Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Churches & Guinness! Aye, Ireland!

Thursday, June 16

Another coffee/latte/cappuccino machine in the hotel restaurant for breakfast, yesss! (seriously the best coffee I've ever had) And what's THAT on the "full Irish breakfast" bar?! Oooohhh, black pudding! Should I try it? What the heck, ya only live once...actually, it had a nice flavor with lots of grains and spices. THEN I looked it up on Wiki to see what was in it. Back to the eggs and mushrooms. -_-
We picked up our local guide, Therese, and journeyed around Dublin. It's a relatively small city, but it's packed with things to see. This particular day was Bloomsday, an annual celebration of the life of Irish author, James Joyce. Therese was an engaging guide with a dry sense of humor (love that!); she talked quietly in case we had "had a few jars" the night before : )

Rent-a-bikes. Just cool : )

Inside St. Patrick's Cathedral. Sadly, I didn't get any shots of the outside, as we were pretty much hustled and bustled on and off the bus. A verryyy busy place. And it used to be Catholic, that dang Henry!

Where the Children's Choir sings. The choir is open to "everyone" ; ), but they only take musical kids at a very young age. The Guinness family donated money to help restore St. Patrick's, and a beautiful stained glass window is dedicated to them. I'm telling ya, you really learn alot about the Guinness's! They're heroes here!

Back on the bus and around town. This is the cross erected in Phoenix Park, the largest enclosed park in Europe, to commemorate John Paul II's visit and Mass there in 1979.

Irish ice cream? Wonder if the cows drink Guinness too?!

Our last stop as a group that day was Trinity College, to see the illuminated Book of Kells. It's an Irish manuscript of the four gospels, penned in Latin. No photography is allowed (again! grrrr), but the Book itself dates back to around 1,000 AD. Only two pages are viewed at a time, and are changed every four months; we saw page 33 (my favorite number, the age of perfection!), which contained the illustration of Christ the King! Perfect and awe-inspiring! 
The library upstairs was beyond description, I felt like Belle when the Beast gave her his library! Too cool!

Molly Malone. The busty fishmonger from the song!

Christ Church of the Holy Trinity

Splendid & huge!

St. Audoen's, a Polish Catholic church just on past Christ Church. The Poles are moving into Ireland, and re-opening churches in Dublin : )

We made it! St. James Gate!

Inside the Guinness Storehouse, where the brewery used to be.

Just in case you needed to know how to properly pour a Guinness.

A phenomenal 360° view of the city from Gravity Bar, at the top of the Storehouse.

This guy could pour! The color is intoxicating, just like the beer!

I got a shamrock!!! ♣ Sláinte!

Up next: History, Irish coffee, and lots o' Blarney!
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