I had avoided these types of tour buses up to this point, because I like to find my own way around, and it seems so very touristy. In the case of Dublin, however, it's something I should have done the first day, because while Dublin has a lot of very interesting sights, a lot of them are subtle. There were many interesting places that I had walked right by on my previous explorations, because I hadn't realized they were important.
One of the places where I stopped was the Guinness brewery. Now, personally I can't stand the stuff, or anything with ethanol in it for that matter, but one can hardly visit Ireland without at least some exploration of the country's most popular pastime. (Actually, I've recently discovered that if a drink is very cold and very sweet, such as a Baily's Irish Cream on ice, I can get past the industrial-solvent taste of ethanol without too much problem. It's sort of like my taste in pizza - I dislike the taste of tomato paste [though I like raw tomatos], but if there's enough other stuff on the pizza to mask the taste of the tomato paste I'll eat it. This is also why I don't like most Italian food, although I like almost every other ethnic foods.)
Outside the brewery:
Inside, there is a display of centuries worth of Guinness advertisments:
Here's a large copper vessel used in brewing.
This machine is used to agitate the mix while it is fermenting.
A cathedral with a two-tone exterior and a double-billing: St Augustine's and St. John's.
Shots of High St.
St. Patrick's Cathedral, where Jonathan Swift was once the Dean.
The home of the President of Ireland, located in Phoenix park. "President" is mainly a ceremonial position, much like the Queen of England.
The self-proclaimed "smallest pub in Ireland", near St. Steven's Green. According to the guide, "you won't have to worry about being falling-down drunk in here, since all you can do is stand up." (Actually, the real pub is downstairs, and is quite ample in size.)
A few other Dublin street scenes.
St. Steven's Green is a modest-sized park, open to the public, near the museums.
The flowers were simply wonderful - the photos simply don't do justice to the colors. This is one of the many times where I lament the limitations of the RGB system.
This is the cottage belonging to the caretaker of the park. It is said "She has the largest backyard in Dublin, and she doesn't even have to mow the lawn."
More shots from within the green, including some students.
The Fusilier's arch, at the corner of the park.
The Natural History museum, known locally as "The Dead Zoo."
As usual, photos weren't allowed, but I sneaked a few in anyway. I notice that with the audible beep preference disabled, and the flash turned off, my camera is completely stealthy - you can't tell that I'm taking a picture unless you notice the way I'm holding the camera.
Here's a statue of Oscar Wilde.
And one of Molly Malone, known locally as "The tart with the cart."
Later, I went to Temple Bar (which is where all the young tourists go at night) to see some local music. The pubs are very crowded, but if you get there early and just park yourself somewhere near the podium, it's not too bad.
The first band was too loud and too bassy (i.e. their sound system had no treble at all, from what I could tell).
A different band at a different pub, this one was much better, but it was way too crowded, you could barely push through the mass of people - I can't imagine what it must be like in August.
Got back to the room. One thing that I had noticed earlier was
that the shower bracket (holding the shower nozzle) was broken. So early
this morning, I used my Leatherman Pocket Tool to unscrew the old
bracket, and I had walked down to Roches hardware store (pronounced
"Roaches") and purchased a compatible replacement. Before I went to
bed, I installed the new bracket. Let's see what Sheila's reaction
is when she discovers her shower has been fixed...