Thursday, June 13, 2013

Dublin - Exploring

                                Queen of Tarts restaurant - what a great place for breakfast

We started out at a great local restaurant that baked everything themselves. Even their orange juice was squeezed in the restaurant from oranges in a basket right in front of the counter. Then it was off to see the Book of Kells, a very famous manuscript over 1000 years old. No photos were allowed, the light was very subdued to protect the hand scribed pages. Monks had painstakingly copied the first four books of the bible with lavish illustrations. 

                  A hall of  restored books in the next room after the Book of Kells

Onward to the Museum of Archeology that contained the earliest evidence of mankind on Ireland. The artifacts dated to over 5000 years ago and there some evidence based on two samples that even earlier dates were possible, one artifact was claimed to be over 300,000 years old (no, that's not too many zeros, they really claimed 300,000 years). With the later objects of gold neck pieces, bracelets, there was a lot of wow factor in there. 

                   The top view had a panoramic view of Dublin, along with a Guinness 

We had purchased a tour bus ticket that was good for 2 days with unlimited on/off boarding, very handy for exploring Dublin. Now it was time to see what Guinness had to offer. Their home plant is in Dublin and they offer tours along with a pint of Guinness, how could we resist? We had heard that the Guinness you got in Dublin was better than the US due to being much fresher. I'm not an expert on beer so I couldn't say but it did taste good.

               You had better be careful, look right, not left when crossing the street when 
                             cars drive on the left side of the road!

All during the day we got typical Ireland weather, rain, sun, rain, sun, rain, sun, etc. We carried an umbrella, part of the uniform there. You just never know what to expect, wonder what will happen when we reach our canal boat on Saturday? So, putting all that aside, we had our departing dinner at a superb restaurant down the street. Who said you couldn't get good meals in Ireland? The cost was reasonable at 14 euros for the entree.  

On Friday we're headed for a town close to our boat pickup point so we can easily provision before setting out Saturday morning. The winds are howling here with 20 to 30 kt winds and gusts to 40, hopefully they will calm down some by the weekend.