April 15: We landed in Dublin around 11am, with a planeful of American kids who were getting ready to compete in the Irish Dancing World Championship. (This will be significant at the end of the trip, assuming I haven't forgotten by the time I post it.)
The first thing we noticed was how incredibly friendly the Irish are. Not just helpful, but understanding. They did everything they could to make us not feel like stupid tourists.
We checked our bags at the left-luggage place (which was really hard to find, especially with jet lag), then took a shuttle into Dublin to spend the day. First we had lunch at Bewley's on Grafton Street with Catie Murphy. You know her as C.E. Murphy, author of the Walker Papers urban fantasy series and several other bits of awesomeness.
Grafton Street is amazing. Shops, restaurants, pubs. Everywhere you look there are musicians and other street performers. Like this guy, who did not move the entire five or ten minutes we stood there:
Or this lady:
Apple's iPhoto does this weird thing where it pulls faces out of your photos and zooms in on them. At first I thought it was creepy that we had close-ups of all these strangers, but it was very cool with statues and, well, human statues:
Here are a couple more shots of bustling Grafton Street.
Look very carefully at this next picture: can you spot the American commercial imperialism?
I knew you could.
So then we took one of those cheesy-yet-delightful-and-quite-useful hop-on-hop-off bus tours, which showed us places like Trinity College, St. Patrick's Cathedral, and St. Stephen's Green.
And then we got off at the Guinness Storehouse. I'm not a fan of the stuff (GIANT understatement), but my husband is--in fact, it's the only thing he drinks, aside from the occasional half-glass of red wine with dinner at an Italian restaurant. The deal was, we'd go to the Guinness storehouse for him, hop back on the bus, then hop off at the Jameson Distillery for me.
Um...by the time we left the brewery, the tour was over, and we had to take a cab back to the shuttle rendezvous point. So we didn't see the rest of Dublin, but we did meet a wonderful cabbie! And got a free pint of Guinness (which would've been two free pints, except as I mentioned I hate the stuff, so it ended up being a pint of Guinness and a Diet Coke.)
More to come soon! Up next: Newgrange, Dowth, and the Hill of Tara. Or possibly a lesson in driving on the left-hand side of the road.
Labels: Ireland/Scotland trip