A chronicle of Alison and Ron's trip around the world in 2009-2010.

"Not all those who wander are lost"
- Tolkien

Friday, June 5, 2009

Dublin, Ireland

Our night at the Maple Hotel came with a full irish breakfast: eggs, beans, toast, assorted meats, and what we would later find out to be pudding. Pudding can be white or black and is actually some sort of pigs blood concoction I thought it tasted like a liverwurst pate. Maybe that is a good strategy to find out afterwards about what mystery meat you are enjoying. The meal was quite filling and we didn’t need to eat again until well after 2pm where we found our “euro saving” strategy: the local subway. When you are trying to travel on the cheap, a 2 euro ($3) 6” sub of the day is the only way to fly. Maybe we should take a few photo-ops of us eating at Subways all over Europe. Move over Jared, you have competition!

We did another walking tour of Dublin, heading to Trinity College, the oldest college in Ireland. We skipped the Book of Kells because the line (or queue as they call it) was really long but mainly because we were going to splurge on the Guiness tour later that day. We booked online to save 3 euro but it was still $38. The Guiness Storehouse is like the Disneyland of brewery tours with 7 winding levels of multimedia displays of beer facts, the life and times of Arthur Guiness the founder, and neat vintage footage of stuff like the arduous task of creating an oak barrel. But the real draw is the free pint you get when you reach the Gravity Bar at the top of the brewery. Here you get a 360 degree view of the city and a cold pint of Guiness to enjoy. Ron and I luckily scored two seats and rested for quite awhile soaking in the views of Dublin. At some point a fellow stumbled over to us to give us two more tickets for beer, having 4 pints himself already since he was in a non-drinking group (which makes you question how they happen to be in Ireland and on the Guiness tour no less!). We happily accepted and guzzled some more brew.

Later we met up with John and Peter, which are Joanna’s (my sister-in-laws) cousins. They treated us to some tasty asian fusion fare at a place called Mao, and when the food arrived (close to 10pm) I ate every single rice grain of my pumpkin curry and almost licked the plate. Afterwards we headed to a pub you just don’t find as a tourist, and enjoyed some beer and whiskey. We got the lowdown on local politics explaining the many plastered street signs for the upcoming election, tipping (never at a pub, 10-15% at a restaurant), and ideas for the rest of our stay. I think its fair to say that the conversation and good cheer we had with them was the highlight of Dublin.

John graciously offered us a spare room in his house for the night, but not before a nightcap, some Scottish whiskey LaPhroige he referred to as “peaty” which I refer to as just gross (but Ron seemed to enjoy the distinctive smell and aftertaste that stays with you long after you want it to), so I opted for good ole Jameson. Then Ron and I retired for the best night sleep imaginable, waking up to yet another gorgeously sunny day.


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