14.10.2006 - 16.10.2006 10 °C
I didn’t think we would ever get there but we did, yeah. Delays at Heathrow were unbelievable due to fog. But we finally got there and found our digs. We stayed at the Oliver St James Gogerty Hotel which was really quiet nice. We managed to get a lovely 4 bedroom mixed dorm so not too much noise from other travellers.
Once we settled in we adventured off to see Dublin. We found the Dublin Castle which is really a big fortress. We then wandered around and found Christ Church Cathedral, and the Dublin City Hall. All of the buildings around here have a strong Roman feel to them with their huge cement pillars out the front. We then ran out of time as all the attractions in Dublin close at 5pm except for the Bram Stoker experience, so we headed off there and yes we got lost. Dublin doesn’t really have very good signage but after walking around for an hour we finally found the back of the train station and headed out to see what the Bram Stoker experience was all about.
Slightly out of the way and not really worth seeing unless you are really a Bram Stoker or Dracula freak, which I am. It is basically a walk through Bram Stokers life and then through the story of Dracula, which Bram is most famous for. The walk was informative and then changes to cheesy/scary wax museum.
Day 2 saw a reasonably early start. We wandered the main street and like London nothing opens before 10 am on Sundays so just had to settle for stodgy breakfast thinking that I would be able to get back before the shops closed but unfortunately not, oh well just more shops I would have spent more money in.
We caught the Train out to Malahide to see the Malahide Castle, fantastic looking old castle sitting on acres and acres of lush green fields, truly what you would imagine a castle to look like, well just like the movies anyway. I suppose it is reasonably small for a castle be still very impressive. We had a look around inside but as the reception was closed for an hour we were unable to see if they do guided tours and decided to keep going.
We watched a bit of local football (soccer) which was being played not far from the castle and then headed to the other side of town the see the Kilmainham Gaol, wow so much history in that jail and yes we got lost again not in the jail on our way. I can’t believe some of the stuff they told us on the guided tour. Children as young as 8 were sent there and then shipped over to Aus without their parents, all fro stealing a loaf of bread or a couple of eggs in a famine. Some really tragic stuff, through the potato famine so many people died in the gaol that there were mass graves inside the jail walls were they buried them and sprinkle some lime stuff which totally disintegrates the bones and away they go again burying more people in the same place. They told us that every single square foot of the exercising courtyards had had people buried under it that’s, how many people died. Yuck. I thought I should lift our spirits by stepping out for a traditional Irish dinner and a few pints while listening to some fantastic Irish music.
Day 3, Monday we headed to the Trinity college which we had walked past previously but we went in, really nice old buildings in there, everything is so old in Dublin. Off to the Guinness factory next , not that I was really that interested in seeing how beer was made but it was interested that beer comes from the Irish would beare meaning Barley which of course beer is mostly made of. We got our token for our free glass of Guinness and I tell you what we had to work/walk for it. We had to climb 7 stories to get to the Gravity bar right at the top of the store house to get it. I had first glass of Guinness ever and how fitting to have it at the Guinness factory in Dublin, the home of Guinness. So you know I don’t think I will ever have another, too bitter and thick for me.
Once we mustered up enough energy to move the next spot and of course we had to finish our Guinness, we moved on the see the Old Jamieson Distillery were we did a tour and got to sample the goods, now that is nice, much easier to drink than the Guinness, well for me anyway. Jamison is more my cup of tea…. After that we went up the viewing tower that has been attached to one of the old chimney stacks, it gave an interesting insight of the size of the old buildings and distillery compound.
Once we finished looking out at the Dublin skyline, recognising places we had been we then wandered around to find St Patrick’s cathedral which we hadn’t managed to see yet. Yes yet another great old church to add to Dublin’s many others that we had seen, but I do need to point out this one is massive. You could probably get the whole city in there if you tried hard enough.
We then only had a couple of hours left in Dublin so we settled at the pub to have a few more Jamieson’s and Ciders before getting on the bus to the airport.