Thursday, September 5, 2013

Dublin, Ireland

Judy Valentine and I made the decision to come to Ireland...a place she wanted to visit and one that I had explored a bit with Heidi, the year she turned 30. We left Detroit yesterday around 3:00 p.m. and flew to Dublin. We weren't able to sleep on the plane but got to town around 8:30 a.m. We decided to go directly to the hotel and see if we could get an early check-in or at our bags til later in the afternoon. The young lady who waited on us indicated there would be no problem. 15 minutes after arriving at the Skylon Best Western, we had a room key and were getting ready to take a nap. Nap, we did. Got up at 11:00 a.m. and headed out to explore the city. We went to The Four Courts above, maneuvered through the throngs of people on the streets and navigated the car traffic going the wrong way down the streets. We look right for oncoming, one looks left.  

One of our first observations was that there is an awful lot of cigarette smoking going on here...not as much though as we saw in Canada.

The architecture here is wonderfully old and well persevered. Around every corner is a wonderful example of stonework. Apparently, when Heidi and I were here, we rented a car at the airport and went south. This city, I have never experienced and I am loving it. Lots of diversity and am hearing diverse languages being spoken. Many inter-racial couples around also.
Today was a day of walking and exploring...we walked down the River Liffey and across the bridges. Tomorrow, we plan to take the "hop on and hop off" bus to see many of the historical sites that we just walked by this afternoon.

Our room is small but very clean. When we arrived we noticed this closet in the bathroom and figured it was a laundry shoot or something. Come to find out, the handle on the door is how one flushes the toilet!

   Lunch was a granola bar and some water while walking around the city. We managed to take two buses and find our way back to the hotel. Decided to eat at the hotel restaurant and I wanted to hit a pub to hear some live music. However, live music begins around 9:30 or 10:00 p.m. and we are totally wiped out tonight. Maybe tomorrow. We both ate, "bangers and mash" for dinner. This is a traditional dish with sausage, mashed potatoes and caramelized onions. Really enjoyed this, although I didn't eat the mashed potatoes.

Went into a grocery store to see what different was on the shelves. Produce is very expensive...rather like in Alaska. They had a "red cheddar cheese" that I might buy to bring home.

Tomorrow, we are meeting the on-off bus at "half eight." How 8:30 is described here. Interesting trying to navigate the English language with words and phrases we just don't use.
As we walked around the city, we saw some interesting and some outrageously talented graffiti artists' work. Had to love this one, which stated, "This ain't NO normal advertising" pasted on a building beyond its prime.
Today was rather warm for this time of year here. We were wearing long pants and a light jacket but some of the women were wearing next to nothing. Sleeveless dresses that barely covered their butts seemed to be the norm. Saw one young lady whose chest was exposed down to the nipples. She was happily sprinting along with her man friend at a rapid rate. You can tell the local city folks from us tourists...they are speed walking and on a mission. We are ambling along...taking in the sights, sounds and smells of the city.

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