Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Ireland: Day 4! Dublin!

Yesterday, we docked in Dublin and hopped on a tour bus that took us to Dublin Castle. It has been in continuous use since 1204 AD and has played host to many important people and events. We weren't able to tour anything other than the Chapel Royal and remains of the original castle located below the street because there wasn't enough time, but it was exciting to know we were standing in the place where so much history had taken place, including the handover of the castle from the British to Michael Collins in 1922.

Inside the Castle Walls - This stage was built in the eighteenth century.

Inside the Chapel Royal

Outside the Chapel Royal

Looking down on the excavations of the original castle walls

After we left the castle, we went to Trinity College to see the library. I can safely say, "OMG" to this visit and not even care about sounding like a high school girl. Trinity College is a legal deposit library and is entitled to receive a copy of every book and periodical published in Ireland or Britain since 1801. It contains over 4.5 million volumes! It is also home to the Book of Kells and we had the great fortune to see it! After studying this medieval manuscript in Dr. Caldwell's class, it was pretty fun to view it with my own eyes.

Trinity College Library
After we left the library, we ate at a great place called The Bailey. It had great sandwiches, soups and salads and I loved the atmosphere. Plus it was such a lovely day so it was nice to eat in a place with outdoor dining and large windows (we sat inside.)

The Bailey
After lunch, we caught a cab over to the Guinness Storehouse. I had heard that this was a fun tour from some of my friends and I wasn't disappointed! As someone who rarely drinks beer, especially one as heavy as Guinness, I hadn't given much thought to how beer is made, but during this tour in their state-of-the-art factory, I now have a more complete understanding of all of the work that goes into making one glass of beer! Plus at the end of the tour, one can drink a cold, fresh pint of Guinness up in the Gravity Bar, their Jetson-like, glass room at the top of the storehouse. This bar was as cool as the beer! I've never had a more delicious pint in my life. If you ever go to Dublin, you have to visit!

Inside the Storehouse

A little taste at the end of the tour before heading up to the Gravity Bar

The views of Dublin from the Gravity Bar are incredible!

Gravity Bar
After we left the Guinness Storehouse, we hailed a cab and stopped by St. Patrick's Cathedral on the way back to port. We only had a second, but couldn't imagine leaving this fine city without at least seeing the outside. It was the perfect ending to a wonderful day!

St. Patrick's Cathedral

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