Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dublin take 2!

the Spire 
The second day we were in Dublin, it was sunny and nice outside yay!  Among the many many helpful signs and pamphlets at the hostel was one for free walking tours of Dublin, so Kali, Lauren, Allison and I decided to wake up early and go on a tour that left the hostel at 10:20.  It turns out that the tour actually started at 11, and the 10:20 time was just to walk over there together. We were a little late, so we headed out ourselves. I had taken a lot of pictures yesterday of the streets of Dublin, but since it was so nice outside I took a lot more.
This is the Post Office. I found out Later on the tour that one of them any times the Irish revolted against the British they took over the Post Office among other important buildings. There are still bullet holes in it from the fighting that ensued. 

The double decker buses there are yellow. We ended up riding these around a lot!
The River Liffey

Really old cast iron bridge, its called the ha'penny bridge because in ye olde days you had to pay half a penny to cross it. They recently reinforced it using iron from the same company that built the Titanic. This same company also built the Guiness Storehouse.
This is where our tour started. It is the government building that the Irish built right next to the British government building. During some uprisings it was used as a meeting place and a retreat point.
Tower inside what they call a castle (the building the British built). Notice it is not a castle. There was a tower dating back to the 12th century though! Anyway Ireland used to have crown jewels (a necklace type thing with medals and ribbons and stuff) and they were kept in here. One day they decided to get a new safe to put them in, but the safe would not fit through the door. A man who worked here suggested that they put the jewels in a drawer in his desk that had a lock. So they did. Not surprisingly the jewels disappeared and no one knows what happened to them, although the guy whose drawer it was was obviously a main suspect.
Our awesome tour guide Helena.

12th century tower. Used to be a prison. The only guy who ever escaped from here later went on to travel to Europe with all the Irish clan's gold to but an army somewhere to fight the British. When he was crossing the Alps, he tied all the donkeys together so they wouldn't get lost. Well, one donkey slipped and so all of the gold fell off the Alps and has never been seen again.
Alright, so a lot of writers lived in Dublin. This door is where Johnathan Swift was born (he wrote among other things A Modest Proposal).
This is Christ Church cathedral. In the organ inside, they found a mummified cat and the mouse it had been chasing when they ran up the pipes and got stuck. Oddly enough they are on display inside.
Inside Trinity College, the best university in Ireland. Oscar Wilde studied here.
This is the library inside Trinity College. George Lucas used it as inspiration for his Jedi library. (meaning he asked if he could film in there and they said no so he totally recreated it on a computer. the recreation was so good they tried to sue him for it but failed.)
So, the tour was about 3 hours long. Yes, it was a really long tour, but it was really cool to see so much of Dublin and actually learn what significance some buildings had that I would not have heard of otherwise. 
After the tour was over, we grabbed lunch and hopped on a bus to go to the National Botanic Gardens.
Holy dang it is a beautiful place. 

it looked like Professor Sprout's greenhouse from Harry Potter
There were 2 large greenhouses and a number of smaller ones scattered around a park that was truly huge.
Are we in Miami or Ireland?
Outside was so pretty, I imagine it would be absolutely amazing in the summer when all the flowers are in bloom. There was a wedding going on while we ere there, or at least there was a wedding party walking around being followed by a photographer.

After we had walked around we headed back into central Dublin. That night we went to University College Dublin where Allison's friend Andrew is studying abroad and then later to a pub in the Temple Bar area. The pub was cool, but really loud, there was a live band playing. The band was actually really cool cause they did covers and mash-ups of rock music and stuff you hear on the radio. 
On the tour, our guide had mentioned how a lot of the young people liked the Spire because it was lit up at night. 
Over this trip we came to realize exactly how awesome that was. When we left the pub it was dark and we thought we knew our way back. Basically all we had to do was head toward the Spire and we knew our way back from there. You can see that thing basically anywhere you are in the city. 

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