Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Dublin, Ireland—Day 199

Today it was back to the zoo early on in the morning. Ok, more like 10:30am which is not too early, but also not too late. We took the bus again over to Phoenix Park where the zoo is, bought our tickets and headed in. Straight to the hippos. We found Henry, Heidi and Hovie and to our good luck, all three were out in the grassy area of their enclosure. Perfect!

So I started taking pictures as the three hippos ate their way across their enclosure to the other side nearer their indoor enclosure. Henry, the biggest of the three hippos, had a good lie down for a while which provided an excellent photo of him lying out on the grass in a very similar manner to that of a dog. Heidi and Hovie were on the other side eating grass so after I got quite a few of Henry I went over to the other side to catch the smaller two in action. That’s when Henry himself got up and made his way over to where Heidi and Hovie were.

That’s when the pool all of a sudden began to fill up. It seemed like the hose for the pool was turned on behind a door or something because water began to run into the pool from somewhere. Kim and I were horrified though because all of the dung that had been collecting for what seemed to be quite a long time based on the amount of it had settled down in the bottom of the drained pool. We were sure that someone was going to come by and clean all of it out but then the pool started to re-fill which just swirled the nastiness around. The hippos didn’t seem to mind and Heidi and Hovie took the opportunity to jump in and drink up.


Just because the hippos were drinking their own poop didn’t mean that it wasn’t a good chance to take photos, so I kept snapping away while Kim stood there in disgust. Eventually all three hippos had enough of playing in the water and ended up laying down besides each other in a nice row from biggest to smallest. I was happy with the photos and soon, Kim and I were on our way and this time it wasn’t pouring with rain!

We decided to hop on a day tour bus of the city that just so happens to come right by the zoo. We paid for a day pass which means that you can hop on and off at any point you like (well, ok, you have to wait for the bus to stop before doing so, but you know what I mean) and you can take in all of the city sights. We climbed aboard and were then on our way to the downtown area.

The tour bus was great—at first we had our own tour guide on top of the bus (it’s a double decker and of course you had to sit on the top level) who was pointing out funny things around us and talking on his microphone. We got off near the Trinity College area and waited in line to see the Book of Kells (very cool 9th C illustrated depictions of the Gospels) and then found some lunch on Grafton Street. We then got back on board the bus (one runs like every 10 minutes) and were disappointed to find that we had recorded commentary this time instead of a real tour guide.

But we had fun as we sat atop the double decker and I took pictures of everything around us. It was funny, I felt like SUCH the supreme tourist but it was fun nonetheless because it gave me the liberty to take pictures of just anything that I wanted to since hey, I was just a tourist!

Anyways, we spent the rest of the afternoon at the Guinness Storehouse (basically a museum type structure all about Guinness) and downed our first unmistakably Irish pint at the top looking out over Dublin. We then headed by foot back towards the St. Patrick’s Cathedral (Ireland’s national Cathedral), had dinner at a great pub while watching the Olympics (killing two birds with one stone really), and came back to the hotel.

(c) 2004 Sarah Galbraith. All Rights Reserved.