Well, it started off with a hitch right off the bat. We found Dublin Castle just fine, after walking down the River Liffey through Temple Bar and past City Hall.
Walking through was surreal, as there were so many gravestones. It's hard to even put in proportion how many there were, but there were a ton. It was interesting to see so many Irish names, some more than, and especially the size of the gravestones. One person in the front of the cemetery literally had an entire miniature church over their grave. I can't imagine the sort of money that people spend just on these tombstones. It was super quiet inside; the entire cemetery is completely walled off. It was a gorgeous day to boot, which I never would have thought given that we were in Dublin, where it literally just got done downpouring for days straight. I'd talk more about the cemetery, but there are other things to move on to.
We hopped back on the bus back to City Centre and got off near Grafton Street and Trinity College, walking back up the road to Dublin Castle. It's pretty nuts -- Dublin really isn't that big, so you can pretty much walk to anywhere if you really wanted to. And after conquering Barcelona with Kathrin on a weekly basis, it's hardly difficult to complain about a 30 minute walk. We actually thankfully made it to Dublin Castle in time to catch a tour, and we got a chance to walk around with a guided tour for only €3.50. Not too shabby. The tour guide was quite informative, and honestly, who can complain about listening to a lovely Dublin accent for a good 45 minutes? Turns out, also, that elections for a new President were yesterday in Dublin! We didn't even know. They are announcing the new President at 8pm, and the inaugural ceremony is inside Dublin Castle. They were setting up for the ceremony while we were walking through. This is a pretty big deal -- the Irish presidential term is 7 years long, and they are allowed 2 terms; this is the first time in 14 years that Dublin will have a new President! Pretty exciting stuff, I think. We are a part of history right now. Speaking of being a part of history, we actually also walked by the Central Bank of Ireland, where there is a protest going on in regards to something the EU was doing with taxes; I can't remember what exactly, but I do remember it was a bit of a big deal, and there were people camped out all over the grounds in front of the building. Needless to say, I took a picture.
Afterwards we headed back to Isaac's, and let me say, there were a ton of people out! I don't know where they all came from, but it was definitely pretty insane. The plan is to hit up a pub crawl tonight, so hopefully everything works out smoothly and we'll get to experience a very real bit of Ireland and Dublin in particular. Our schedule is not too packed, but I'm definitely exhausted -- super excited for Glendalough tomorrow!
On a sad note, the rain is supposed to return for the next three days. However, it only says chances of showers, and I'm hoping that that's a good thing -- We'll just have to wait and see what happens. Dublin is great, regardless, despite the rain, and I'm just looking forward to seeing so much more and learning about everything. It's been a real experience so far, and it's only been one day! I'm just doing my best to savor every minute of it -- and savor the time where I actually get to speak English to people too. Goodnight all, from Dublin.
|Griffith Park, a little perfect slab of green just outside City Centre.|
|one of the many gorgeous areas in the Botanic Gardens|
|These signs are everywhere -- gotta love Guinness!|