Dublin, Guinness, and Germany!

Sep 07

Dublin, Guinness, and Germany!

Wow, we are a bit behind! Well I can tell you that the 5th of September was a travel day. We took a very long train from Cork to Dublin, checked into our place in Dublin, grabbed some food and basically stayed in our room working and planning the rest of the day.

Yesterday was a touring day. We got up and had breakfast at a coffee shop across the street, then took a cab to Trinity College. The campus was absolutely stunning with large courtyard expanses and beautiful, old architecture. Our focus for the visit was to see the famous Book of Kells. Produced in the 9th century, the Book of Kells is a copy, in Latin, of the four gospels. The tiny, neat script is adorned with beautifully intricate works of art, created by the monks of Iona. We bought tickets for the exhibit at €9.00 each, and spent some time reading about the process used to create this book and two others which were also on display. At the end of the exhibit, two of the volumes for the Book of Kells were on display, allowing us to admire the tiny, intricate scroll work of the illustrations on four of the pages. We left the exhibit, exiting through the Long Room in the Old Library. This one room houses around 200,000 of the library’s oldest books arrayed in rows of shelving along each side of the main corridor. At the ends of each shelf stand busts of famous philosophers and literaries. We took our time walking down the long corridor, looking at the old books on display and soaking in the “old book” smell. After, we headed to the library shop, then out of the college and on to the Guinness Factory.

The Guinness Factory is HUGE! We came upon the entrance from the road and had to walk all the way around one of the vast warehouses used to brew the famous stout. We were given a quick orientation, then ushered into the self-guided section of the touring facilities which included 7 stories of information about the Guinness brews. Unfortunately, no actual brewing is done in the touring facility, but we were shown examples of all of the equipment and graphic animations depicted the various stages of the brew as it flowed through the process. On the fourth floor, we were taught and then able to pour our own pint of Guinness! We had quite a fun time and were given a certificate at the end. We took the elevator up to the seventh floor and entered the sky bar which provided a 360º view of Dublin skyline. The ambiance was lively and the place packed, but we took some pictures and admired the view before heading back down and out of the facilities.

We caught a cab back to the hotel, grabbed some dinner nearby, and stayed in our room for the night. After booking our flight to Germany, we were dismayed to discover the airline had gone on strike! Luckily our flight hadn’t been canceled yet. Ryder worked while I read and sketched for the remainder of the evening.

This morning we were up bright and early to pack and grab lunch before heading to the airport. We hired a cab at €25.00 total and arrived with plenty of time. The line was long to check baggage, but we made it through and no canceled flight, yay! Next came security, then waiting at the departure gate. Our flight was a little late, but we arrived safe and sound in Frankfurt, Germany after about 2 hours in the air.

Upon exiting the airport, we decided to attempt to take public transportation to our hotel near the city center. After trying the bus system twice, we opted for the rail and a kind gentleman pointed us in the right direction. We emerged from the train station close to our hotel and started walking the two blocks to it. Along the way, I was looking around, reading the business signs on the windows when I realized every single business we passed was either a sex shop, strip club, brothel, or casino. Oh my god, we had stumbled head long into Frankfurt’s red light district! And, just a block over sits our hotel, directly across the street from one of the most famous brothels in Europe. Lucky us. Let’s just say, we ventured out for some dinner then went straight back to our rooms. We don’t plan to linger…

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