Trip Start Jan 27, 2009
20Trip End May 15, 2009
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This time, we decided to set an alarm to make it in time for the hotel breakfast. Of course, I managed to wake up like an hour beforehand, so while Fiona rested I went walking out in the streets. It was a beautiful sunny morning, with barely a cloud in the sky! The streets weren't too busy, I guess not a lot is happening in Dublin city before 9am. I would have sauntered about the shops at 9am, but Fiona had convinced me about this walking tour, and of course breakfast stopped at 10am, so I did go back to the hotel to wake up Fiona. At breakfast, it was our first time finding some (free and/or reliable) internet, so we briefly logged on in the downstairs restaurant and quickly uploaded some budapest blogs and sent some emails while enjoying our eggs and toast.
The walking tour started at 11am and was quite close to our hotel, so we didn't have to rush too much to make it in time (we were, in fact, 20 minutes early). A lovely Irish bloke called Daniel was in charge of our group, and he gave us a well rehearsed history of Ireland and quite often made fun of himself in the process. He showed us city hall and Dublin castle (which looks nothing like a castle) and gave us more accounts of Irish foolishness and rebellion (usually intertwined). After the impressive Christchurch Cathedral, we were shown the best preserved Viking settlement in Europe... Well, we were shown where it was because now of course it's all been paved over or rebuilt. It was still interesting to see the layout of a Viking house and have a few Viking myths dispelled. After a real quick bakery lunch, we trotted through Temple Bar and over the Ha'Penny bridge, O'Connell Bridge (which is wider than it is long, a claim shared with somewhere in Amsterdam) and on to Trinity College. The tour ended in St Stephen's Green some three and a half hours after starting, where we tipped the tour guide as he finished up his history of Dublin and interesting sights. I also asked him to say a few words on camera because I wanted to catch his accent for Megan, so instead of a few words he did an on-the-spot stand-up comedy routine! The tours are free, hence the guides work on tips only - so we both tipped him 5 euro, and went to sit the hell down for a while!
St Stephen's Green was beautiful, and I would have happily sat there all afternoon but we still wanted to get to St Patrick's Cathedral and to look inside Christchurch Cathedral before heading out to Fiona's excitement for the day; Jameson's Distillery. I started feeling really sick, and Fiona was hungry, so we stopped briefly in St Stephen's Shopping Centre before walking towards St Patrick's in what I thought was a straight line.
We ended up back at the damn park.
Never before has my mental map failed me so drastically. I was walking really slowly practically vomiting in my mouth by now, so I left Fiona to find the churches and distillery (I don't even like whiskey, so I didn't mind missing that one) while I very very slowly went back to the hotel. I almost got myself lost again, despite it being incredibly easy (I just had to walk up Grafton St to the river, then follow the damn river) so this is a testament to how ill I was feeling :P
I slept in my clothes until Fiona came back, and then I made myself get up to go out for dinner. We walked across the river into O'Connell St shopping district and had a traditional fish n chips dinner! It was quite tasty, although the mashed peas were a little odd and I don't think I ever want to get a $AU25 fish and chips meal ever again :P After this we wanted to go shopping, because it was late night shopping and there were tonnes of shops around! We had to stop in at McDonalds for the toilet, due to my upset stomach, and I was surprised to find a security guard stopping non-customers using the toilets! This was easily remedied with a couple of Diet Coke's but seriously, is it really worth so much to them that they pay a guard? Crazy!
The weather took a sudden turn for the worse (this happened a lot in Dublin) and we got rained on, and it was starting to get late so some shops were shut early (bastards). We still managed to wander through a few places and get some souvenirs, and then our last stop was Marks & Spencer who I like because they carry my size! Penneys (Primarks) would have been cheaper but yes they lack sizes over 18. I was fortunate enough to find an incredibly cute pink jacket on sale which fit me!! I wrestled with the purchase for a while, finding it hard to justify 45 euros, however the shop was shutting and when would I ever be near a M & S again? So I bought it! Let's not forget it'll be winter soon at home ;) The attendant then let me know that this style is almost all gone and was on sale for half price, so really I made a very good decision.
So we ran back to the hotel, getting quite wet along the way (an umbrella would have been pointless, the rain was sideways) and falling into our lovely hotel beds. We had to be up really early to get to the airport, so we didn't much about with TV or anything else. I had a lot of trouble sleeping due to a strange noise in the wall (Fiona didn't hear it so maybe it wasn't real?!) but I was still up and at 'em at 6am this morning.
We checked out and took a taxi to the airport (35 euros, a lot more expensive than the bus but also a lot more comfortable and reliable) and came on through to London where I now sit writing and sipping mocha, awaiting the connection to Linz.
So finally I am up to date on my blogs, and you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that you are also up to date!
Until next time, keep safe and healthy!