Thursday, April 8, 2010

Last Day in Dublin

Yesterday: Nice Day in Galway

Another Real Nice Day here in Dublin. Even the locals on the Luas were commenting on it.

Choo taught me last summer that you gotta get some culture when you travel. So on the recommendation of Monte, our local Irishman back home, I visited Kilmainham Gaol in the western part of the city. It's Ireland's version of Alcatraz, only it was in operation for 228 years starting in 1796. It was home to common criminals and political prisoners, and many of Ireland's revolutionary heroes met their ends here on the gallows or against the wall.

Kilmainham Gaol's main gate. The five chained snakes above the door symbolize the prison's ability to control any evil, even The Serpent himself. Public hangings were conducted by dropping the condemned from the balcony above the gate.

I have to think this was written after the prison was abandoned in 1924: Beware of the risen people that have harried and held, ye that have bulled and bribed.

A row of cells from the original 1796 cellblock

The three-story, 96-cell Victorian Wing, built on the Panopticon principle.

Cell in the Victorian Wing

Prisoner exercise yard at Kilmainham. Exercise consisted of two concentric counter-rotating rings of prisoners walking heads-down, hands clasped behind their backs, silently, for an hour. The tour guide demonstrated this using very young children, which amused me.

Cross marking the spot where the Easter Rising rebels were executed by firing squad in 1916

Plaque commemorating the Easter Rising rebels executed at Kilmainham Gaol in 1916. James Connolly had been seriously injured in the fighting, so he was carried in on a stretcher and tied to a chair, then shot like the rest of them.

An awful picture of a nice model of Kilmainham Gaol

After all that, a bloke needs a pint, and The Patriots Inn is very conveniently located.

The Patriots Inn, Kilmainham, Dublin: This old pub standeth on sacred ground, surrounded by the high walls of Royal Kilmainham Hospital, by the ancient cemetary of Bully's Acre and the dungeons of Kilmainham Jail. The Patriot's Inn has been closer to the pulse of Irish History than any other contemporary pub. Interestingly, the flags flown over the door are Irish, American, and Scots.

The Guinness Brewery as seen from Heuston Station. The Gravity Bar is just visible above the black gate.

The Guinness Brewery as seen from the National Museum on Benburb Street. The dozens of silos with little domes on top are actually fermentation tanks.

Daniel O'Connell standing between his eponymous bridge and Dublin's big steel pointy thing. O'Connell Bridge is notable for being wider than it is long.

Porterhouse Central appeared as if by magic before me, beckoning me to have one last pint of Hop Head. Or two.

And now I'm back at the hotel with the required pint(s) of Guinness. Tomorrow will come early, and has the potential to be an annoyingly long day. The bus leaves at 7:00am.

Tomorrow: Long Day in Atlanta


choo said...

good to see you're remembering your lessons, grasshopper!

YAY! culture!

Richard Stueven said...

See, that's why I need you to travel with me more often.

choo said...

soon as Vito and The Bella get real jobs - or I meet me a shugga mama . . .

hell at this point i might possibly even consider entertaining the idea of a shugga daddy