Day 13 - Dublin (Thursday July 4th)
There were lots of American flags flying in Dublin today. On our way into town on the 3rd our taxi driver commented that the 4th was a big day for us Yanks. I told him that's why we had to leave England, they might still bear a grudge! I found out later that a co-worker and his wife were in Dublin on this day, but for some reason we never saw them!
We headed right out to Trinity College and 'The Book of Kells' exhibit, which was pretty fascinating. The 'Long Room' in the library above was also very cool with more information about book restoration & preservation then I'll ever need. When we left, the line was even longer, so it's good we went early. Around the corner is Merrion Square that is lined with Georgian houses, not the most exciting architectural style. The square itself is nice and has the only full-color statue in Dublin; of Oscar Wilde, a very colorful guy.
Our afternoon goal was the Guinness tour, we figured Thursday afternoon would be a much better time than Saturday! We meandered through central Dublin, going by Christ Church Cathedral, St. Audoen's Church (the oldest parish church in Dublin, dating from 1190), along the River Liffey, past St Patrick's Tower (Europe's tallest smock windmill) and finally to the Guinness tour.
Sure the whole thing is a tourist trap, but it's cool tourist trap that ends with pint of Guinness in a bar with the best view of Dublin to be found anywhere. They turned an old brewery building into a shrine to the beer (sorry, stout) and the middle is a huge round area in the shape of a pint! A 7 story pint. Sue was particularly fascinated by the cooper exhibition. At one time the had 300 men doing nothing but making barrels. Coopering is one of many skills that we don't need much of anymore.
Leaving there, we passed 'John's Lane Church' with some bizarre sculptures outside it. Then another excellent 'Modern Irish' restaurant, The Exchequer, ended our walking tour for the day.