April 28: Dublin

 

The plan was to meet up with our classmate Jon in Ireland.  Doug and I booked our flight to Dublin for 6:30am out of Stansted airport.  Big mistake.  The night before the flight we discovered that the tube doesn't run after 10pm.   This meant we would be waking up at 3am to make the flight.  And sure enough, we were like zombies for the rest of the day...

Since we had booked our hostel online, we had no idea of the surprise that was in store for us upon arrival.  Dublin was incredibly busy for the weekend and there wasn't much vacancy, so the fact that our hostel still had availability should have been our first clue.  When we arrived the whole place smelled due to a burst toilet in the basement and the hostel employees were running around spraying perfume to mask the smell.  Our room was a cramped 20-bed room with only one shower for everyone, and the other guests staying there were sketchy to say the least; I later met someone who had her camera stolen from under her nose.

Doug and I were exhausted from the early start, so we just went to Trinity College to check out the campus and ending up watching a rugby game.  We also went to Trinity Library where we saw the Book of Kells, an ancient illuminated text.

 

Coach to Stansted ₤8.00

Dublin tourist pass

53.00
Trinity Library admission 7.00

 

Rugby at Trinity College, Dublin*

 

April 29: Dublin

 

The following day we tried to find a better place to stay but there wasn't much available, and having survived the previous night we figured we could tough it out at the same hostel.  We eventually got moved to a room upstairs that was much nicer than the basement.

Today we were a bit more organized in our sight seeing.  First we went to Christ Church Cathedral, most memorable for its spectacular tiled floor.  I simply love the Celtic art style.

Next we hit the National Gallery, a very large and impressive collection.  I especially enjoyed the work of Irish artist Evie Hone.  Afterwards, we paid a visit to the National Museum and saw an exhibit on Irish Medieval History.

We spent a relaxing evening at St. Stephen's Green park before hitting the bars later that evening.  A meeting place was arranged with Jon.  We discovered that Jon was about to embark on a 6-day bus tour run by the exact same company that runs the crappy hostel where Doug and I were staying!

 

Tiled Floor of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin

 

Jon (middle) with his two friends, Dublin*

 

 

April 30: Dublin

 

I forgot to set my alarm, so Doug and I slept until noon.  It was probably for the best because I was still tired from the early flight a few days before.

The first stop of the day was at the Old Jameson Whiskey Distillery.  A guided tour of the distillery was given with the obligatory shot of whiskey administered at the end.

The last stop was at the Guinness Storehouse, a huge centre (for lack of a better word) chronicling the manufacture, marketing, and consumption of Guinness beer.  After the guided Jameson tour, this place seemed a bit dull although I enjoyed all the hilarious old Guinness advertisements.

At the last minute, Doug and I signed up for the same 6-day bus tour as Jon, departing the next day.

 

Doug at the Guinness Storehouse, Dublin

*photo by Doug