So, it is a balmy 30 degrees as I write this. Luckily we have grabbed food and are hiding down in the hostel basement, which used to be a hundreds of years old wine cellar. Very nifty. My face is recovering feeling.
We took the opportunity to sleep in this morning, as we had nothing booked until 6pm. I literally did not exit my bed until after noon. It was lovely.
Following the eventual exit of my bed, we got more bundled up than we did yesterday and hit the streets. We wandered over to Trinity College first and got in line to see the Book of Kells. I get the significance and all, but really, the room it was in was poorly lit and it looked like the pages were computer print outs. But when you really lean in, like a foot from the thing, and also at an angle, you can sort of see the brush strokes. I think I found the significance cooler than the actual book, in truth. Things went up from there however, literally as well, as we climbed some stairs up to the long room. This is that crazy huge beautiful library room that a lot of current laptops have as a wallpaper option. If that doesn't ring a bell, google it, or look at my facebook. It's awesome.
There was a lovely store downstairs, which we browsed through for a good half hour, buying stuff to take home for ourselves and other (got part of your b-day present mom!). I found another souvenir cat, which seems to be a skill of mine at this point. On a side note, I am dying to buy something with a sheep on it. The Irish seem to love their sheep. They sell all kinds of junk with sheep on it. It's a riot.
We walked from there down to Dublin Castle, which was a cool building to look at. It closed too quickly for us to buy tour tickets, and it was getting rather close to our next booked tour, so we had to let that one pass us by, but we did happily hit the gift shop. Megan bought her claddagh ring, so we can check that off the list.
After that we stopped for dinner, as our next tour was at the Irish Whiskey Museum and empty stomachs seemed unwise. In any case, we stopped at what appeared to be the Irish version of a Chipotle. It was rubbish. Word of warning to future travelers: Mexican food in Ireland sucks. I was hoping it would be like Indian food in the UK. No dice.
We walked down to the Whiskey Museum and waited for our tour to begin. Our tour guide had a name. I'm sure it was a lovely name. It was an Irish name. Started with an N. Can't remember it. Oh well. He took us in and asked us all where we were from and what we liked to drink. There was another set of Californians in the front, which was fun. Megan went with wine, Alyssa chose tequila, and I went with my Belgian Lambics, which delighted the guide, as he had been talking with a Belgian buddy who had also joined our tour and I believe worked in the brewing of lambics. Sometimes my picky palate is good for something.
He explained the history of whiskey and how the Irish invented it first (no matter what the Scots say) and how it was made. He also talked about their version of moonshine, and a whiskey only made in Ireland called single pot still whiskey. From there he walked us upstairs to the tasting room. None of us are whiskey drinkers, but of the four we were allowed to taste, we all found one we liked. Megan and Alyssa liked the single malt, and my unique palate struck again as I found myself preferring the peeted single malt. It was like drinking a campfire. I have no idea why I enjoyed that. The guide was impressed that that was my favorite. So was I. If I can find a wee bottle to bring home, I will. I dont know if its sold in the states,
We were supposed to be able to mix our own whiskey and take it home with us, but we ran out of time as our guide was too chatty. He tried to assure us that the lids were crap and would probably break anyways, but it was still a small bummer. We did get our souvenir glasses though, so there is that.
We stopped at their version of a 7-11 on the way back to the hostel to grab water bottles, as its not as easy to get ahold of as it is in CA. This is probably why I haven't managed to rehydrate myself from that initial plan ride over yet. Stopped at an ATM as well, as we have two more countries to visit that use euro, and then headed back to the hostel.
We think we will be playing some Gaelic sports tomorrow, but we are waiting on confirmation of that from the company. It has been an ongoing conversation. Fingers crossed that it works out!