Day Two In Dublin – From City Tours To Irish Dancing

On our second day in Dublin, we got to sleep long enough to shake off some of the jet lag. Another thing that helped us deal with the jet lag was the high pressure showers, which provided the complete exfoliating experience of a prison delousing. After breakfast, we hopped on the bus (or “coach”) for a tour of the city. Our guide was excellent, and one of his best qualities was that he had us get off the bus for pictures as much as possible in keep us awake. This strategy worked well, and a mark of its success was that it almost prevented one of our travelers, Ford, from falling asleep. Almost. 


The first step of the tour was the visiting the statue/monument to native Dubliner Oscar Wilde. The statue had just the kind of smirking expression one might expect from Oscar Wilde.

 

It was also the expression of some of our Gaelic Games trainers for most of our session.


During our tour of the part of Dublin famous for its Georgian architecture, we stopped at one of the famous doors for an impromptu photo shoot. 


Next up was a visit to the remains of Dublin castle, located in an area that was being renovated.

If this is our renovation team, the castle will be rebuilt with significantly more closet space after 15,786 stops at Home Depot.

It was a bit cloudy in the morning, but the sun did come out and we mostly avoided the rain. 

The main attraction on the tour was Dublin’s famous St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

The cathedral was built in the same area, according to the Catholic Church, as the church first established by St. Patrick. The gothic cathedral was begun in 1191 and is now Ireland’s tallest and largest church. Jonathan Swift is buried here. 


When the tour of the interior concluded, we had a chance to take pictures in the gardens. 

“I’m not touching you! I’m not touching you!”

In honor of the cathedral’s awesomeness, we broke out the selfie stick. 

Our next stop was at Papal Cross, constructed in 1979 for the visit of Pope John Paul II. Over a million Irish crowded into this site on that day. 

And slightly fewer on the day of the tour.


The final stop on the tour was the Garden of Remembrance, a memorial to all of the Irish who died in order to obtain independence from the British. 


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When the tour ended, we had a chance for some shopping and lunch. Or, for some members of the group, some shopping followed by a bit more shopping. 

Ground zero for shopping.

 

Others went for lunch…

…followed by more eating. 

And there was time to take in a few more landmarks and monuments. 


And we found disturbing evidence about how an epidemic can become a pandemic in this global world.

Re-energized by lunch, I t was time for another cultural experience – Irish dancing and music. 

Surely we will look better at this than we did at Hurling, right? RIGHT?!

 Before starting, we took a quick restroom break so we could devote full attention to the lesson.

Warning – not for those with shy bladders.

An Irish musician warmed us up by playing traditional Irish music, and then we started dancing. It’s possible that our dancing was a bit rough. 

In our defense, though, we were unfairly asked to remember more than three consecutive dance moves. The Gaelic Games people can tell you that we can only hold three ideas in our brains at any one moment. Still, by the end, we had gone from “rough” to “slightly less rough.”

And we did have two entrants into the Irish dance off at the end. The dancing was a great example of syncretism, or cultural blending, as we blended Irish dance with the kind of thing seen in American football when a lineman manages to get his hands on the football. 

Having completed this rigorous dance program, I’m pretty sure we are almost completely Irish.


Having reinvented Irish Dancing, we headed to dinner. 

There, some people reinvented the concept of trying new foods. 

By subbing out the traditional fish and chips for chicken and chips.

After dinner, we went to the Temple Bar district, which is full of shops and, um, bars. Then we ended our Dublin experience with a ride on a double-decker bus. 

Not pictured – the insane Italian tourists who did all that they could to make American tourists look fantastic

Next up: Wales and the Lake District

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