Thursday, September 15, 2005

Part Three: Top O' Tha Mornin' ta Ya'

Yesterday (thanks to an hour time difference), I was up early, out the door in search of breakfast before 9 a.m. (Avalon offers a continental breakfast-- but it is awful). By accident, I stumbled across the Dublin City tourism office. It is just a few blocks from the hostel and quite large. They have everything anyone could ever want to tour Dublin. I bought the Dublin Pass which gives me free entry into most attractions, museums, and monuments for 48 hours from the first time I use it for 49 euros. This is worth it if you plan carefully and make the most of your 48 hours.
Dublin is not a tourist-friendly city. It is less expensive than Paris and London, but offers little in terms of transportation than taxis, and guided tour buses. The city bus system is awful. Not only could I not find a route map, the routes are not posted in their entirety at each stop and not at all in the bus itself-- so during my rides, I was forced to ask the driver several times what stop I needed to get off at and was this it. One driver negelcted to alert me of my stop and I had to walk back to town from the city zoo (which, like most city zoos, is located on the edge of town). One thing Dublin has going for it is the fact that it is very small and can be walked across-- but who wants to?
I started at Trinity and the Book of Kells. I had to pay the 10 euros for the guided tour, but it was worth it. Then, I walked up Dame Street, toured the Temple Bar, and hit Christ Church Cathedral. Then, I walked over to the Chester Beatty Library. I had no idea what expect from it, and I was very impressed. Not only did my Dublin Pass give me a free book from the gift shop, but I really enjoyed the collection of books, art, and asian antiquities. Tired and exhausted from my walk back from the zoo (!), I stopped by Lonely Planet (best store in the world-- when is Paris going to get one?), and went home, where I played with my camera and picked up some dinner from the market down the street.

Today, I started out equally early and I went to Dublin Castle for the first tour of the day. After the tour-- which was very cool and I highly reccommend it, I had plans to go to the National Museum of Art and History, but the bus system was becoming more and more complicated in my mind and I decided to walk to the Guiness Storehouse instead. It is not too far a walk, but it rained, hard in Dublin today, all day. My pants from the knees down were soaked. The Guiness tour kinda sucked and I was glad it was included in the price of my Dublin Pass (it is self guided and would have been so much more interesting/engaging with a guide [which are available for groups/extra arrangements).
After drinking my free beer in the Gravity Bar, I caught the 123 Bus to the Spike. The Spike is a giant metal spike in the middle of a street in the middle of town. It is 10 ft. wide, and more than 300 ft. tall. A strange sight.
Then, I headed back to my hostel by way of Cranston Street and Nude (an organic cafe where I had a rather yummy bagel with ham, apple chutney, and tomatoes-- none of the above being available in France-- or, at least, not together ;) .
I took a petit repose and headed to the birthplace of George Bernard Shaw. It was a longer walk than the guide claimed and I was getting miserably wet and cold-- even with my umbrella. But this is a self-guided tour worth taking. You listen to headphones as you walk through his house, which has been completely restored and returned to its original Victorian glory. It was warm and cozy inside and this was one of the few places I've been able to take pictures-- let alone with flash.
Then I was off to St. Patrick's Cathedral. It is bigger than Christ Church and equally interesting to tour. There is a park in the back, and while there is no crypt to tour (like the one at Christ Church), worth the expense (also covered by the Dublin Pass).
Well, I am off to dinner. This cyber cafe is closing and I am paying way more money than I should be to use the internet.
Tomorrow, I leave Dublin for...I have no idea yet. Wish me luck!

10 pts. for character, 10 pts. for movie:

"Fuck you, lucky charms!"


Blogger UrbanCannibal said...

Horror fan - quote is from Leprechaun
"Where's me gold?!"

5:01 PM  
Blogger Serena said...

You are the online man of my dreams ;)

7:29 PM  

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