And so the story begins.....on a hot summer's day, August 24th to be exact, I embarked upon another long distance walk (well, maybe not that long - I could definitely go further...)...(but I digress...) in Ireland.
Robert Q got me safely to Toronto and Air Canada launched me over the big pond into Heathrow. An hour later I was in the air again headed to Dublin and the photo below shows us heading down to the runway. Totally uneventful flight except for the young man next to me who insisted upon flopping his head onto my shoulder while snorting and coughing in his sleep. I used the index finger of my right hand against his temple to push him over onto his girlfriend's shoulder which would work for about 15 minutes, then....flop...back to me like a tennis ball. It wasn't the flopping I minded so much as the obvious head and chest cold he had going on - I didn't want to get sick on my first day in Dublin!
I took a shuttle to the hotel we were staying in and fell in love! The service at Ariel House was incredible - someone was always on hand to offer us a cup of tea or slice of cake, to call a cab or serve us a scrumptious breakfast. Fresh towels, the best beds, antiques (except for the bathroom!) - it was simply divine! And I had 4 nights there!
It didn't look quite so uncluttered once we unloaded all of our belongings! I came a day early because I don't sleep on planes so desperately needed to catch up on sleep. Which I did.
Before I slept I found a wonderful little pub called Crowes - you can click on my link if you want to see some excellent photos of the pub.
I tried out some of their more unusual beer but I didn't do this:
Do I have a sharp eye for a beer glass or what?
Unfortunately this place, IPA, across the street from the hotel, doesn't stand for India Pale Ale so I had to go a little further abroad and found Crowes by simply turning left at the corner - brilliant! There is indeed a pub on just about every corner in Dublin!
My first beer adventure was a pint of Franciscan Well's Rebel Red (made in Cork)! It was pretty yummy and paired beautifully with...
....the most excellent chicken pot pie. It had at least half a chicken under that puff pastry and onions, carrots and potatoes of course in addition to a side dish of potatoes (like I needed more) and a pleasant salad. To say I was stuffed is an understatement but I'd be needing lots of energy on the hike so I tucked in!
After a great sleep I had most of the day to explore before Annie arrived Friday night after putting in a full day's work. So I did what I do best - wander. Have included just a few photos from my wandering.
I think this hotel has a catchy name, don't you?
I can never get over the numbers of palm trees in these countries that are further north than me! So not fair!
If you've been following my previous adventures you know I love chimney pots, especially long lines of them so must include at least one photo - this one turned out nicely.
I enjoyed seeing the Oscar Wilde monument and reading some of his witty quotes.
I don't know who this person is but he must be important to have his own monument but he apparently doesn't have the respect of these birds!! Almost every statue I saw had a bird sitting on its head!
These sculpted fellows though were REAL! I nearly jumped out of my skin when they moved to thank a little kid for his donation placed in the trophy at their feet! Clever!
Dear sweet Molly did NOT come back to life however.
Speaking of brazen The Brazen Head claims to be the oldest pub in Dublin being in established in 1198! That IS old! My attention, however, was diverted to the naked guy on the side of the truck!
Occasionally and absolutely unintended I get the "postcard" shot like this bridge below.
I wonder if these folks notice the imbedded norse ship while they wait for a bus?
and because the first bridge was so pretty I took photos of a couple more but they don't quite measure up I don't think.
I visited this Famine Memorial just north of the River Liffey a couple of times - I found it extremely moving - especially the father figure carrying his dead son. The images are so powerful. More on the great famine of the 1850's later.
A little further on was a more futuristic bridge and behind there is a building that looks like the mid-section is falling backwards! Very cool.
Of course I too hundreds more photos in various areas of south and north Dublin but one must stop somewhere! So here is a little tunnel I barely fit through as I wandered back to Ariel House to wait for Annie to arrive :) I took a wrong turn or two but eventually found my way back!