Moday morning was the time to leave Burtown and I was rearing to go. Everything had been organized and packed Sunday night before Me and Kirtsen joined James, Jo, and Lesley for one last night of drinks and a good meal. All I needed to do that morning was strip my bed and clean out my room then it was off to the bus station in Athy at ten. The bus ride was short into Dublin with cool light rain as we got off at O'Connel Street and headed North in search of the International Youth Hostel. The hostel accepted volunteers to work twenty hours a week in exchange for a bed and one meal a day. I got set up and schedueled to work over the weekend for a few days before I leave and given a bed in a dorm with seven other guys my age. Most of them are French or Portugese so conversation is pretty short. ONce I was settled Kirsten and I headed off in search of some cheap cafe food and some good sights. We found a small five tabel cafe with a good deal on soup and a sandwich which was pleanty tasty and filling considering I had missed a breakfast in the morning. We then Walked over to Dublin Castle and around the Catherdral area of the south side. As we walked back towards Grafton Street to find a museum we passed a small produce and health shop full of all types of fruits and organic vegetables. We got some fresh fruits and a bottle of Irish apple and berry cider for a snack in the nearby park. The park, St. Stephens green had a large lake and several different garden areas. We walked through each part stoping at each display to read a memorial plate of admire a statue. After having our fruits and laying out on the warm grass in the bright afternoon sun as many other groups were doing across the lawns we walked to the museum square to check times the would be open in the next few days. We made our way back to the hostel, stopping at a value grocery store to get some light food and made a simple pasta meal with a bottle of five euro wine. We walked out to the docks on the Liffey after dark and to a pub in temple bar where some late night live music was playing. We were both very happy to have succesfully got into Dublin and found a place to stay so easily and now had seven days ahead of us to enjoy all of the sights and excitement of Dublin.
I got up at half past seven the next day and got a quick breakfast which was provided by the hostel and headed out for a morning walk. I had seen a park on my map that was only a few streets away which had some type of large water basin. It was an old resivior that was renovated into a public park with a small island and a flora garden which surrounded the pool. I circled the park a few times and headed back to the hostel to meet Kirsten and make plans for the day. Since it was a nice sunny day, we agreed to walk two kilometers North to the National Botanic Gardens. The Gardens are open to the public, but are also a facility for reasearch, breeding and teaching so there are restrictions against joggers, dogs, bikes, noise, or young children to maintain a peacful and natural atmosphere. There were two conservatories and several glass greenhouses between a variety of different types of garden features. I decided on a few areas I would enjoy the most that we could walk through since seeing the whole facility would take several hours and we wanted to see some other sights later on. we started in a green house full of Irish bred varieties of Primula. There were Primula of about any color you could think, including bright orange and iridescent green. We then went through the teaching greenhouse full of small experiment arrangments and variety trials. There was a native plant walk which led us to the vegetable gardens laid out into a circular arrangement of beds all planted with strong sprouts and low, sturdy netting. After wandring outside in the various topiary and annual displays we started into the conservatories. The first room was a cactus room with hot dry air, followed by the tropical display thick with humidity. The walkway led through a series of rooms, each a diffent temperature and varied condition for the species of plants. One section was all foriegn plants from around the world. Another was dedicated to several varieties of orchid and one full of parasitic and bog plants such as Drosera. After the COnservatories we walked through the woodland and stream areas full of several interesting trees, lillies, shrubs, early roses and a rock garden. There was a threatening storm, so we headed back at that point, stopped by the hostel and went off in search of a cheap lunch and the National Art Museum. We took a stroll around some shops and a few parks befroe going back to the hostel for dinner in which for the night was just going to be a large package of pita and some local humus. I looked through my photos from the day and looked up some more ideas of what wlse to do with my time here, then headed off to bed for an early night feeling very tired from walking so much all day. Nevertheless, I was a good day.