Friday, March 09, 2007

Dublin - Day Two: What you have all been waiting for...

Day two in Dublin...we had a well laid plan! We were up before 8am and arrived at Connelly station shortly after 9am! This was an accomplishment that was partially undone by the fact that getting up SO early meant I needed to sit for about an hour in a coffee shop for a little breakfast and more coffee. The coffee in Ireland was fine, not outstanding...except for this place. That was the best freakin' cup of joe I have EVER had! EVER! I wish we could go back there....

After breakfast we hopped on the Luas Red line and rode out to the Museum. This light rail system leaves from Connelly station and is included in our three day bus and rail pass...or so we thought. We rode the Luas for the next two days illegally. As we found out just before our last trip on the Luas, it actually was not part of the rail and bus pass... we decided to get on anyway and play the dumb tourist card if a fare inspector were to get on. We could be posting this from an Irish jail...

We got off at the National Museum of Ireland - Museum of Decorative Arts and History. There are four National museums in Ireland, three of them in Dublin. They are free to the public and one of the best deals we encountered (my opinion... Sara got a little bored so we left after running through one or two exhibits... I think I got her too caffeinated). This branch of the museum is in a former Barracks.

The initial buildings at Collins Barracks were started in 1702 and were designed by Captain Thomas Burgh. The complex, which includes eighteenth and nineteenth century buildings, housed troops continually for over three centuries. Originally the complex was known as 'The Barracks' , but changed in the early nineteenth century to the 'Royal Barracks' . In 1922 the whole complex was handed over to the troops of the Free State army and was immediately named Collins Barracks after Michael Collins, the first commander-in-chief of the Irish Free State.

Remember Michael Collins, the movie with Liam Neeson? We didn't. But now we have checked it out from the library and will be watching this week during Irish Heritage week in Seattle.
After the Museum, we made our way to the all important Dublin tourist stop: The Guinness Storehouse! However, on the way we were treated to the site of Butterfly bush, an recent inductee to the noxious weeds list, growing out of a brick wall at least 5 feet above our heads. Being with a gardener meant that we spent 30-40 minutes getting perfect shots of this invasive species... some shots included climbing onto very smelly garbage cans and tiptoeing along high walls. DON'T WORRY!!! There are more photos than this one! Check the Dublin web album to see how many different ways that Sara was able to capture pictures of this bush taking over the world!

We arrived at the Guinness storehouse with an agenda...maybe the tour, definitely the Gravity Bar and the gift shop! We enter in the main gate with all the other tourists...the greeter greets us and suggests we hurry to the line to go on the tour but we balk when we see the price...13 euros!! EACH!

Us: We are too cheap...we really just want to do the gift shop (we point to our left) and the Gravity bar (we point up).
Greeter: The tour is worth it... don't you want to go on the tour? The Gravity bar is part of the tour.
Us: Nooo...that's a lot of money. Can we just go up to the Gravity bar?
Greeter: Ohhh.... that's part of the tour.
Us: We can't just go up for beer?
Greeter: Its part of the tour.
Us: Ok, well... I guess we will just shop.
And shop we did! We looked at everything and there truly was everything Guinness there! After we had done the gift shop, we needed to use the restroom before we left for our next tourist destination. The bathrooms were on the second floor off a set of fire stairs we went up, took care of business and when we stepped back out into the stairwell...well, the stairs continued up. Hmmmmm...all the signs for "interesting things" pointed down and yet...Isn't the Gravity bar being on the 7th floor??? I half expected an arrow pointing up that said "Nothing to see up here!" So, Seven floors later...there we are (looking like every other tourist in the place) in the Gravity bar! The amazing view was well worth the deceit... the greeter never actually said we couldn't go up.

Next up.... Day Two in Dublin: Part Two!

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