After breakfast we piled on the bus and headed for the country side. We drove through Dannybrook's, a section of the city, and learned of it's history.
Once out of Dublin the scenery was breath taking! Rolling hills, lush fields (with sheep!) and sprawling mountains all green and beautiful. We were headed north to Wiclow County were we visited Gelndalough. It was the ruins of a monastic church, the only one with double arches at the entrance. The old, old cemetery around it was still used to bury people in today. After a tour of the ruins we were allowed to walk down to the lake. Glendalough is known as the "valley of two lakes," which is what Glendalough means, I think. The ruins were build of stone and most of the structures (the "sacred" ones) weren't built with mortar.
The lake was absolutely gorgeous! It was so amazing with the mountains and "woods" stretched out behind it!
Next we headed to Powerscour Gardens, which were in the same county. We ate lunch there and headed out to see the garden. Lunch was delicious (but expensive!) and the gardens... No word exists to describe it accuretly enough. It looked like something from a painting or a Jane Austin movie! It was beautiful.
After the gardens it was back to Dublin. They dropped us off at the National Museum of Ireland (those of us who wanted to go that is). There we saw many ancient artifacts and the bog people (Jenn, Kim, Kara, myself, and Dr. Watson saw them together). The bog was a place were once things had sunk in to it, they were trapped on the bottom and because there was no oxygen there in the soil, things were well preserved. This included people. They found people who had been killed in various ways. Some of the bodies were whole, others... were in pieces. And by pieces I mean one was just a torso with arms while or or two ere missing legs. They were really gross-- their sking (the ones that had sking) looked like old leather-- but it was cool to see, in a way.
At seven we went to a traditional Irish dance show. Oh, it was such fun! There were 3 men who played Irish music and another man played an Irish uilleann pipes, which is similar to bag pipes but one uses the right elbow to pump air into it instead of blowing in it. It was a beautiful sound and equally beautiful music. He also played a "flute" type instrument... I forgot what it was called but it was played similarily to a tin whistle.
Then the dancers were out! There were six of them, 3 guys and 3 girls. They were excellent and the dance was amazing! My favorite part was when two of the guys did what I would describe as "the dueling Irish dancers." They took turns "showing off" to "prove" who was better.
They they did audience participation where they demonstrated and irish dance (for couples) and took volunteers from the audience. Jenn was selected and did an excellent job!"
Day Two! =)
I woke up to this beautiful sunrise outside our hotel window! It was utterly breath taking.
After breakfast we got on the bus and headed to our first stop... the doors of Dublin!
They were painted all different colors so it was easy to tell what house was yours, because they all looked so similar. Ever door was so unique and beautiful, they kept them and now the doors are pretty well renowned.
Next stop was St. Patrick's Cathedral.
Beautiful architecture outside and beautiful on the inside!
Check out those beautiful stain glass windows! And that high, arch ceiling with all the intricate carving!! Very impressive.
St. Patrick himself! Quite the depiction, isn't it? XD
I absolutely loved the floor! Check out the tile work!!
"This was the reconsilliation door; several hundered years ago, there were two feuding familes in Dublin, and one of them started losing very badly, so they took refuge in St.Patricks. Finally, the two heads of the clans realized that they were both Irish, and they both worshiped the same God, so why were they fighting? They agreed to a truce, but in order for the truce to be legitimate, they had to shake hands, only niether one trusted the other enough to leave the safety of his men. So finally they hacked a hole through the door with their swords and shook hands through that. Three weeks later they were back to fighting each other."
Our tour guide, Alley! =)
Our next stop was Kilmainhem Jail!
On the right we have original graffiti of a prisoner who was held her... I don't know either. XD
The cells were really small, but this cell block was very open.
This place was full of hallway after hallway of cells, which in the day, contained women, men, and children alike.
I got thrown in a cell!! =O
We had dinner at the Hard Rock cafe.
They had an upside down car inside!! It was painted all kinds of wacky colors. It reminds me of a Mondrian painting.
In honor of my trip last year, I decided to post pictures and maybe an excerpt or two from my journal each day that the trip was on last year. =)
So Day One (Not counting the day we departed): We arrived at Heahtrow Airport to find out that our flight was moved. So instead of a 5 hour layover... we got a 7 1/2 hour layover. Due to two people in our group having liquid/drinks in their luggage (we even passed an area where we were supposed to throw those out!), customs made a big fat hairy deal out of it and Dr. Massey wouldn't let the students leave the airport.
So we waited... and boy was it a long wait! There were shops in the terminal but after we went through those about three or four times, they got old. Most of us hadn't slept on the flight over the big pond, so we took advantage of the opportunity.
Meredith and Megan were exhausted -- We all were! I had a picture of me asleep that a friend took... but I couldn't find it!
Honestly, I couldn't find it! XD
We finally arrived in Dublin! And it was raining. But it was ok, the city was still amazing!
Our tour guide was very nice and sympathetic. Her name is Alley! She got us all on the bus and took us to the hotel where we checked in, freshened up, and relaxed a bit.
Several of us decided to walk around the city before dinner (we were eating at the hotel that night). We visited a little art museum just around the corner -- it had these neat stain glass windows and pretty architecture. We weren't allowed to photograph the artwork.
Walking around town we saw lots of different buildings and store fronts (we stayed fairly close to the hotel). We even saw (Dr.) Massey's funeral home! =)
Dinner at the hotel was AMAZING! The food was so delicious... they had the BEST tomato soup EVER! I'll never eat cambell's again...
As you can see, the hotel room was really nice as well.
That bed was so comfy and a sight for sore eyes that night. I fell asleep before I even realized it.