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Michael’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 17 Mar 2007

Location: Dublin, Ireland

MapHey guys,

Coming to you live from the basement of the hostel of St. Patrick's Day. SO, I have officially been converted to the black stuff, drinking nothing but the liquid tar last night - not a hint of larger in sight. Having said that, I think the Guinness fixation will probably stay behind in Dublin when I head home.

After my slow start yesterday, I set off on my own brief walking tour of Dublin, heading firt down Connolly Street, one of the two main streets in town, then along the river heading into the medievil area of Dublin.

Just so happens that the first place I come across is the Brazen Head Inn, the oldest pub in Ireland which has been there since the 12th century. That sounded like a great opportunity to have a drink and I wandered in through the 5.5 foot high doors to the bar. There I saw many an omen... the walls were covered, and I do mean covered, in money that was scribbled all over from all around the world, but a good 80% had to be US $1 bills. Man interesting messages including one that just said 'Da Bears'!. There was also a Victorian Police Office badge attached to the walls, and even a used Cubs vs. White Sox Wrigley Park ticket stub. Bizzarre. But the most impressive, and the omen, I caught on the way out. A $1 bill that just said 'Go Saluki's!'... lock it in!

From there I headed to Dublin Castle, a not so exciting castle that looks like it houses council offices right now. Then I headed back and wandered around the gardens of St. Patrick's Cathedral for a bit. I stuck my head in, but it looked like every other church, so continued on. From there I headed to Stephen's Green, a big park in the middle of town, and then up Grafton Street (the other main strip in town) past all of the shops and up to Trinity College.

I took the college tour, and then ended up in the library and saw the book of Kells. Now this 'masterpiece' is nothing but a decorated bible... kind of overated, but they like to make a big deal of it. And of course, with a book around 1200 years old, you can't exactly just leaf through the pages... so seeing the book of Kells is actually seeing 2 pages from the book of Kells that sits open in a glass case... Yeah, well, I've seen it now! Then I wandered through the library, which was much more impressive... though try finding a book. The books aren't sorted in A-Z, or even chronologically, they are sorted by size... go figure.

Headed back to the hostel, waiting for the rain - which never really came - and then set off with the Fanatics tour group for the pub. Second night in a row I was in The Temple Bar, and last night was even more rammed than Thursday. It was actually quite rediculous. But the atmosphere was HUGE and everyone was having an awesome time. As I said, the Guinness was going down pretty well by the end of it all, but I have barely made a dent into the 34 requests for pints so far...

Today, we have entry into a pub before it opens that has 2 stories that look over the parade route, and we'll head there in about an hour or so (11am). This will likely be the day that the groups gets most messy.... given many of the lads are cracking beers with breakfast... Unfortunately, whilst the Guinness was good last night, it wasn't THAT good, and I will lay off the beer - at least till we get to the pub.

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you all, and don't forget to celebrate what little Irish you have in you!

Go Blue Boys!