Today was the final day in Ireland. I was so disappointed. I love it here. I want to come back and visit both Ireland and Scotland next time. I never thought I would love it so much. You learn something new everyday. Another thing I learned while here is that I don’t like their “baked beans” that they serve with breakfast. Today we had the full Irish breakfast. It was good. It was eggs, sausage, white & black pudding (sausage), mushrooms, a type of ham, toast and “baked beans”. I was worried about the black and white pudding when apparently I should have been worried about the beans. I’ve never met a bean I didn’t like and they looked so good. About halfway through my meal I took a big bite of the beans. The beans were made in Guinness. Guess what I found out I don’t like... Guinness. Holy night that stuff is terrible! I’d rather lick the floor! After I took a bite of that my stomach flipped and that was it. I was done. I had another bite of toast to try and get rid of the taste... didn’t help. It’s like vinegar, it lingers. Ugh! They drink that stuff?? Voluntarily? And they PAY for it??? I was very happy to hear later on in the day that our Irish bus driver hates the stuff too. I didn’t feel like a total tourist now.
After breakfast we had a little bit of time to walk around before boarding the hop-on-hop-off bus. We headed into a grocery store to have a look around. That was neat. We bought some bottles water, snacks & tic-tacs. After our little shopping trip we headed to the bus. Bus stop #1 starts at our hotel- talk about convenient. We rode the bus about halfway around to get to one of the most popular attractions before all the crowds. No, not to Guinness, but to the Kilmainham Gaol (jail). Wow was that cool! It’s one of the largest “jails” in Europe and it was used from the 1780s to the 1920s. So cool!! Got lots of pictures of it. It’s been used in the filming of a Julie Roberts movie (forgot the name), the Tudors- many times & a music video for U2, among others. We had an hour long tour and because we were a smaller group and the first of the morning, we got to go in an off limits room- the room where they carried out the hangings. Very cool, but morbid. There were some sad moments. Like they have on record the youngest girl to be sentenced to time in that jail, doing hard labor, she was seven years old and she was in for stealing a coat because she was cold. The youngest boy to serve time in the jail, and had to do hard labor while inside, was a five year old boy & he was arrested for stealing a chain!!!! Five years old! Can you imagine. I never want to hear anything about these poor kids and all the homework they get! And I never want to hear about parents that don’t punish them ‘cause they don’t want to hurt their feelings! I digress.
After that totally cool, but sad experience we got back on the bus and then visited St. Patrick’s Cathedral and then Christ’s Church- the oldest building in Dublin & it was was built by Vikings! We even got to go down under the church to the crypts. Very cool! They had artifacts down there, like a book from the 1400s and lots of other gold cups and things like that. I wasn’t allowed to take any pictures of the artifacts, but I did get some before going near that stuff. Oh, many movies & TV shows were filmed there and they even had costumes from the Tudors which also films there quite often. Jonathan Reese Myers??? Yes, please! Also next door to Christ Church is a Viking Museum. LOTS of information and I think we lost my dad for a good hour while in there. It was cool though. We learned a lot about the Vikings, including the fact that surprisingly they actually weren’t all bad and they were the ones who first found America. Sorry Columbus... this was not your day in the sun after all. But it’s ok because they also found and “started up” Dublin. (Look... it’s been a long day. I know what I’m trying to say but all that is coming out is “started up” so yes, the Vikings started up Dublin.) They also found the full skeleton remains of a Viking Woman. So cool.
After our Viking overload we headed to the Temple Bar area of town to have dinner. We ate at one of the most popular restaurants in Dublin, Gallagher’s Boxty House. The food was amazing! Their meat is like no other meat. We tried the beef stew... OMG! If it’s possible for meat to melt in your mouth... it did! We also tried corned beef & cabbage, lamb shank and can anyone guess what I got??? A burger! This burger put 5 Napkin Burger’s size to shame! It was so good. They’re known for their meat & now I know why! We also tried their boxty trio. Basically the three different ways they serve potatoes. Really good! And then what wouldn’t be a Irish dinner without bread & butter pudding?! So good!
After dinner we headed back towards our hotel stopping to shop along the way. After shopping, we packed up & are in bed. The cab is meeting us outside our hotel at 3:15am! Ouch. We fly to Barcelona tomorrow morning. You guys will be waking up by the time we are In Barcelona & just finishing up with our tour! Barcelona is 6 hours ahead of NY.
Real quick before I go. I have all of the Ireland pictures up on the site. I am so sorry for the mess they are. I’m using my dslr & my point-and-shoot and they’re not taking well to the time change. Due to this my pictures are in no order at all. I tried to get them at least grouped together the best I could, but for whatever reason, the internet here is terribly slow when dealing with pictures. Maybe I’ll get them in better shape tomorrow night in Barcelona.
My final thoughts on Ireland is it’s amazing! I can’t wait to get back. I didn’t even scratch the surface of all the the things to see. If anyone asks me if I think they should visit Ireland, the answer is YES! The country is beautiful and so are the people. They are the most friendly, funny people I’ve ever met. Talking to them feels like talking to family. It’s just great here & I can’t wait to get back!
Talk to you guys soon!