Now don’t get too carried away… I did not get arrested or anything (thankfully!), just went on an hour long tour inside an old jail here in Dublin City.
Since I’m on my mid-semester break, and don’t start school up again till Tuesday, I figured I would take time this week to get to know the city better.
I decided to go and tour an old jail in Dublin, the Kilmainham Gaol (and the upside: tickets are only two euros for students). It almost felt like it wasn’t real, like more of a movie set (and it has been used for the set of some movies). For some reason, even though I was aware I was standing in areas that prison inmates were locked up and where executions took place, I found it surprisingly hard to connect to any emotions (which is weird, since normally I’m a highly sensitive person). This was probably due to the large amount of tourists glued to their cameras… But overall, it was very interesting! I got to hear about many different children, women, and men held in the jail. A lot of stories of political prisoners, who were locked up from political riots, activism, etc. They also told us stories of young children who were put in jail (mostly from stealing food). Considering how jails tend to be now, I find it difficult to picture children, men, and women all being housed in one jail. And a jail which is quiet small as well.
As I was walking through the museum after the tour, I overheard a mother telling her daughter that “I will ask granddad if you’re related to him,” as they were looking at a case filled with stuff from one of the prisoners. It’s such a tiny world here, so many people are related. It’s crazy for me to think about.
After the museum, I walked back through town (about a 30 minute walk one way) and enjoyed the nice, sunny weather!
Later that evening, I met up with one of my old roommates, Emily, from Maynooth who has transferred up to Belfast for this coming semester. We chatted about life, jobs, Ireland, basically everything we needed to catch up on since we hadn’t seen each other since before Christmas.
We went to a cute cafe, the Queen of Tarts, in old temple bar for coffee and desserts. I ordered a cappuccino and we split two sweets: a piece of the Baileys cheesecake and a blackberry & apple crumble. The cafe was adorable, and we sat at a tiny, cozy table in the corner. It wasn’t very expensive at all, but oh, so delicious!!
We then headed to the Porterhouse Temple Bar pub for a pint. We tried a couple of their house brews, and it was ehh… Too bitter for our likings. But we had good conversations and the atmosphere of the pub was very relaxed and stereotypically Irish (live music, and TV’s playing sport games)!
What a lovely day out in Dublin! I’m still in shock I can step outside my house and have the city at my feet. I feel so blessed!!