Sunday, May 24, 2015

Ireland Trip Part 4: Dublin's Hop On Hop Off Bus City Highlights Tour

Hop On / Hop Off Bus
Continuing our first day in Dublin (May 5th)- we took a Hop on / Hop off bus tour around the city to get a feel for interesting places.
  Our friend Anne Marie Clarke of Across the Pond Vacations (specializing in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland) put the trip package together for us, and included this tour- These bus tours are really helpful in a new city. This blog will provide some highlights in Dublin, and we'll explore some of them in more depth in later blogs. SO, come along for the ride!

THE HOP ON / HOP OFF BUS- These buses are really handy for getting a feel for bigger cities rather than smaller towns, and was mandatory for Dublin. You can get off at any of the 24 stops in Dublin and back on again (just keep your receipt) at any stop - and do it often and all day long.

The O'Connell Monument

O'CONNELL STREET and the MONUMENT - O'Connell Street (in Gaelic, it's known as Sráid Uí Chonaill) is Dublin's main thoroughfare and runs north to south from Trinity College south of the River Liffey over O'Connell Bridge to Parnell Square, north of of the river. 
  In the 17th Century, the street was called "Drogheda Street."
Bus stop!
  If you're wondering what a "Drogheda" is- I believe it's a Gaelic word. It means "bridge of the ford" and is the name of an industrial and port town 56 km (35 mi) north of Dublin.
     That's the street that you'll find the O'Connell Monument, the memorial to Daniel O'Connell, the 19th-century nationalist. We'll learn more about him in later blogs. 

KILMAINHAM GAOL (JAIL) -

Once a jail this is now a museum run by the Office of Public Works, an agency of the Government of Ireland. It is located in the city at Inchicore Rd, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, Ireland.  This jail opened in 1796 and closed in 1924. It offers a panoramic insight into some of the most profound, disturbing and inspirational themes of modern Irish history. Leaders of the rebellions of 1798, 1803, 1848, 1867 and 1916 were detained here. 
NOTE: THIS IS WHERE THE EXECUTION SCENES WERE FILMED FOR THE "TUDORS" TV SERIES

REPORTS OF GHOSTS - Although we didn't get off the bus and go inside the Gaol, I knew it was haunted. I could feel that there were a lot of paranormal things happening inside. So, when we got home I checked out http://www.hauntedrooms.co.uk/kilmainham-gaol.

According to that website, here are the reports of ghostly activity in the gaol:

  • Lights often turn themselves on and off in the prison’s chapel
  • Unseen forces pushing people over
  • Phantom footsteps
  • Children pause in sheer fright refusing to step inside the jail
  • Psychics have picked up on an evil presence around the chapel balcony
  • Feeling of being watched
  • Unexplained bangs, and voices
A typical street of houses in Dublin
PHOENIX PARK AND THE DUBLIN ZOO - Another stop on the bus tour was Phoenix Park and the Dublin Zoo. According to the Park's website, "The Phoenix Park was established in 1662 by one of Ireland’s most illustrious viceroys, James Butler, Duke of Ormond, on behalf of King Charles II. A herd of  Fallow Deer has lived in the Park since the 1660's when they were introduced by the Duke of Ormond.  The Phoenix Park is a sanctuary for many mammals and birds and a wide range of wildlife habitats are to be found in the park.  The Victorian People's Flower Gardens located close to the Parkgate Street entrance, comprise an area of  9 hectares (22 acres) and, were re-opened in 1864." 
Wellington Monument in Phoenix Park





WELLINGTON MONUMENT - The Wellington Monument is an obelisk in Phoenix Park.  It was built to commemorate the victories of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington. Wellington was called "The Iron Duke," and was a British politician and general, possibly born in Dublin or Meath county. 


NEXT: MORE HIGHLIGHTS IN DUBLIN: THE RIVER LIFFEY, THE DUBLIN WHITE HOUSE, TEMPLE BAR

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next