Note: Dublin was so busy that I had no time to journal. I am writing this from the perspective of having been home for a week now.
Saturday morning we all managed to get up at an ungodly hour and get all our stuff intio the van. I slept through most of the drive back to Dublin. We stopped at a gas stationand I roused enough to go in to go in for snacks.
There was a major dogshow in Dublin Saturday and Leisa wanted to attend it and talk to a ladt who had written books on Irish Wolfhound breeding. After some confusion we dropped Leisa and Tim off at the fairgrounds, then found the hotel the four of them would be staying in before heading to the airport in the morning, so they could store all of their luggage.
Rowena and Byron then dropped us off at our hotel, The O'Callghan Alexander in Marion Square, near St. Stephan's green.
The link below show's you the exterior of the Hotel and if you click for the second picture, It's the EXACT layout of the room we inhabited for the next few days. http://www.ocallaghanhotels.com/dublinmain/Alexander.aspx
We were able to check in early and settled into our room, then had lunch downstairs at the "winner's lounge", which is the hotel's bar.
We got directions from the the concierge and then walked several blocks to the Tourist's Information Center.
It turned out to be a converted church.
At the Info center we got our Dublin CityPasses and picked up tickets that would allow us to use the Hop on/Hop Off tour busses plus all public transport busses for the next three days.
We accidentally got on the public bus once we were outside the visitor center and had to walk a few blocks back to get the Hop on/off bus. On the way we found the statue of Molly Malone.
According to Declan (yes, another Declan) who drove one of the busses we rode, the locals call her "the Tart with the cart" among other things.
We took the Hop on/off bus for the entire circuit to get our bearings, and figure out what we wanted to do.
We decided to start with the Guinness Storehouse at St james Gate.
Our Dublin passes got us in free. It's a self guided tour so you can go at your own pace. The Storehouse is the second largest brewery in Europe.
Along with our free entrance we also got a little plastic paperweight that has a few dropps of guinness encased insode it in a little bubble. Attached to the paperweight is a little tag. At the end of the tour you wind up several stories up in a room called the Gravity bar. It has clear sheet glass windows all the way around and a fabulous view of the entire city. In the Gravity Bar they take the little tag off the souveneir and give you a free glass of guinness.
It was after 6 when we left the Guinness storehouse, which meant that the H.O/H.O bus was running at 30 minute intervals. we had just missed the one, and the next one was running late, so we got to stand there and enjoy the Irish weather for quite a while.
We caught the bus to the closest stop to the hotel and we saw the boyhood home of Oscar Wilde on the walk back.
We relaxed a bit at the hotel before going out to find food. To jim's chagrin it was late and we wound up eating at a burger king.
After a bit of wandering we managed to find our way to Temple Bar, dublin's cultural and party district. The link below explains:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temple_Bar,_Dublin
We went in a couple of bars to listen to music and the third one was THE Temple Bar. It was extremely crowded and jim and I would up standing in the doorway between two rooms getting jostled everytime someone wanted to move between the two rooms. I was in the midst of a bit of a meltdown as that many people jammed into such a small place was making me claustrophobic and I finally just about shoved my way outside to wait for Jim to be done soaking up the atmosphere. It was late and I was obviously overly tired, so we caught a cab back to the O'C. A. at that point.