more expensive than London. That was probably the worst thing about the city (the price not Trinity).
After that, we made our way to the Guinness Storehouse, as if we hadn’t consumed enough of it the night before. By this point it had started to rain and none of us were prepared for it. We used our Dublin maps to cover our heads, but quickly realized that that was a pretty dumb idea. We got inside the storehouse and got our tickets. The tour started off with seeing the 9,000 year lease for the store house signed by Guinness himself. He certainly was confident that his business would last that long. Anyway, we went through the facilities, seeing the elements that made the beer and the different advertisements the company has used. At the very top, we were treated to a free pint overlooking the entire city. The Gravity Bar as it was called was packed with people looking out the windows. You could see the mountains from which the company got their water from in the distance. It was beautiful.
I was the only one who finished their pint before we made our way back down and out. The rain had luckily stopped and we boarded the bus again to Kilmainham Gaol, a prison made back in the 1700s that played an important role in Irish rebellion. In the beginning, the Irish would imprison people for petty injustice like stealing for upwards of 10 years. Our guide even told us that a five year old was sentenced there for riding a trolley without paying. Another prisoner was about to be executed, but wanted to properly marry his fiance before he died. An hour prior to his death, they were wed in the prison chapel. The couple only had 20 minutes together. It was a moving experience as we walked through the prison, looking in the cells and walking around the panopticon central chamber. You could feel the history everywhere.
After that, the sun had come out. Our feet were exhausted so we decided to get some coffee and ride the bus around the city, listening to the voice over describe everything. Dublin really is a beautiful city. I actually liked it better than London to be honest. I would definitely want to live there aside from the fact it’s so expensive. Once we got off the bus, we spent the rest of the day shopping and walking around before we had to leave the next day. Sunday morning was apparently protest day and the main street was filled with protesters for women’s rights, abortion rights, socialism and more. It was quite the sight. This one picket sign definitely struck us in the…well see for yourself.
The ride home took a while, but we made it nonetheless. And to mine and my roommates surprise (disgust maybe?) our host brother was still blasting house music.