Monday, July 18, 2011

The luck of the Irish? I think not.

inside St. Michan's
On Friday morning we toured St. Michan’s church in the morning and the Glasnevin Cemetery in the afternoon. St. Michan’s is the oldest parish on the north side of the River Liffey and although the church itself wasn’t that spectacular (especially having toured St. Patrick’s Cathedral the week before… can’t really even be compared) the mummies underneath were awesome.  Underneath the church are burial vaults that have been naturally, perfectly preserved and mummified due to the constant dry condition in the vaults. We got to go down into the vaults and although my claustrophobia was kicking in big time as we climbed down the tunnel-like staircase, it was worth it. Our tour guide was very eccentric and he made the tour more interesting and he insisted that touching the hand of the mummy would bring us good luck. So I shook the mummy’s hand, hoping to receive some luck and then we left St. Michan’s. 

After stopping for a coffee break in a shop along the way, Martin walked us down to Glasnevin Cemetery. The cemetery has graves of notable national figures such as Daniel O’Connell, Michael Collins, Charles Stewart Parnell, and many more. Although the tour was really interesting, especially considering we have previously learned about many of the people that our tour guide talked about, it is still a little bit strange to me to have a guided tour of a cemetery.  We went inside the tomb of Daniel O’Connell and our tour guide insisted that touching his tomb would bring us good luck. So once again I touched the tomb, doubling up on my luck for the day. 

This luck really didn’t come in handy the following day though when I went to go see Phoenix Park. We were told that Phoenix Park is a must see in Dublin and that it’s bigger than Central Park in New York City. It is home to the Dublin Zoo, the residence of the President of Ireland, the United States Ambassador’s residence, the Ashtown Castle, a café, ponds, and many memorials… we saw none of these.  I went with my three good friends and after riding the bus for an hour we got to the park and started walking around. We walked for about an hour total and all we saw was one deer and tall grass that we couldn’t even walk through, it didn’t really look like a park at all, it looked like just a plot of land. We were trying to be optimistic and so we kept walking but to no avail. We sat at a picnic bench and laughed for about 10 minutes straight about our predicament and then decided to leave and head back into the city. We found out the next day all of the awesome stuff inside Phoenix Park that we apparently missed, and we determined that we somehow must have used the wrong entrance and just walked along the outside of the park rather than actually walked inside the park. So we spent our last full Saturday in Dublin on a sunny day basically walking around on the grass next to a street. Fail. But on the bright side, we had an adventure and came away with a funny story. You win some you lose some, I guess. My luck from the previous day had apparently worn out. 

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