Thursday, March 21, 2013

Ireland Day 4

Well I'm out of things I have to do and I'm out of excuses to not write this. Plus my mind has decided I'm forgetting something life changing so I can't relax and I figured, hey might as well do something productive! So I decided to write this, since of all the things I should be doing, this is the least painful. I know how special that must make you feel.

So yes... Let's return to the days of Ireland. Let's see... Day 4 started with me waking up actually feeling rested for once, which was marvelous. Several others were going to see the Book of Kells (which was awesome and totally something people should go see, it's one of the Gospels written in a Celtic style and stuff and I'm doing a terrible job at describing it's awesomeness, also this is a terrible run-on sentence, let's see how long I can keep going, just kidding, let's not.) and I was kind of ready for a break from the historical/tour/museum/educational stuff so I went off on an adventure by myself to send some postcards and mail some Jameson Orange Marmalade home to my dad (Note: Dear parents/concerned family, I was never actually by myself in a foreign city. I was also with a series of highly trained body guards with acute navigational skills. That's believable, right?). Anyway, I got the marmalade at the Jameson distillery place and it seemed like the kind of thing he would enjoy. Unfortunately it was over 3oz so I couldn't take it on a plane and had to mail it instead. Turns out you aren't supposed to mail things over 3 oz either. Which, I mean, REALLY? What other options do I have? Why would I mail something I could put in my backpack? But I shipped it anyway because I'm a badass I didn't have a choice and it made it home safely (in less than 2 weeks too!). I did, however, spend about 20 minutes in an Irish post office figuring out haw to wrap it up and mail it and I met the only not overly friendly person in Ireland, who was working there. Although if I had to deal with people like me every day, I won't be happy either! Moral of the story is: it all worked out and somehow I ended up with an extra Irish postcard stamp. That's not at all related. But it came into my head so, yeah. Sorry. The focusing part of my brain ran out about 4 hours into my 6 1/2 hours of class today.

After my magical post office adventures I ran (I was late) down to Trinity College (where the Book of Kells is) to meet people to walk over to the Guinness Storehouse! It was a long walk but worth it because I got to learn a lot about the history of Guinness. Also I got to take a lot of photos to make Ian jealous. Granted one of these was taken the first night, but here is my collection of Guinness photos, dedicated to my brother who is lame and doesn't have a Facebook so this is the only way he will see them. Anyway:

Be jealous Ian!!
Guinness Storehouse!
Just being Arthur Guinness
Retro Guinness ads
Any ad with a pun is automatically 10x better!
Enjoying a pint

I would try to make these next to each other in order to be more aesthetically pleasing, and also so this isn't so long, but formatting and I are not getting along today and I give up. But anyway, the Guinness Storehouse is pretty cool. I'm too tired to ramble on about it too much but the museum part is really well done and interesting and at the end you have the chance to learn how to pour the perfect pint and you get a free glass of Guinness. I was just the photographer though because I'm lame and also I was sick of Guinness by then. Not a huge fan. Mostly just a fan for the sake of my brother so he will be jealous of the cool stuff I get to do! The other cool thing about the storehouse is that they have a bar on the top floor with windows all around so you can see the city. Pretty cool. Also old Guinness ads are hilarious!

Also I think they were redoing a wall or something because we stumbled upon an empty Wall of Fame:

Where are the people on the Wall of Fame?

Oh right, we're on the Wall of Fame! ...with a mop...

What do you call people on a Wall of Fame? Wall of Famers? Wall of Famees? Let me know if there is some specific term, I feel like it will come in handy in the future. Or now, so I can make my captions more snappy. But yeah, after Guinness we went to lunch at this pub we happened to find nearby. It was delicious because I got a great sandwich and a huge pile of chips (French fries, for you Ireland/UK-ly challenged folk) for €5! That doesn't happen in Paris. You never get a quality meal that leaves you actually full in Paris for that little. So I was a huge fan. It was called Baker's Pub and Restaurant or something like that. Baker's something or other... if you were interested in going. For lunch or something. Ya know, just in case you feel like heading to Dublin over your lunch break. I don't know what I'm rambling about anymore...

And then we went to jail. Kilmainham Gaol that is (Gaol is pronounced "jail"). It was used as a prison up through the 1916 uprisings, and is known for being where some of the men involved were executed.  The stories are actually really interesting. For example, one of the men in prison, Joseph Plunkett, got permission to marry his fiancĂ©e, Grace Gifford, hours before being executed. The vows were exchanged in the prison chapel area, with guards as the witnesses and they were given several minutes alone (except for the bodyguards) before he was taken away to be killed. James Connelly's execution, the last to happen, created the most controversy. He was severely injured during the uprising after being shot through the calf and spent his last days in the hospital slowly dying from blood poisoning. But he was still transported to the jail and, since they were afraid that if they carried him to the other end of the "courtyard" (it was a pretty small area), that he would die, so rather than shoot him in the same place as the others, he was killed right by the gate. But he was so weak he could stay sitting up in the chair long enough, so that actually had to tie him to it so they could execute him. So they were basically killing a dying man. Ironically enough, the tales of these executions, meant to scare the public, actually stirred up  remaining anger and helped fuel the future rebellion.

This was carved above the door around the time of the Easter uprising.
Somehow, of all of my pictures from the jail, this seemed the most fitting.

After the jail we took a cab back to the center city (the jail was kind of far away and we didn't have time to walk) and went to dinner at O'Neills. Afterwards we were planning to go the the bar/club recommended by one of the girls working at Guinness that we were talking to for a while, because she said we could find hurling players there. If you have never heard of hurling, you need to look it up because it is like football/rugby/soccer but with basically no rules and none of that lame protective-padding stuff. It's kind of the most interesting sport to watch because it's pure manliness. So yeah, hurling players, we were told to go there but turns out it didn't open until like 11 and we are lame/had to get up at 3am for our flight so that didn't happen. Instead we stopped at this pub frequently by literary people and stuff. I forget all of the interesting stuff about it but that was our last stop before the:


So my friend Shannon had been dying to get a Shamrock shake from McDonald's and they are only sold in Ireland and the US. So earlier that day we went to McD's to get one. The first person got one, no problem, but when Shannon went to go order, the machine wasn't working anymore. It was tragic. But we decided to stop by the other McDonald's on our way back to the hostel later. So we stop in and ask if the Shamrock machine was working and (after looking at us like we were crazy) they said yes, so she orders one. They then go to make it only to have the machine suddenly not work anymore. Which was tragic for Shannon and absolutely hilarious for the rest of us (Sorry Shannon...). Needless to say she was rather distraught and was ready to give up until we saw yet another McDonalds right before we were about to turn down the street to the hostel! Same deal, we asked if the machine was working, they looked at us like we were crazy, but this time the machine worked! So happy ending! It only took 3 McDonalds to get a shamrock shake. It was probably also funnier at the time. Sorry. I got everyone excited by mentioning shamrock shakes and then it wasn't even that great of a story! Anyway, after this nothing much else happened except for packing and going to sleep fairly early (more like 12... fail.) to get up at 3:15ish to catch the shuttle to the airport for our flight to Edinburgh.

So yes! This is Ireland Day 4! Edinburgh is soon to come (it was only one day) but I can't write anymore today or my brain will fall out. Probably not, but I'd hate to risk it.

If you want to see more pictures of Ireland, check out my Ireland/Scotland album on the right ->

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