Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Big Day in Dublin

By Wes Grimm

I am going to try and describe this day with as much detail that I can without it being 5 pages long...

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Started out with a very rude smacking of the alarm clock at 7:30 and waking up the rest of the roommates to go down for breakfast in the hostel we were staying at. We had to wait in line for our beautifully delicious full Irish breakfast. We ate that quickly and then went back up to shower and change. After we met our group out in front of the hostel, we made our way to Trinity College to see the book of Kells and the Long Room. The long room is a big library that feels like the library from Harry Potter and is filled with first edition books. For example they have the first edition of Gulliver's Travels by Johnathan Swift and have many first editions of Atlases that somewhat have the correct shape of countries and continents. We then left the College at about 11:00 AM.

Then I had a choice to either go to the Guinness factory or go to the National Museum of Architecture. I actually chose to go National Museum of Architecture, not because I don't like Guinness (I love it!) but because the National Museum was free. I am very glad I chose the museum because they had an exhibit about the Bog bodies that were found in Ireland. These bodies were preserved unbelievably well in the bogs. It has something to do with the acidity of the bogs that keeps the bodies so well preserved. There were four bodies on display and each had a little description on how they died and how and where they were found. Some of the bodies still had facial hair, finger nails, and almost full heads of hair. These people were sacrificed in around 2000-1000 B.C and still weren't bald. Our group of about 8 students left the Museum at about 12:45 to get some lunch.

We stopped and had a quick bite to eat at "Mama's Revenge" which was actually a burrito place. I ate a really spicy quesadilla. We then walked a couple blocks and got on the bus, full of the rest of the drunk students that decided to go to the Guinness factory at about 1:30 PM. It was a very entertaining and fun bus ride.

Then half of our group got dropped off at Kilmainham jail, and the rest of the group and I got dropped off at the National Museum- Collins Barracks. There we saw many exhibits about the Easter Rising in Ireland. Also many other exhibits about other battles that Ireland fought in dating way back, to before 1850. They had many uniforms and the weapons that were used in the many battles including the battle of the Boyne and WWII. From the outside it looked like a small museum but once we got in we realized that it was huge and had to try and soak as much information in as possible, in the hour that we had there. We then left the museum and swapped places with other group at about 3:30.

We got to Kilmainham jail and had to wait in line for a tour, we got super lucky and we were in the second to last tour of the day. The jail was really old and somewhat creepy like many old jails. We learned a lot from our tour guide; for example the jail held women, children and men in it at one time. Also that the youngest person in the prison was of the age of 5 and was put in there for 2 months when he was caught trying to steal a bronze ring during the great potato famine. Also the main corridor or holding area has been used in many movies and music videos. It has been used in the Italian Job, the Shawshank Redemption , and many other movies. The main corridor has been used in many music videos and for concerts because the acoustics in it are unbelievably good. The acoustics were made to be so great so that guards could even hear the prisoners whisper from across the giant room. Our tour finished at about half 5. That's the Irish way of saying 5:30.

The rest of the group got back on the bus and drove off to pick up the people back at the museum. Three others and I decided it would be a fun idea to go bouldering. We were going to go bouldering at a place named Gravity. We finally made Gravity at about 6:30. We filled out paperwork and got our climbing shoes and were free to climb the wall. The walls were no bigger than 25 ft and you didn't have a rope tied to you so you had to climb up and then climb back down. There were different color routes that you could choose from and each color had a different difficulty. It was a blast. All four of us could feel our arm muscles tighten up and our hands get ripped apart from climbing the wall. We were all exhausted and starving by the time 7:45 rolled around.

We left Gravity and our first goal was to find food as quick as possible on our journey home. I call it a journey because Google maps told us that we were 5.4 km away and it would take us an hour and 6 minutes to walk back to our hostel. We quickly found a fast food place that I do not recall the name of, all we cared about was that it had food. We all ordered our food and waited about 5 minutes for it. Once we received our food we walked out the door and started to devour the food. I don't think the food made it any farther than 4 blocks. We were all satisfied but all we wanted to do was relax and put our feet up, which was a problem because we still had a long way back to the hostel. We started to speed walk and I think we would have given the Olympic Speed walking team a run for their money. We saw a lot of Dublin that we wouldn't have seen. We made it back to our hostel in one hour exactly. We were all proud that we were 6 minutes faster than the Google maps time and it took each of us about 6 minutes to fall asleep after we made it up to our beds.

It was quite the day jam packed full of fun and interesting experiences and I can honestly say I would do them all again!

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