We successfully made it to Dublin after waking up at 6:00 am to pack and get our stuff to the ESU so we wouldn't have to carry our bags around. We made it to Gatwick in plenty of time to catch our flight, and thankfully traveled on the luxurious RyanAir. We found a cute little pub for lunch, and I ordered the Guinness Steak Pie, a true staple of the local cuisine. Afterwards we met Stephen Boyle, a real life Irish debater, who was kind enough to show us around the city. We did an open bus tour with him, and he supplemented the tour with a few bits of historical information he knew and personal stories. A few highlights from the tour included Trinity College, The Guinness Factory (we did not go in for a tasting), Phoenix Park (which you can fit two NY city central parks into, and are less likely to get stabbed), The Spire, Christ Church Cathedral, St. Patrick's Cathedral, The Four Courts (the center of Dublin legal), and St. Stephens Green. Darryl and I have committed to visiting Christ Church Cathedral tomorrow, and to walk around some of the parliament buildings. We have to leave around 12:00/1:00 pm to get to the airport in time to catch our flight back to London so I plan on getting an early start.
After the tour, Stephen took us to see The Book of Kells at Trinity College in Dublin. The art and detail that went into creating The Four Gospels is quite impressive. I was also moved by The Old Library. Since 1801, Trinity College Library Dublin has had the right to claim a free copy of all British and Irish publications under the relevant copyright acts and has a stock of nearly three million volumes housed in a total of eight buildings. The Long Room houses around 200,000 of the Library's oldest books. It was very impressive sight indeed.
I did manage to do some exploring on my own while Darryl was catching up on some sleep (for some god awful reason he stayed up all last night grading, etc.). I made my way to a local pub where I literally understood about 25% of what some gents were saying to me. I can say that I successfully had two pints of Guinness and paid nothing for them-- a plus when your running low on euros and didn't tell your bank you would be in the UK and Ireland. I watched some football, Tunisia versus Cameron, ate a salad, and came back to the hotel. All in all, I had a great day in Dublin.