Thursday, August 22, 2013

July 30: In Dublin's Fair City

We had two full days in Dublin and decided that the Hop On Hop Off Bus was the way to go for us.  It was a great deal, 2 days for the price of one.  We were the first to board the bus so we could have the front seats on the upper level with a great view.  We chose to ride the entire route and then decide where we wanted to get off, depending on the weather.  The bus driver was the narrator and he gave historical information and told jokes.  It was a great improvement over the taped commentaries on some tours.
Hop on Hop off bus

Georgian Houses with their colourful doors

Stephen's Green Shopping Centre
After one complete tour we hopped off at Trinity College.    It was founded in 1592 and modeled after Oxford and Cambridge. The Book of Kells is on display at the library at Trinity College. We walked around the main courtyard and listened in on a few of the tours being given by students at the College.
Trinity College

From Trinity College it was a short walk to Grafton Street. This is one of the high end shopping districts in Dublin.   Most of the street is pedestrian only and there were lots of people out walking and enjoying the sunshine. We stopped for photos of the Molly Malone statue and then did some window shopping and listened to buskers as we walked.
The "tart with the cart"

Grafton Street


One of the side streets off Grafton Street

We jumped back on the bus and went to Dublin Castle.  Until 1922 it was the seat of the British rule in Ireland and is now a major Irish government complex.  There was a sandcastle display being built in the central courtyard.  The Record Tower is the only surviving tower from medieval times and dates back to 1228.
The courtyard at Dublin Castle

Record Tower

Our next stop was Christ Church Cathedral, originally the site of a Viking Cathedral. It has been used as a cathedral of the Anglican Church of Ireland since Henry VIII.  For a very brief time it was a Roman Catholic Cathedral but the last mass was in honour of James II in 1689.  The church and grounds are beautiful but we arrived at the same time that the rain shower did so we took a few photos and it was time to find the closest bus stop!
Christ Church Cathedral

Another view of Christ Church Cathedral

The Bridge  structure connects the Cathedral and the old Synod Hall
We rode the bus to Guinness Storehouse and it seemed almost everyone had the same idea..... time for a pint! The admission price included a self guided tour of the historical building and a pint of Guinness with a view of the city of Dublin from the Gravity Bar.  The tour was very interesting. When we arrived on the top floor we were lucky to get some chairs near the window and enjoyed our pint while we admired the view.  When we left the Storehouse the rain was threatening again so we took the bus back to the hotel.
Self Guided Tour

A view from the Gravity Bar

The much awaited pint of Guinness!!

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