Bog Bodies and Irish Writers

Day 30: Wednesday November 9th, 2011

Per Blavagh’s recommendation (but really it was entirely Mary Annes idea), I went to the Archaeology museum. It was free, so it’s a no brainer regardless. It had awesome medieval architects, and the highlight were the amazingly preserved bodies found in Irish peat bogs. These bodies date back to the Iron Age, whatever that means (it’s a while ago), yet on some you could see the leathery skin on their faces still, their hair, their hands, their organs, not the skull and bones you would expect. It definitely made me want to become an archeaologist, or an anthropologist, a historian, or at the very least, read more about the subjects and research more about ancient civilizations. Ireland has more of those ancient finds than anywhere else in Europe, by the way. This trip, if anything besides meeting new people and getting drunk, has made me want to LEARN more, maybe even go to grad school to broaden my horizons if it wasn’t so goddamned expensive. Scary, I know.

I went to see the Spire, which is an ugly phallic needle built for the new millenium that wasn’t finished until after. I also checked out James Joyce’s statue, which I guess you gotta do.

Then I visited the Jameson Distillery for their tour. Like the Guinness tour and the Scotch Whiskey Experience I did in Edinburgh that I feel like I forgot to mention, the tour itself was pretty normal, with nothing really new for me after having done a few tours in my day. It is interesting how important the barrel that the whiskey ages in is and how it shapes the color and flavor of the whiskey, but it’s also basic info. Anyways, I was told to be a volunteer for the tour. The problem was, the tour guide told everyone up front that a volunteer gets three extra drinks of whiskey, so everyone wanted to volunteer. I didn’t get chosen, and was fairly spiteful the rest of the way, because these 8 lucky guys and gals got to have a try of Jameson, then three more drinks: of the best selling in Scotland (Johnny Walker), America (Jack Daniels) and of course, Ireland (Jameson) while we all watched with our one puny little snifter. They all did a taste test and chose their favorite. They’re all brown nosing scum and chose Jameson and got a diploma. I want a diploma 🙁

That all said, I still don’t really like whiskey straight, even after Ireland and Scotland. Sorry. I’ll drink anything, but I’m not a badass whiskey drinker.

After that, I went to the Dublin Writer’s Museum. It was informative and had a lot of reading and listening to the accompanied audioguide about a million different writers. Cool artifacts but kinda boring after awhile, so you can imagine how much you’d dislike it if you weren’t into that shit. I was able to add a few names to my never ending European reading list that really won’t be tapped into until I return home (Joyce, Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett, Bram Stoker, WB Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, the list goes on). In the museum I got my only souvenir that I’ve actually purchased: a bookmark with the Greene crest that explained the origin of my last name (Anglicized version of Gaelic surname), it’s crest and family words. The crest is a blue flag with three stags (like Harry and James Potter!) and our words are I neither fear nor despise.

I got a sausage sandwich for dinner at the Metro Cafe that was fine, but the berry crumble was fantastic. Dublin’s food and drink prices are insane. The pound is a rougher exchange rate, but I feel like you can get cheaper food and drink in England than you can in Ireland, Dublin especially. Maybe it evens out with the exchange rate and I’m just fooled by the higher numbers, but Guinness is 4-5 pounds almost everywhere you go. As always, going to the market is the way to go, but that’s not as fun.

I sleep early because I’m going on another day tour of Ireland on the morrow, with an early wake up call.

Next: The Cliffs of Moher and Galway!

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