22 January 1998, three days into my vacation I was still feeling inexplicably blue and somewhat guilty over the extravagance. According to by journal, “to cheer myself up today I: 1. visited a jail, 2. imbibed a pint of a known depressant, and 3. saw art works on subjects such as violence against woman & disasters.” I never have a good a time as when I’m feeling gloomy.
This day I hiked along the Liffey River to the western part of Dublin, dumped my bags at Heuston Station and took in three tourist attractions. First Kilmainham Gaol, which is kind of a who’s who of Irish history since political prisoners from 1798-1924 were all held there. Next the Guinness Brewery visitor center at the Hop Store where I was thoroughly indoctrinated by the pro-Guinness propaganda and enjoyed a frothy pint straight from the source. Finally, a spur of the moment visit to the Irish Museum of Modern Art. As often happens, the spontaneous ideas turn out to be the highlight of the day. Highlights included an exhibit of Andy Warhol works, many focusing on gruesome disasters, but lighter works included a room covered in ultraviolet cow wallpaper and clouds. Another exhibit called “Once is More than Enough” focused on domestic violence toward women in Ireland.
That evening I rode the train to Kilkenny where I was overwhelmed crossing the bridge into town by the moonlit view of the castle. I checked into the Kilkenny Tourist Hostel, dined at the Italian Connection, and had a pint at the Pumphouse where a lone guitarist played rock and roll. All in all it was a quiet, solitary night.
The famed St. Jame’s Gate Brewery, source of the mother’s milk.
Pro-bike mural in western Dublin.