There’s a name called Dubh Linn, meaning black pool, which is supposedly where the Vikings settled when they stopped pillaging and plundering. (Dublin had vikings. Too cool). But the Irish name for Dublin isn’t that name above; it’s actually Baile Atha Cliath. The name means something about bridge at the ford, or something, because the river Liffey runs through the middle of town.Don’t ask me to pronounce that.
Dublin also had a city wall, and due to politics, there was a cathedral built inside city walls (Christchurch Cathedral), which had to abide by city rules and taxes, and a cathedral outside city walls (St. Patrick’s Cathedral), free of said regulations. And they’re like a 5 min walk from each other. And of course no visit to a European city would be complete w/out a visit to an old cathedral (or 2).
The build up to Irish independence, establishing the Republic of Ireland as a free state and Northern Ireland as part of the UK, was a long and difficult process culminating in 1921, I think. And the jail Kilmainham Gaol housed a lot of these rebellious traitors against the Crown, as well as various pretty lawbreakers who wanted to go to jail to get fed during the potato famine. The tour guide said it was akin to the Irish analog of the French Bastille, so I got that going for me I guess.
So that’s a bit of what I learned on my tours and visits here. 2 nights, 2 hostels (because I couldn’t get one booking for the weekend, but I ended up booking sister hostels). And the 2nd one I was at had a better location, but no water. (dafuq). Both were like huge college dorm layouts, not like the small cozy one I’d stayed at in Taiwan. Hard to meet ppl that way. And my 6 person bed room was empty when I went to bed last night, but filled when I took off for an early morning today on my train out to Galway. Welp.
No rail in Dublin to get you around town, so buses galore. I bought this one 3 day bus pass that included a ride from the airport to the city, and there was this hop on/off bus I used to get around town. I think it was valid for regular buses too?
Other notable attractions I visited : Trinity College Dublin (library – book of Kells), National Library, National Museum, Guinness Storehouse tour, Old Jameson Distillery tour.
Insta image: Gravity Bar at the top of Guinness Storehouse. I happened to be 4th in line for tickets, not because I really wanted a pint that early, but because my first stops on my list weren’t open. At 9am. On a Saturday. Terrible way to do tourist business. And then, today, Sunday, nothing was open for me to get breakfast at 7am. I mean, yeah, it’s Sunday, but.. Nothing? And earliest train at 8am? Eh.
I think it’s ridiculous that I finally got a chance to do some whiskey tasting… All the way in Ireland. The tour guide at the Jameson tour kept mentioning that Jameson (Irish whiskey) is distilled three times, Scottish whiskey (johnnie walker) twice, and American whiskey (Jack Daniels) distilled once. Also, Jameson has a smooth taste, Johnnie Walker has a smoky flavor (d/t the way it’s heated, w/ peat or something), and Jack is sweet compared to the other 2. Good to know eh?
I think my train is currently in the smack middle of Ireland. Cool.
So that’s Friday and Saturday in Dublin, sorta all mixed into one. Didn’t do a pub crawl, because I didn’t see anyone at the hostel into it? It was weird. Shame.