Thursday, May 26, 2016

May 25

It is difficult to travel in a foreign country, even an English-speaking one. It is difficult to travel with children. We had some ups and downs today, but here are some highlights. 

John's Irish colleagues graciously gave us access to the Book of Kells at Trinity College this morning since the boys and I were delayed yesterday and missed his group's tour. We were mightily impressed with his library!

The grown ups and kids each picked one more activity to finish out our time in Dublin: Kilmainaim Gaol and the Irish Wax Museum. (I'll leave it to you to figure out who picked which.) We were not sure we had time for both and decided we wanted to be sure to see the Gaol, so we headed there on the sightseeing bus. When we arrived at about 10:30, we learned that the next available tour was at 1:15 (all others were already sold out.) So we got the tickets and hopped a cab back to the Wax Museum, which was literally across the street and down a narrow lane from where we'd exited Trinity. (But if we had done that first we would have missed the opportunity to see the Gaol, so although it was inefficient, it ended up being the right choice.)

The wax museum ended up being more fun than some of us expected and an interesting way to hear some Irish history, both ancient…

…And modern (Irish pronunciation: mod-ren.)
OK, Harry Potter isn't Irish, but still a hit with some Americans. 

We rushed through a pub lunch, but not so fast that we missed the live music. Daniel had a little chat with the players and charmed them into playing Wild Rover for us. (Charm + €1)

We sped back to the Gaol for our tour and were not disappointed. It is a magnificent piece of history and the tour guide was excellent. 

Later in the day we might have wished the boys had stayed behind in these cells…
But I digress. 

We headed back to the hotel, picked up our stashed luggage and headed back to the airport to pick up our rental car. 

All things considered, it went pretty smoothly following my printed Google directions to Kinnitty Castle. The boys fell asleep for a good chunk of the drive but were wide awake and properly awed as we pulled up to our lodging for the night. (Hope for better pictures in full daylight tomorrow.) 

We had dinner, explored the castle dungeon (now used as a restaurant on weekends) and got in a quick "game" of tennis before calling it a night.