Ireland Day 2 - Dublin: Beer, Jail, Tarts, Luggage, Music, In That Order

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mom in front of St. Jame's Gate at the Guinness Store House.

Cold and rainy in Dublin today. This morning we headed out huddled under Mom's umbrella, which she was smart enough to pack in her carry-on. Our warm clothes and raincoats were still in limbo somewhere between Newark and Dublin. After some debate, we set off for the Guinness Brewery. Neither of us are big beer fans, but the tour was actually very interesting and well designed. The center of the visitor center is shaped like a 7 story pint glass with the gravity bar, a 360 degree view of Dublin, at the top.

From there we took the hop on/hop off bus to Kilmainham Gaol where we took a somber yet fascinating tour through the 200+ year old prison, and through Ireland's turbulent history. Over 200,000 people passed through Kilmainham since it was built, including about 20,000 children. Political prisoners were held and executed there during the 19th and early 20th century including 14 leaders of the Easter Rising in 1916.

Next we hopped back on the bus and rode through Northern Dublin to the Liffey River where we walked over the Ha'penny Bridge to Temple Bar. Lunch and dessert was at the delicious Queen of Tarts. Mom got a mammoth lemon meringue tart for dessert (see picture) while I opted for the baked raspberry cheesecake, both baked by the "Queen herself" (according to the menu).
Lemon Meringue Tart

After lunch we headed back to the hotel where we were elated to find our luggage had been delivered while we out. I was sooo relieved to finally be able to change my shirt! We took a short rest and headed back to Temple Bar for the traditional Irish music pub crawl. This consisted of 2 talented and highly entertaining Irish musicians leading a group of about 20 tourists through 3 pubs. During the 2.5 hour crawl we learned much about the history of Irish music, traditional Irish instruments, and the history of Ireland in general, and listened to some unusual Irish music. Although disappointed to learn they don't serve wine in a traditional Irish pub, the tour was very fun and lively, and I highly recommend it.
Our luggage has finally joined us!

I'm getting ready to turn in. We pick up our rental car and head for Limerick in the morning!

Bookmark and Share