Ireland Has Churches?

Considering yesterday was my 21st birthday, I think my parents were more surprised than anything that I was not only awake and functioning, but also dressed and at their hotel in Dublin by 10:30am. Granted it would have been sooner, but I forgot about the Daylight Savings Time switch (Ireland goes a week later than the states). We got breakfast and coffee at an Insomnia near St. Stephen’s Green, then walked around for awhile trying to think of what might be open on a Sunday morning.

We ended up walking through Trinity College, which is the largest University in Dublin and has a really nice campus. It’s not like most big schools in big cities because it’s contained to itself rather than spread throughout the city — in fact there’s a wall that surrounds the entire campus. It was kind of weird being back in a school environment like that though, it kind of made me miss Loras.

Though Loras doesn't have stuff like this.

We also discovered at about 12:20 that the chapel holds Catholic mass every Sunday at 12:15 (Trinity is Protestant), so we missed out on that.

Given that it is a Sunday and that my parents had gone nearly the entire week they’ve been here without stepping foot inside a church, we decided to take the bus across town and see St. Patrick’s Cathedral. We actually ended up overshooting our route just a little bit and ended up in front of St. Augustine’s church instead, which is one of the only large Catholic churchess in the city (St. Patrick’s and Christ Church are both Protestant). Sadly we missed another 12:15 service at St. Augustine’s, but we got a pretty good look at the sanctuary from the entrance.

St. Patrick’s was only a few blocks away so we got there without a problem, and walked around in the little park next to the cathedral, which allowed us to annoy some ducks living in the fountain, for whom we hadn’t brought any bread, as well as get a great view of the church.

3rd church of the day...new record.

St. Patrick’s is a really nice church despite being much smaller than most of the other famous cathedrals of Europe, and the gift shop selling everything from snow globes to shot glasses in the back of the sanctuary. It was founded in 1191 and therefore has a lot of history; I actually managed to impress Dad (who is the king of useless information) with my mini history lesson on the irony of the throne of King William III being stationed in one of the chapels.

Once we were done in the cathedral we visited the National Archeology Museum for something to do, and because I knew Dad would really enjoy it. It was my fifth visit so I was a little less-than-phased by everything, and Mom wasn’t a big fan, but Dad could have spent a few more hours in the place.

At least the building is cool.

We took the DART into Sandymount after a quick bite to eat at the Brewbaker Cafe (which probably has the best cup of coffee in Dublin), and made our way to St. Mary’s Star of the Sea Catholic Church for 6pm mass. For those of you keeping score, this would be our 4th church of the day. After mass we went to Ryan’s for a pint before coming back to my apartment to trade pictures and unsuccessfully try to Skype Alex.

Today was another long day, but tomorrow is their last full day here, so hopefully it will be a good one!

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