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Meeting up with friends in Dublin

After we got back from dinner with my family we decided it was too late to go out (I know we’re boring).  Granted we had been up since 4:30am, so we planned what we wanted to visit on Saturday and headed to bed.

We got a much later start to Saturday than we were expecting, so we had to cross off some things on our list like The Book of Kells.  Luckily, my cousin gave us the lowdown on what to expect there.  His words not mine, “You go into the library and see all these old books and think, ‘that’s cool, but they’ll probably all fit in a Kindle anyways.’  Then you see two pages of the book of Kells and you’re done.”

We used the app Hailo to get a taxi from my cousin’s house.  *If you’re ever traveling and have a smart phone download Hailo.  It’s the best app for hailing a taxi.  It will give you the name of your driver, the license plate, and the ETA.  The best part is that you can also prepay using a credit card, so that they can’t overcharge you!*   And then we were off to Kilmainham Gaol.

Kilmainham Gaol was built in 1796 and was known as a “reform jail”.  Instead of having a ton of prisoners crowded into one room, each prisoner had his/her own room with a cot, a candle that had to last you two weeks, and a bucket (you know what for.)  This way you never knew who was in the cell beside you.


A typical prison cell




Door of a prison cell with a tiny hole



This is where Liam will go next time he gets in trouble


hundreds of cells with a pulley used to bring food upstairs.

Part of the rich history of this jail is that of the Easter Rising. 16 Irish men led a rebellion for Irish Independence on Easter morning 1916.  Unfortunately for them, it didn’t work out so well and they were all sent to Kilmainham, where they awaited death by firing squad.  The amazing this is what happened after.  One man in particular Joseph Mary Plunkett was able to mary his long-time love, Grace, moments before his death in the chapel at the jail.  This heart-breaking story is what caused many Irish to be moved and fight for independence.

Chapel where Grace and Joseph were married.


Cross that stands where 15 of the 16 were executed.

I would definitely recommend visiting Kilmainham Gaol if you’re ever in Dublin.  Our tour guide was great and it was really neat learning about the rich history that surrounds the Republic of Ireland.  You might even get lucky and have a girl who at the conclusion of the tour asks, “So is Ireland it’s own country now?”

 Next up was Temple Bar.  This is a really touristy area, but we were determined to get fish and chips and of course a drink at Temple Bar.  The Temple Bar area was really neat filled with little shops, pubs, and restaurants.  I was determined to find a 99 on the way from the jail to temple bar and in the temple bar area, but unfortunately we were unable to do so.


Fish and Chips at Burdocks



From Temple Bar we ventured to Dublin Castle, which was really pretty on the outside.  We were expecting it to be just as grand on the inside, but it wasn’t.  Troubled by the fact that a room entitled, “Queen’s Bedroom” did not contain a bed, we decided to ask one of the workers.  Apparently the Irish government is allowed to use the Castle for conferences whenever they wish, so they keep as little things as possible inside the rooms, so that it’s easier to set up for events.  Most of the original pieces are hidden away in storage!


Dublin Castle


Entrance to the Castle museum


Next up was St. Patrick’s Cathedral.  We were too late to go inside, but the outside was so pretty!  The park would be a perfect place to study if you’re studying in Dublin.


St. Patrick’s Cathedral


Pretty water fountain in the middle of the park


Outside the entrance


I was a little sad that I wasn’t staying later on Sunday, because it would’ve been wonderful to go to mass at St. Patrick’s, but after taking some pictures of St. Patrick’s we were back to the house.  We got ready fairly quickly and were off to see Caroline.  Caroline and a couple of other Americans studying at Trinity live in this beautiful big house.  To my surprise all the other Davidson students were there as well.  It was so much fun to see everyone.  We hung out at Caroline’s for a little bit before heading out to a pub and then a club called Dicey’s.  It was really fun at the club dancing with Americans (British people tend to not move a lot when they dance).


Davidson students do Dublin


Caroline and I
Dicey’s stamp on my hand

I had an awesome time in Dublin and am excited to be back there soon.  It is a much smaller city than London and is definitely a must see if you’re looking for the same social culture as London, but in a walkable place.




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