Day of History


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Europe » Ireland » County Dublin » Dublin
July 25th 2007
Published: June 22nd 2017
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Geo: 53.3441, -6.26749

Before beginning today's entry, we have to make a slight adjustment from yesterday. On the way back from listening to some great traditional Irish music, it rained on us. So, we did have to pull out the umbrellas.

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We decided to start today by splitting up for the first time. Jake and Jeannette headed to the National Library to try and dig up some old potatoes (that would be family history research), while Rich and Barb took a historical walking tour led by a Trinity College history graduate. No luck on the potatoes, but Rich and Barb learned quite a bit. Barb adds that this was a very typical Dust vacation day because there was a lot of history and very little food.

We regrouped for tea just as the rain started to fall on an otherwise very sunny, warm day. By the time we finished tea, the rain had stopped and the sun was back out for the duration of the day.

And then we walked. And walked. And walked some more. Our weary feet led us to the Kilmainham Gaol (jail), where many political prisoners were held and fourteen were executed as a result of the Easter uprising of 1916. Their executions made them into martyrs that essentially helped galvanize the mainstream population and foment the independence movement that was ultimately successful by 1922. The gaol was dark, dank, and full of terrible stories. Once threatened by bulldozers, it was rebuilt and refurbished by volunteers over many years, including several men who had once been imprisoned there.

It has become clear to us over the course of this trip, as mentioned previously, that there is more tension in an otherwise "united" kingdom than we had ever realized. The Scots, Welsh, and Irish all still harbor resentment toward the English and in many respects, consider themselves independent countries (true in the case of Ireland's 23 southern counties).

Our second to last stop today was St. James' Gate, home of the Guinness brewery, billed as the largest brewery in the world. As it turns out, 67% of the black liquid produced there is exported! (Perhaps this is why Guinness is cheaper in the U.S.) The place reminded us of Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory.

Next, it was off to our last supper at a place called the Irish Quay. Dinner included grilled salmon on boxty, mushroom and beef stew, lamb shank, and Dublin coddle with potato and leek soup. Once again we struck gold. It was "real good."

From Ireland it is now time to sign out for the last time. What an amazing, fun, and educational adventure! We hope you've enjoyed reading and look forward to seeing you all very soon.

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