Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Prehistoric Ruins and Guinness

We took one last little road trip out of Dublin to the prehistoric monument of Newgrange.

According to Wikipedia the site "It was built during the Neolithic period around 3000 BC to 2500 BC, making it older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids." Our guide told us that when this burial mound was built there were still woolly mammoths in Europe.

We made a friend that followed our tour bus and then sniffed around our tour group for a while before wandering off.

You can kind of see that there are two separate entrance holes. The bottom one is for people to enter, and the top one is for the sun. Natural light only enters the tomb for a few minutes on a few days during the winter solstice. I was initially disappointed that we had missed that awesome experience by only a few days, but it sounds like tickets are pretty hard to get. The interior of the tomb is tiny, only like 15 people could probably fit inside comfortably despite how giant the thing is on the outside. 

The giftshop was amusing.

Here's that craic "crack" word that I talked about previously.

Back in Dublin we ate lunch at Nando's, which is a Portuguese style chicken chain. It's funny I remember some friends talking about it when I visited Australia so when I saw it here I jumped at the chance. I think everyone enjoyed it. There's one in Chicago now apparently.

We force marched poor Tom and Mom across town to the Jameson distillery. When we got there they were booked up which was a pretty big disappointment. I felt bad that we hadn't booked ahead online but I didn't know that was even necessary.

Our plan B was the Guinness brewery. It's pretty expensive to get in so I had been avoiding it but what the heck.

So we arrived at the door to the visitor center and there was a giant line. We asked the guys guarding the doors and it was like an hour wait, which was going to conflict with the Christmas Pantomime show we had booked. We were just about to give up when Lydia pulled a miracle. One of the door guys seemed sympathetic and when Lydia told him we had a panto to go to, he perked right up and walked us inside in front of everyone who had been waiting in line. The guy at the ticket counter was initially skeptical of us cutting ahead but then was like "oh you have tickets to a panto? I haven't heard that one before." That's right you haven't. We keep it real.

Tom playing with the giant sandbox full of Guinness barley.

I like how everyone that makes any sort of alcohol raves about how magical their water is.

There was a whistling oyster.

There was a fun photo booth thing that we took advantage of.

We finished our tour with a complimentary pint.

We took a taxi to the panto at the Gaiety Theatre straight away.

I was a little worried in light of how many kids were at this show, but it ended up being one of those things where it's entertaining for kids but there's also a lot of winks and nods to adults. There was a lot of audience participation.. mostly in the form of yelling things at the actors.

The plot was loosely based on Red Riding Hood but was had about every fairy tale character in it that you could think of. For example the wolf and the woodsman had a confrontation and ended up doing that "Watch Me Whip/Nae Nae" dance together.

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