When we arrived in Dublin on Tuesday night, we went out and got dinner at an "authentic" American diner, because all the pubs that were serving food had stopped serving an hour before we arrived. When we got back to the hostel we decided we were exhausted and decided to take it easy and go to bed around 10 so that we would be rested and ready for Wednesday.
Wednesday our day began by finding the Jameson Distillery where we had a tour scheduled for 11 am. The tour of the Distillery was actually really interesting - we learned a lot about how to make whiskey as well as about the difference between Irish and Scottish whiskey. Laura volunteered to be a part of the "taste test team" and she got to test 5 different whiskeys and compare them to Jameson - Jameson beat all the other whiskeys in the opinions of all of the testers. We then walked back over to our area of town, Temple Bar - renowned for its unique pub scene and the famous Temple Bar - and picked up our tickets for that evening's showing of Katyn, a polish film that was showing at the Jameson Film Festival. We then went back to the hostel and Laura and Allison decided to take a nap and I went out and walked around. I explored Trinity College and found our cinema for that night. Around 5pm we left to go see the film, which was phenomenal - if you ever get the chance definitely go see it. Although it was a little depressing it was beautifully done and incredibly powerful. Katyn basically tells the story of 12,000 Polish soldiers murdered by the Soviets in 1941. It's incredible to me that in all of the WWII history I've had I had never been taught about this massacre.
After Katyn we went back to the hostel and grabbed a bite to eat and met up with our new friends Ali and Jocelyn - two girls who were visiting Dublin during their year long study abroad in Paris. We went out with them and another of our roommates who was a Firefighter from Vancouver BC (But i never learned his name...) to the famous Temple Bar where we heard a traditional Irish group play - fiddle, drum, accordian and guitar. They were awesome. We then went to another bar a bit further down the street because it was packed and expensive at temple bar - little did we know the next bar would be even more expensive - a mixed drink costing 6.70 euro. But hey - we're only in Dublin once right? We met some Irish people and went with them to a club where we danced all night. It was so much fun.
The next day Jocelyn, Laura and Allison went shopping and Ali an I went to see The Book of Kells which was so incredible. It's amazing to me that something from that long ago is still around and in perfect condition. The colors were more incredible than I ever could have imagined. There was also a giant library called the Long Hall which basically fulfilled my childhood dream. It contained thousands of OLD books on mahogany bookshelves 2 stories tall. The ceilings were arched and made of wood and there were marble busts of famous authors and philosophers at the end of every row. I stood for a solid two minutes at the entrance to the hall gaping because it was so incredibly beautiful. http://www.tcd.ie/Library/heritage/longroom.php has more information as well as a really crappy photo. I don't think it would even be possible to capture the beauty of the library on camera... maybe on film though - one day, mark my words, I'll make a film in the Long Room of the Trinity College Old Library.
After Ali and I returned from the library she was feeling a bit ill so she went to lay down and I went to a cafe and grabbed breakfast and read my book which was a nice break from everything. I met Laura, Allison and Jocelyn at the hostel and we watched TV for a couple of hours seeing as we were all getting the beginnings of "the castle plague" and we were exhausted. We went shopping for a little while and then we went to St. Patrick's Cathedral which was, unfortunately, being restored so it was covered in scaffolding. Laura Allison and I then set off for the airport to catch a late night flight to Edinburgh.
I really loved Ireland - everyone was super nice and the city was really cool. I wish we'd gotten to see more of the Irish Countryside but maybe on my next trip to Ireland which I'm already starting to plan...It may be a few years down the road but I'm definitely coming back.