Dublin is the busiest place I have been in a long time. It reminds me of New York, although I’ve never actually been there. A majority of the main shops and attractions are in once central area and there is a constant flow of people. After living in Section, Alabama this summer (population 800) it is kind of shocking being in this environment but I am adjusting.
We got on a hop on/off bus so we could have commentary while touring the city and it took us to all the places one must visit while in Dublin. First stop was Sunday service at St. Patrick’s cathedral. The church building, choir, and organ were magnificent and to think a church had been on the spot since the twelfth century was also astounding. In accordance with European culture we headed to the Jameson Whiskey Distillery right after that. The Guinness brewery is what most tourists go see, but drinking Guinness is similar to drinking a milkshake made with a pound of wheat and barley with a hint of bitterness thrown in the mix. The Jameson distillery was well done and at the end six people in each tour group got to become Official Whiskey Tasters. They compared the three most popular Irish Whiskeys, a Scotch, and Jack Daniels to Jameson and chose their favorite. Of course, almost all the people chose Jameson. Two of my Furman friends were chosen for this coveted title and luckily they were still walking when we left the distillery.
Monday we went to Trinity College to see The Book of Kells – a pictorial guide to the Gospel made by monks to help convert the people of Ireland. Afterwards I wanted to head to St. Michan’s Church to tour their crypt but no one seemed too interested in going with me. I arrived at the small church and the guide came and got two other men and me. He unlocked the hatches to go below the church and we proceeded to walk through the concrete tunnel and pass by caged doorways through which you could see coffins stacked to the ceiling. I don’t get scared too easily, but the way the guide kept lowering his voice and the fact we were surrounded by coffins wasn’t too comforting. In the first part of the crypt one room was lit up since it was no longer active, meaning families couldn’t put anyone else in there. There were many ornate caskets from Dublin’s aristocrats. The combination of dry air, methane gas, and the temperature cause the bodies to be quote “in a wonderful state of preservation, though not embalmed.” This was evident when he took us to the room where you could view bodies since their caskets had broken open. Four bodies lay there and he let us enter in and see their toenails and other parts that were so wonderfully preserved. Most exciting was the corpse of a Crusader whose legs were crossed in an X fashion to signify this. He said people in the days of old used to touch Crusader’s bodies for good luck. Then he asked us if we wanted to improve our luck. We all got to go in and shake the man’s hand which still had skin on it. I bought a scratch lottery ticket later that day, but I didn’t win.
Since it was the annual KA Registration Night party at Furman we couldn’t let the night pass us by here in Dublin. At a nightclub Bridget proceeded to request country favorites such as Country Roads, Sweet Home Alabama, and others the singer knew and all of the KAs and girls danced in front of the crowd while others slowly joined.