Exploring Dublin

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November 3rd 2006
Published: November 4th 2006
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Millennium SpireMillennium SpireMillennium Spire

This is a nice landmark to use when wandering around the streets of Dublin with no real clue where you are.
The alarm on my phone went off at 6:30am so I could downstairs and put coins in the meter. We parked on the street overnight so as to avoid paying the €6 parking garage fee. The meters on our street cost about €2.70 an hour so either way it’s ridiculous. It is free between the hours of 7pm and 7am and I get to park in the street right out front. I didn’t even bother with a shower since they are located about four floors below our room and we didn’t think to bring a towel. We left Billie and Matt snoozing in their bunk and told them that we’d link up around noon at the Millennium Spire. We checked out the hostel’s free breakfast in the basement and it wasn’t anything to write home about so I’m not going to. Lots of young things down there, that’s all I can say. I think this is like a mid-term break for some college students because I heard them talking about it on the radio. And except for the accents, their radio programs sound just like ours.

There was a brochure for the Dublin Pass downstairs when we turned in our
March 17th Around the WorldMarch 17th Around the WorldMarch 17th Around the World

A very true statement. On what day does everyone claim to be American? None that I can think of...
linen so we headed for the nearest tourism office to buy it. They offer free admission to over thirty venues in town, to include several that we wanted to see so we figured that it was a bargain in the long run. Each card cost us €29 and we picked up a pocket map and an Ireland umbrella. We also stopped into a mart and bought an all-day bus pass for the low price of €5. By the time I leave this town, I’ll be a pro at getting around, on foot and by car.

Our first stop was the cheap internet center at the corner of Gardiner Street where we did the webcam geocache last night. I posted last night’s blog and checked my email real quick. Kara sent me pictures of the kids from Halloween and I miss my girls so much! It looks like they had lots of fun without me. We’ll have fun next year though.

Armed with a Dublin Pass and bus pass each, we set off for our first venue, the Trinity College. There was no way I was going to visit Dublin without seeing the famous Book of Kells. Unfortunately, it
The Guinness GroupThe Guinness GroupThe Guinness Group

We, the tourists, all took turns taking pictures of each other's groups. At least we didn't get our heads cut off in this one and you can see the sign above our heads.
was not one of our prepaid attractions so there was another €16 out of our pocket. The exhibit was absolutely beautiful though, no damn photography or video cameras though!! How can I ever hope to capture the sheer beauty of it through words alone? The Old Library itself is a true miracle. It is a long hall with book shelves stacked two stories high and every single inch is filled with old, old books. I wanted to take a picture to bring home and show my literary friends because my words are not enough. I guess they have received a copy of every single Irish and British book printed since 1801. Most remarkable was a Latin copy of the first edition of Dante’s The Divine Comedy. I was just awed the whole way through. In the bookstore, I bought a couple postcards and a celtic art puzzle. Hopefully AshLee will help me put it together and then I can have it framed for the wall.

We walked back to the Spire about 11:30am to meet up with Matt and Billie. Just as we were about to give up and walk to our car, Matt walked down to meet us.
The Rooftops of DublinThe Rooftops of DublinThe Rooftops of Dublin

In the Guinness Storehouse, the Sky Bar is located on the 7th floor. It is all glassed in so you can see around Dublin with a 360 view.
They bought their tickets and we struck out for the Guinness Storehouse. The price of admission was included in our Dublin Pass but it normally ran about €14 so that was a good save. They gave us a plastic bauble that had a bubble of Guinness beer in it and a black plastic ring on the back that could be exchanged for a pint of Guinness beer. It was a really informative tour, I will admit that I’ve never been on a brewery tour before so I have nothing to compare it to. I took tons of pictures and videotaped it for Autum to watch. The Sky Bar up on the 7th floor had an awesome view of the Dublin city for as far as I could see.

“We” decided to walk to our next location: the Old Jameson Distillery. My feet were absolutely killing me for some reason. I think it is the uneven cobblestones so my ankles are having to work harder to keep me from falling. I love to walk around but I was not wearing the proper footwear. I needed to wear hiking boot style shoes but I had on my brown boots with heels.
Robert Sipping His WhiskeyRobert Sipping His WhiskeyRobert Sipping His Whiskey

We all got a free sample shot of Jameson Whiskey after the tour. Let's just say that Robert took his with cranberry juice.
Note to self: bring many pairs of shoes on vacation. This was an equally interesting tour so we got lots more pictures but no videotape. The two main differences between Irish and American whiskey is that theirs is triple distilled and ours is only once, they age their whiskey in aged, used casks and we use new casks so they absorb the wood flavors. I did enjoy the shot of whiskey I got, Robert had to drink his mixed with cranberry juice, lol. Maybe he’s still getting over his fun the other night.

After that, we struck out to find food and finally stopped at Kavda’s, a Russian restaurant in front of the “Hags with Bags” statue. Robert and I had Caesar salads, chips, potato wedges, and soup. I was pretty hungry though. After that, our last stop was the Bram Stoker experience on the far side of town. Robert has been our navigator and somehow, he told us to get off the bus several stops too soon so we had to wait around and get back on the next one. It was not what I expected at all. In the first place, it is located on the grounds
Krystal Throwing Back Her WhiskeyKrystal Throwing Back Her WhiskeyKrystal Throwing Back Her Whiskey

I guess all those years of practice in the bar finally paid off. I downed mine in one gulp. And actually, their whiskey really is smoother. Not to shabby, too bad I'm not really a whiskey drinker.
of a private club that contains a gym, swimming pool, dance club, arcade, etc. I also didn’t know some many fascinating details about Bram Stoker. He was an actor, director, writer, didn’t walk until he was 7 years old, etc. He wooed his wife Florence away from Oscar Wilde and he was born right here in Dublin. I’ll have to look him up when I get back home and see what type of books he wrote. I have always avoided Dracula because I don’t like vampires and the like. We just barely missed the bus as we were coming out so we waited around for what felt like forever for the next bus. When one didn’t come, we started to walk down into town where it was busier and try to catch another one. Wouldn’t you know, Murphy sent our bus along about that time and since we weren’t at a designated stop, he just blew right by us, that nice, warm, double-decker bus.

We had to check into a different room, three sets of bunk beds. I already met one of our roommates, a young man from Paris, France. The absent one appears to be a female from
Double Decker BusDouble Decker BusDouble Decker Bus

We finally managed to catch the two level bus to ride around on. Robert and I sat in the front seat so we could see everything, including those low bridges coming right at us. But I had faith in my driver...
somewhere. I’m sure she’ll come in tonight just when I’ve fallen asleep.

Additional photos below
Photos: 8, Displayed: 8


Bram Stoker's DraculaBram Stoker's Dracula
Bram Stoker's Dracula

Our last adventure of the night included a visit to Bram Stoker's Experience and their haunted house tour.

4th November 2006

Krystal Throwing Down the Whiskey
Way to make Robert look like a complete girl (adding the fufu to his whiskey) he is not going to survive a Loverin Family Reunion at that rate....Thank god I wont be prego at the next one, all I could think about last one was trying to get out and get a drink or two up on Uncle Fred.....
5th November 2006

Sounds like I am missing out on a fantastic place. I will have to check out Dublin at some point :) I love the pic of the roofs, that's awesome...and to get to drink Guiness at the same time? Oh la la :) Love you!! Hope you are having lots of fun, it sounds like you are. Miss you!
5th November 2006

Loving the blogs!
It sounds like you are having a blast. I'm really enjoying reading everything. You'll have to bring back lots of brochures and recommendations for me. The kids and i are going over in the summer of 2008...Oh, and Hayley says to bring her back a cute Irish boy! LOL

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