Tourist mode

We went total tourist mode in Dublin, it had to happen. On Sunday we headed first over to the Kilmainham Gaol for a not-so-cheery tour of the prison turned tourist attraction. This is one of the largest unoccupied jails in Europe and was involved in some of the biggest events in Ireland's history. When the famine hit Ireland in the 1940's, there were over 9,000 prisoners in Kilmainham, including women and children.

We went on the whole hokey tour, complete with a slide show/video presentation but in a seriousness, the site itself was extremely fascinating. The biggest wing (see below) has been used as a set for numerous TV shows, such as The Tudors, and movies and also has been used by artists like U2 for its outstanding acoustics. Every cell was tiny, bare, and really gave you an idea of what it was like to be isolated there for years at a time. You could even see where they used to hang prisoners outside the building, for public display. Gruesome stuff.

To contrast the totally depressing tour of Kilmainham Gaol, we immediately went to the National Museum of Natural History in Dublin. Let me sum this up for you quickly: Ancient gold jewelry, Ancient Irish viking artifacts, Moorish corpses, etc. I was really shocked at the corpses on display in the museum. Half bodies, missing heads.... these bodies resembled beef jerkey more than actual people. This is something you definitely don't see everyday in the states.

For dinner, we took a tip from my friend Ailbhe, a student at Trinity, and tried Green 19. This had to be the best dinner we've had so far on this trip. Green 19 is located away from downtown Dublin, but was well worth the walk. The cute little 2 story restaurant had friendly staff and unbelievable food all at 10 euros, which is cheap for Ireland. My braised beef bourguignon was out of this world, as well as Dad's Moroccan spiced lamb. A bottle of wine and rhubarb crumble later, and we were happy.