Sunday, June 1, 2014

Dublin



The famous Temple Bar, Dublin
Escaped to Dublin for 5 days (a long time for such a small city) before my visa expired so that I could re-enter the UK as a tourist (or so I thought... Read about my visa experience here if you want to know the full story). Thought I'd have to travel alone for the first time but I'm so glad that Greg could accommodate me and Jasline happened to be in Dublin during the time I was there too, so I had plenty of company :) 





Tulip season everywhereee


Trip to Kilmainham Goel (Kilmainham Jail). I don't usually enjoy historical sites, but I've taken a liking to visiting old prisons (would love to visit the Alcatraz in SF). So much history here. Not to mention it's also a very nice looking jail on the inside. No wonder it's a commonly used film location (one of them's the original 1969 Italian Job). Many leaders and citizens were imprisoned here till the early 1900s. Women and children were not spared. The youngest inmate was a seven-year-old who was arrested for petty theft. 
There was a period of unrest in Dublin where there was limited to no access to food, so many people deliberately committed crimes so that they could be taken to Kilmainham Goel, where they would be able to "enjoy" two meals a day. It's really sad to know that they had to resort to that. It caused major overcrowding in the jail – each cell housed three to five inmates (usually the more dangerous criminals), and many others were left to sit by the corridors. 




Tiny cell with no toilets or proper sanitation. This caused the spread of diseases within the jail.



Wife of Joseph Plunkett, leader of the 1916 Easter Rising. Hours before Joseph's execution, he married Grace Gifford in the prison chapel, with no family or relatives present to witness it :'(


Mrs Joseph Plunkett's cell



A mattress that's still in one of the cells.



The activity area for the sole purpose of stretching/getting some vitamin D. The inmates were not allowed to exercise or participate in any physical activities. They were only to walk around with their heads bowed down. 


One of the execution areas. The Kilmainham Goel is definitely my favourite place in Dublin. 


Jaslin and I were so bored after the second day in Dublin, so we visited almost all the museums. I'm not a fan of museums, with the exception of natural history museums, so I was really excited for this one :3 











SO KEWTTTT



I never knew a Tasmanian Devil looked like this. Looney Tunes spoiled it for me :(



Helluuuu 




Extreme left: human. The rest: great apes. It's scary how similar our bone structures are.


Went on a "free" (tips-based) walking tour by Sandemans which I found to be very informative. Sandemans is available in 18 cities around Europe and the Middle East. 
Started off by walking around the City Hall area. This is a Lady of Justice statue that caused plenty of controversy because 1) she is not facing the people 2) she is not blindfolded 3) the scales were unbalanced 4) her sword is pointing upwards. I'm not a law student and I know nothing about law but I found this piece of history really interesting.



Dubbed the best fish and chips in Dublin. They've even got a Hall of Fame – names of famous people who have tried their fish and chips. I think Sandra Bullock is on that list. Really pretty good, I must say!


Good ol' fish & chips in a brown bag


They say that seafood lovers need to go to Howth because it's near the harbour. I got really excited because I have been so seafood deprived (no affordable seafood in the UK, and KC's allergic to seafood #sianhislife), and I read that there were markets in Howth. Seafood + market = best combi ever?! 
Well, Jasline and I were utterly disappointed by Howth. We went to the market pictured above, and there were only about 10 stalls -_- None of which sold seafood either. Determined, we literally walked the entire area to find a seafood market that was supposed to be there but there was NONE. There were only small stalls that sold fresh seafood for the locals to buy home zz.



In the end, we settled with seafood from a tram, which was supposed to be pretty good too. 



Pity it was gloomy when we were there :(



Cemetaries here/in the UK are so pretty. I always make it a point to visit one if it's nearby.
5 days in Dublin is too long. We spent the last day roaming around aimlessly and trying to shop (but there was nothing to buy). I was surprised to find their accent easily understood. In fact, the people sound more American than British. Apparently you'll only hear heavy Irish accents in the smaller towns and suburbs

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