A Travellerspoint blog

Tuesday in Dublin

A Whirlwind Day!

The weather was sunny, but very cool. We did the Hop On/Hop Off tourist bus. Behind Trinity College we toured many Palladian (Georgian) town houses. Many of the doors were painted bright colours. This was a reaction to the announcement of Queen Victoria’s death. Instructions were given that in Dublin, Britain’s second largest city, all doors were to be painted black, to commemorate the Queen’s death. Instead, they painted all their doors the most vivid colours imaginable. They continue this to the current day.

Hopping on the bus, we disembarked in the Temple Bar district, where we enjoyed a rare 2 for 1 lunch at The Shack, directly opposite the Temple Bar Pub.

Then back on the bus, we stopped at the Guinness Brewery. This is a massive, 45+ acre establishment. The tour is highly detailed, and explains the process from basic ingredients to barrels and ships made to transport Arthur’s beer to all points of the world. Since I used to home brew my own beer, I know the basics of this. But I never mastered the proper mix as did Guinness.

After the Guinness tour came a much more sombre tour: that of the Kilmainham Gaol, built in the late 1700s. This gaol is foreboding and intimating to us moderns, but to the people at the time, it was part of the progressive prison reform movement. Prisoners were to be housed singularly, with light and air, and to have proper supervision.

Leaving the Gaol, we hopped back on the bus, and went through Phoenix Park, which is huge; larger than Central Park. Half way through, we saw the Residence of the American Ambassador to Ireland. Perhaps as an notice of how important is the Irish-American alliance, the Residence of the President of the Republic is located directly opposite.

We ended the day with the Literary Pub Crawl, which TripAdvisor rates as the No. 4 tour in all the world. Meeting at the Duke Pub, we were entertained by two professional actors, who introduced us to the Dublin literary tradition of Yeats, Joyce, Brendan Behan and all.

The first skit was an excerpt from Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, which I saw a few years ago with Ian McKennan in London at the Haymarket. We then went from pub to pub, with literary skits and lectures, ending up where we had dinner at Davy Byrne’s pub; the last Art Deco pub in Dublin. It was a highly enjoyable night, but a long day, and we got into the cottage about 11.30PM.

Posted by stbrides 14:25 Archived in Ireland

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