kilmainhm jail

Yesterday I spent the day in Monahen. Julie's home town in the north part of the south of Ireland. it was VERY green and we went for a walk in this huge forest where this old castle used to be, before rebels in the north burnt it down in the 70's. Later on we went for a late lunch in the castle where Paul Mc Cartney got married. it is said to be haunted and dates back to the 1700's. I then drove back to Dublin with Julie, and we started pre- drinking for a night out in the poshest club in Dublin- "krystle." Indeed it was very trendy and cost 10 euro to get in. apparently it is where all the celelbrities hang out. The closest thing I have seen to it in melbourne is probably EVE night club in south melbourne on laura's 21st. lucky I went with jules who could dress me up to look the part, who would have known that a poor and clueless student was behind all that mascara! It was a good night though, connor bought us heaps of drinks, and we had a dance- although the music was hard to get used to and is very different from melbourne.

Today I did some more sightseeing in Dublin. I caught the "dart" into town and then a bus to Kilmainham jail, and had a tour there. it was so interesting, but also scary! these tiny kids- one 8 years old were sent to this awful place for just stealing bread, because they were starving. the place is made of limestone, a porous solid which allows the rain water to seep through, making it terribly cold for prsioners. Cells were tiny and dingy, and made me feel clausterphobic just looking at them. The tour guide was very good and explained about the famous prisoners in the 1916 uprising. Earlier in its history though, one of the most haunting facts was that despite how bad this prison was, it was at its fullest capacity from 1845- 1850, because people were so hungry during the famine, that they commited petty crimes so that they would be fed for sure in prison- crazy shit! the Prison cottoned onto this and started rationing the food to 1 small piece of bread a day. I also saw the court jard where famous rebels were executed in 1916, the ones who fought for Irish freedom. So much of Ireland is steeped in history, and it is only afte learning about its battered past that you can truly understand why they love there country so much, how much they sacrificed to get where they are today. The flag interestingly represents this. The green is the 'catholic' component, the orange is the'protestant' component, and between these is "the most important part" - the white, which represents the hope of peace between these two one day.

so thats the history lesson for today!:) tomorrow I am off on my pady wagon tour around the south of Ireland, to limerick, galway, cork etc. Ireland continues to intrigue me.........