Monday, June 29, 2009

Dublin-Day 2

Ok, so I didn't take this picture but I had to show you how every morning of our trip began. This is what is termed a "Full Irish Breakfast". Strange--it looked very similar to a "Full Scottish Breakfast" and I'm pretty sure it must look like a "Full English Breakfast". All of the hotels where we stayed had buffets but they had all of these items on the buffet. Between these breakfasts and the amazing dinners we had--well, I did gain a wee bit.

Anyway, back to the tour. On the second day, we headed north of Dublin to Malahide Castle. It was a very interesting place having been a fortress and private home for nearly 800 years. The Talbot family lived there from 1185 to 1973. One sad story was that the morning of The Battle of the Boyne in 1690, 14 members of the family sat down to breakfast. None of the 14 returned that evening, all having been killed in the battle. Unfortunately we weren't allowed to take pictures inside the castle so I can't show you the beautiful furniture, portraits etc.After our visit to Malahide, we headed back into the heart of Dublin. Along the way, we did travel along the Irish Sea and saw some beautiful scenery. We were dropped off again in crowded downtown Dublin for lunch. We avoided Grafton Street and didn't stray too far from where we were to get the coach again. We were finding, though, that it was either eat or shop. We didn't have time for both. After lunch, we loaded back on the coach and headed to the Guinness Storehouse. I am not a beer drinker and especially not a Guinness drinker but the Storehouse was very interesting. It is Ireland's #1 tourist place. The building was originally built in 1904 to house Guinness'fermentation. It closed in 1988 but opened again in 2000 as a museum of sorts. Here is Chuck in front of a display of Guinness bottles. We were waiting for our tour to start.There are 7 floors of displays of how Guinness is brewed. Along the way there is a place where you can taste Guinness. One taste was enough for me! On the top floor is the Gravity Bar where everyone who is of age is offered a free pint of Guinness. I opted for the free glass of Diet Coke instead. But Al and Chuck didn't decline their pint. Of course Guinness has The Store where you can buy anything Guinness.
While we were waiting for the whole group to assemble, we decided to take a group picture of those of us who were there. We headed back to the hotel to rest a bit then we loaded on the coach again and headed for Taylor's Three Rock Pub. We had kind of thought that we were heading to a Pub where we would enjoy some Pub Grub and some traditional Irish entertainment. We didn't expect that we would be herded into a huge hall with tons of other Tour Groups. I think Alex was a bit disappointed and did tell me that he wouldn't do it again next year on his tour. The meal was ok but nothing spectacular. After dinner we were treated to some great entertainment though. They had a comic who was hysterical. They also had Irish Dancers and a couple of vocalists--one of which was an Irish tenor of course. He really was very good. This was a very long day and most of us were ready to head to bed when we got back to the hotel. I did hear the next morning that a few of the group did go down to the Barge for a nightcap--or two!


Gayle said...

I remember my first breakfast in was my first experience with a soft-boiled egg. It was messy. Doesn't Europe just have the most amazing castles? I love how old everything is. Sorry about the tourist hall. That is a bummer.

maryt/theteach said...

That sure does look like a full Irish breakfast! Dee-lish! Such beautiful pix of the Irish countryside! Thanks for sharing, Snowbird! :)

The Farmer Files said...

Oooh I always wished when I was little that I was once upon a time a princess that lived in a castle. Hmmm you just don't see castles in the states do you? Fascinating.