Ireland :: Dublin + Kilkenny

We took a late bus on Sunday night and arrived at our hostel around 11pm, immediately just collapsing to sleep after getting questioned and intensely stared at by our Japanese roommate who thought that I stole his iPhone. Apparently, to him, all white people look alike?

Oh, as a side note, that Japanese kid went to the Japanese embassy to talk to them about his phone and having €50 stolen. He wasn’t there when we got back, but I kinda wonder what happened. Did they laugh and tell them there was nothing they could do a la USA? Or did they call shock and outrage and get him on the first plane outta there? We will never know.

Well, the next morning, we woke up and went on our favorite free walking tour by Sandeman’s that went over a ton of history of the city by a local. It lasted for a good 3.5 hours and the rain held out long enough so we weren’t drenched. After our tour, I’m sorry to admit, but I was starving and the first thing that was cheap was Papa John’s. But it was delicious. Sorry, I’m not sorry. We then stopped at Trinity College to pick up a shirt for my dad since he’s a college t-shirt junkie and headed off to the genealogy services at the Irish National Library so George could find out a little more about his family. I was able to get on a computer there and do a little bit of my digging on my family as well, which was pretty cool. I found out more about my mom’s side than my dad’s. unfortunately, those Ponts are a little hard to find.

We did some catching up that night including updating this blog and meeting some nice people in our hostel.

On Tuesday, per the recommendation of our guide, we went to the Kilmainham Gaol which was the prison that held many rebel leaders throughout the years. We were told that it was only a 25 minute walk,so we decided to hoof it there. Well, the people in Dublin must be speed walkers because it took us 45 long minutes wondering if we were going in the right direction. We finally arrived and with our student IDs, we were afforded a discount to only €2 each plus a free tour guide. They talk about the history of the place (built in 1796) and let you wander into some of the cells in the newer part of the prison. It is pretty much completely the same since it closed. They did some reconstructive work from 1960-1986, but it still holds that historic and decrepit feeling. We took our time walking back and stumbled upon this gourmet food court, where I had this amazing Tuscan tomato soup and bread while George munched on some pizza.

During our free walk, we passed by the Chester Beatty Library which has a huge collection of Middle Eastern and Asian books and historical pieces, so naturally George wanted to check it out. It was well worth our time and money (free!) because we were able to see some amazing Japanese and Chinese scroll paintings and stories as well as some original pieces of the Bible from 200 AD.

After, we went back, made some dinner and got ready to do our pub crawl. The pub crawl was only ok since they didn’t give us any free drinks, just had specials on drinks. The group mainly stayed in the Temple Bar area and went to 4 bars and 1 lame club, which we tried to make into a good time. We had a few too many ciders and met some nice people from the States before finally calling it a night at 1am.

The next day, I set my alarm to get up early since we wanted to head down to Cork. Well, I woke up early, but did not have the motivation to get to Cork, so we went to Kilkenny instead. It was perfect. We left on the 11:30am bus after much debate about train vs. bus and cost. It was a great bus ride full of the countryside of Ireland with green rolling hills and farmland. It’s exactly as you see in the movies, but better since you were seeing it in person. We arrived in Kilkenny and immediately sought out the tourist info center. A very nice lady who was working in the perfect profession told us about this great pub and walking tour. We headed for food at the Kyleter’s Inn, an old house that was built over 900 years ago and is still standing. The woman that made it famous was accused of being a witch in the 1300’s and it still keeps that tradition alive with a witch in the corner of the pub. We dashed out of the pub and made it in time for the €5 walking tour of the city. A good chunk of the buildings in Kilkenny are from the Elizabethan period, which is strange and fantastic to see. Unfortunately, our time was quite short in Kilkenny and I wish we could have stayed longer, but we boarded the bus and made our way back to Dublin.

The next morning, we woke up before the butt crack of dawn to find the bus to take us to the airport. Luckily, there was a bored cab driver who took us to the airport faster and cheaper than the bus. Which apparently, the airport is very, very busy in the morning thanks to early morning Ryanair flights. Surprisingly, Ryanair was better than I remembered and we were off north to Oslo!

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