31 March 2009


Our first full day in Ireland. We were up and breakfasted and decided to set out on an adventure before boarding the bus. We had gotten Ken’s address from Chris and thought it would be fun to find the house and snap a photo of the door. We walked down to the canal and then followed the canal.

It was a beautiful walk. We saw a heron and a cormorant. We saw the locks and even a historical marker. After a bit, we came to the Leeson Bridge which I recognized from my last trip to Dublin. We turned on to Fitzwilliam Place and continued in the direction that I had gotten from our driver. That’s when I noticed that I had lost a glove. My first indication that all was not going swimmingly. When we came to the street, we were a bit confused because the odds and evens are on the same side of the street and also because street names can change at every block. Ken had told us that his house was no longer a house. But we were surprised to see what was there.

We took a few photos and then hailed a cab back to the hotel. Back in the room, I remembered that I had put the address in my phone. We had been on the wrong street! We decided to try again later in the day if we could.

We boarded our coach for the ride out to Glasnevin Cemetery. This is where many of the patriots from the Easter Rising are buried. It was quite something to go out there and I would not have done it otherwise. On the way back in to town, our driver asked if anyone wanted to see Kilmainham Gaol. There were 13 of us that did. He pulled over near The Patriots Inn and dropped us off.

Five of us walked up to the Gaol directly. The other 8 held back a bit. As we were about to go in, I asked the desk if they could accommodate 13 on one tour and they sold us all tickets for the same tour. We went to the tearoom for a cuppa and then toured the museum until our tour time.

Our guide was very good and knowledgeable about the penal system, prison reform, etc. and not just the history of Kilmainham. I won the prize for knowing that “In The Name Of The Father” had been filmed there. I showed Chris Mrs. Plunkett’s cell and snapped his photo. Barbara & I actually stepped into a cell and closed the door. It was kind of creepy to do that.

As we were leaving, Chris & Rob hung back in the entryway. Suddenly, they began to sing “Grace”. It was amazing. People walking by on the sidewalk stopped to listen. People stepped out of the museum to watch. It was quite something and definitely a moment I will not forget.

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