Today is the last full day of our tour. It’s a day in Dublin, with four major stops.
The first was a museum called EPIC, which is all about Irish migration across the world. To be honest, I wasn’t really looking forward to this because it sounded a bit dry. But this museum is really good.
It was all technology driven. There’s lots of films and stuff to watch and interactive screens you can use it you want further information.
The first section is heartbreaking. It’s all about Ireland’s past and why millions of people have up stakes and moved elsewhere..
I tell you, it all made me very glad I don’t have a drop of Irish blood – these people have had it ROUGH.
The second part was all a celebration of Irish achievements around the world
It was so much better than I thought it would be. If you’re ever in Dublin and have a couple of hours to spare, it’s worth a visit.
Ben enlivened the bus trip towards the next attraction by turning the wrong way up a one-way bridge. A yell from the whole bus alerted him.
“Christ,” he said as he frantically backed up as the traffic advanced towards us. “I’d better get out of here before the Garuda come!”
On our way to Christ Church Cathedral, we passed this clock.
“Clery’s clock,” said Ben. “The tradition is to meet under there for a second date.”
We began talking about the nicknames all the statues have. There was one, whose real names escapes me now, that was a woman rising from water. Ben said that it had to be removed because people kept adding dishwasher detergent to it. She got the name of “the floozy in the jacuzzi.”
Look at where the bullet hole is. It’s not an accident.
Ben gave us a potted version of the 1916 rebellion and urged us all to go home and research it further. Basically, what happened was that in 1916 there were many young men off fighting for the allies in France. Back home in Ireland there were some freedom fighters in Dublin who decided that now would be a good time to fight for their cause upon the world’s stage.
They organised a shipload of weaponry which was then cancelled. Half of them pulled out, while the other half wanted to go ahead. So they did.
They barricaded themselves in a block or two in Dublin. I’m a bit hazy on the details. The town of Dublin didn’t know about it until it happened and there was very little support for it.
The English were not impressed. They diverted a ship full of 17 year old soldiers who thought they were going to France over to Dublin. The ship sailed as far as it could up the river and then opened fire.
The regular people in Dublin were NOT impressed and after 3 days convinced them to surrender. As they left the GPO people spat at them.
Then, here’s where it gets interesting. A guy called Maxwell was the leader of the English. He started executing the freedom fighters
By the time Asquith, the English PM at the time, heard about it and told him to stop, 16 of them had been killed.
Of course, public opinion immediately swung around and the English had 16 dead martyrs on their hands.
The paperwork for the Irish republic was signed in 1922 by Michael Collins.I’m going to track down that movie when I get home.
When we got to Christ Church Cathedral, I was in a Messenger conversation with my sister Kate.
“They’ve just told us that the toilets are located down in the crypt!” I typed.
The answer came back immediately. “We’ll you have to go now!!!”
As soon as I heard about the cat and the rat I headed straight down to the crypt to see them for myself. Here’s the info board:
Here’s what the brochure said about this artifact:
“Here you will find the heart traditionally associated with St Laurence O’Toole, patron saint of Dublin.Laurence was buried in France in 1180 and his heart was reputedly brought back to Christ Church soon after. It was stolen in 2012 but recovered in 2018 and restored to its home in the cathedral.”
First of all… how’s the symmetry???
At the beginning of my trip to Ireland I see a head in a box. Now, at the end, I see a heart in a box. Both in cathedrals. Amazing.
Here’s the Magna Carta. It’s one of the oldest copies of it in Ireland.
We were taken up lots of spiral steps to ring the actual cathedral bells. I had a go and they actually lifted me right off my feet. Single Carol is a bit claustrophobic, so she went up first and down first, so all she had was the guide in front of her instead of being hemmed in by a lot of people.
For some reason, the bells and the ancient stone stairs had the reeling with excitement. This was the highlight of her tour. I heard her say to the church guide, “ This has been the best thing on the trip.”
He replied, “Oh dear!”
After ringing the bells so that all Dublin could hear us, it was off to the Guinness Storehouse.
Now, as you might remember, I hate Guinness with a passion. However, one of the American couples, Doug and Cindy, have been absolutely lovely on this trip. I gave Doug my free pint of Guinness voucher.
He was a little bit happy.
Yeast. Not just used for sourdough.
This tour was self guided, ending up in the Skybar where people could redeem their vouchers. I dutifully wandered along. I had 2 hours to kill in here.
I saw an interesting video from the 1950s about how the oak barrels were made. It was eye-opening just how skilled the coopers were. Unlike the whiskey distillers, Guinness now uses stainless steel for their barrels.
Here’s the movie theatre that they showed ads for Guinness on repeat. I had a little snooze in here…
Then I popped up to the Skybar. Dublin was laid out before us. There were a lot of happy Guinness drinkers here.
Then it was off toThe Merry Ploughboys’ pub for our last dinner.
The men in the band own the pub. They have an excellent business model. Play good Irish traditional music. Pay some Irish dancers. Serve good food. Get the coach companies in.
The evening was excellent. Here’s some dancing for you:
In the second half of the night, the band started playing nationalist songs of reunification of the whole of Ireland. When the singer started his introduction of one of the songs by saying how Ireland had been ruled for 800 years by England, I couldn’t help myself. I glanced over at the other end of the table where Cornelia was sitting.
I laughed out loud at the sour expression on her face. She didn’t see me but I think her meek husband did.
Anyway, who cares what Cornelia thinks? Tomorrow I’m flying back to England to spend a week with Scott!