Day Four – Dublin
Late Start today. Very late breakfast. Coffee in Ireland seems to be almost universally good. Often regular coffee is in the form of an Americano and even if it is just brewed, it is good. And strong. Just don’t ask for cream. In Europe, cream means whipped cream. I knew that, but sometimes forget. They don’t seem to have half and half.
Photos of Dublin can be found here
Two things are fairly universal. Scones are always available for breakfast and are well done. Bread with meals (usually with soup) is what they call Irish Brown bread, which seems to be simultaneously whole grain and soft. Good stuff.
This afternoon we went to the National Museum. Lots of Viking artifacts and also amazing Celtic gold and bronze items for 900-1100 A.D. Slowly starting to get the history stuff pieced together, but it is going to take a while yet. I hope to find someone knowledgeable that is willing to sit down and chat a bit and fill in the blanks for me.
At the end of the day Aaron and I walked down to pick up our rental car. The guide books all say not to let them bump you up to a midsized car. They don’t fit on the back roads. So….. we let them bump us up to a midsized car. We couldn’t see how all 4 suitcases and a backpack would fit in the compact. Well, I couldn’t. Aaron thought they might.
Friends have recommended getting the SatNav (GPS). Yeah, but it costs a lot !! We decided to try without it. We started to doubt the wisdom of that one on the way back to the rooms. I do want to go on record that driving in Dublin is not the big deal everyone says it is. It’s just like any other city. Well… except for the fact that the street names change every 3 blocks and they don’t bother with street signs much. And well, OK, the one way streets are a bit of a bother. Parking is also a problem. We got the car today so we would have transportation first thing tomorrow morning We parked it in the car park (free on weekends only) and walked for the evening.
When we were in the Temple Bar area yesterday, I spotted an Indonesian restaurant called the Chameleon. The serve 5 to 7 small courses for a fixed price. A fairly hefty fixed price, but not really out of line with other restaurants in Dublin. Thankfully, the Euro has continually shrunk against the dollar, so it isn’t quite so painful. Forget the Euro, the food was fantastic.
Traditional Music night #2
The guys at the pub crawl suggested a couple of “local” pubs to try out for Saturday night. I picked the closest one and we headed there on foot. The route went through a few blocks of less beautiful Dublin and my companions began to mutter loudly under their breath. When we got there, there was some discussion about whether we would go in or not. In the end it passed the Mary Zoet test (windows that you can actually see inside with), so we went in. I promised the girls a cab ride home as part of the enticement deal. We headed upstairs where the music was supposed to be and were the only ones there. Hmmm…. after a little while a guy came up with a guitar, then a someone with a little Irish squeezebox called a concertina. They played half heartedly for a little while then, two young women showed up with violins and they brightened up considerably. Soon the music was cooking and more and more people kept drifting in until the entire place was full. Turns out one of violinists was a young woman from Peru that was quite the master. The other young woman appeared to have been an apprentice. Lots of fun and good music. I kept my promise of a cab and we were home pretty early.