Monday, October 25, 2010

Vikings Have Holidays Too!

FDR was really on to something... Now you're probably all trying to make the connection between the Norsemen of Scandinavia and the New Deal. Well I have to say you're probably not going to find it, so I'll just get on with it. Today was a Bank Holiday. Considering we do not have a day off for Columbus not discovering Ireland, we get a day off to pay tribute to banks. Seeing that it had been a pretty lazy yet productive weekend, I sat around and did research, I decided to take today to venture into town. Also random side note: apparently all this time when I've been saying that I'm going into Dublin...I've been wrong...I've been going into town...Howth is in Dublin. Who knew?! Anyway construction rendered the DART useless for the weekend so I caught the bus into town from the Howth summit. As I got off the bus at the O'Connel Street Spire at around noon, I found myself to be extremely hungry. Beyond belief. So after making a quick stop for a Chicken Legend, I wandered across town to Serena's apartment by Fitzwilliam's Square. Another random side note: the Fitz's are very common in Ireland...Fitzwilliam, Fitzgeralds, Fitzsimmons. Seeing that the last two names on that list are bars by Trinity does not really say much for my character.

From her apartment, Serena, Katie, Laura and I crossed town, yet again, to Christ Church. Now I had already seen this amazing cathedral so I will not dwell on it. One thing that I did notice this time, that I don't think I saw before, is that one side of the building looks like its falling down the hill that its situated on. Facing the alter, the wall on your right-hand side looks perfectly perpendicular with the ground. The left-hand side, however, seems to be angled away from you! I probably should have asked someone while I was there as to what is going on. But with no other knowledge, I am going to promote my theory that the cathedral is falling down the hill. Stay tuned.

Across the street from us was the Dublinia museum. With our combo Christ Church / Dublinia tickets, we crossed into the world of the Vikings. Despite the common perception of the Vikings invading all of the British Isles, they actually founded Dublin in 841. This site is a tribute to their culture, and how they adapted and furthered civilization in Ireland. As serious as this may sound, there were costumes. At one point on the first floor of the exhibit there was a chest of clothes screaming in capital letters: TRY THESE. So we did. Laura actually got a pretty good picture of Serena stabbing me. It was pretty epic. Yet extremely unfair because there was only one sword. But the museum had some really cool setups about typical life in this period. They depicted the traditional county fair, the center of medieval commerce, and the typical merchant's house. From here we made our way to the top of the tower in Dublinia. The museum has a very similar style to the Christ Church Cathedral, just across the street, and they're connected by a second floor stone bridge of a similar style. I'm probably completely wrong about this but my guess is that Dublinia was some sort of religious order or group affiliated with the church before it became Dublinia. That would probably also explain the tower. Regardless, the tower provides an amazing panoramic view of the city. Many people say a rooftop view of Dublin is not much to see, well I think they're wrong.

With dinner time approaching, we walked back down Dame Street towards Trinity College. The plan was simple. We would go see the grounds to Dublin Castle on the way to get dinner. We weren't going to go inside because it was to close in twenty minutes. Surprisingly, we stuck to that plan. But the castle is an amazing site. Its smack-dab in the middle of Dublin city centre and it still evokes an amazing Medieval feeling when you walk through the front gates. As planned, we did not stay long at all but got a few quick shots in. Photographs, not alcohol. Leaving the eleventh-century grounds we made our way to Wagamama. Yes that is the actual name of the restaurant. It is a Japanese place of Grafton Street and it has a really laid back atmosphere. But the food was cheap and it was delicious. I got some really spicy, and somehow really sweet, noodle dish with Teriyaki Chicken. I don't think it was Teriyaki. But it was still really good. After dinner I caught the next bus back to Howth, watching the scenery go by as listened to, yet another, history podcast.

Well so this ends a three, actually four, day weekend. Talk to you all soon!


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