My love affair with Ireland.

When I take big trips, I usually keep a journal mostly to remind myself of where I went on which day and what not.  I have found that vacation easily  becomes a blur if I don’t do this.  So, below you can read my trip to the beautiful Ireland-a country that I am now head over heels for.

July 8, 2015

I took off from Logan on 7.7.15 at 6pm and it was a pretty smooth, uneventful 5.5 hour flight.  I arrived at 0515 ish in Dublin on the 8th and we had to wait for a ride to the hotel until about 0715.  During my wait, I had a full Irish breakfast (I love that the Irish eat sauteed mushrooms for breakfast!) of eggs, sausage, toast, tomatoes and something that I have no idea what it was-it came in the form of a patty that looked like brown sesame seeds.  It didn’t have a lot of taste, but not bad.  I’m looking forward to riding on the wrong side of the street!  I haven’t done that since I was in London back in 2000!

Got to the hotel, but the room wasn’t ready.  (Clayton Hotel Ballsbridge) I decided to try and see Dublin, so I got on a wrong bus by mistake-but the driver took pity on me and got me to the correct bus.  I went on a tour at the Jameson distillery, which wasn’t too different from the tours that I took in Bourbon country.  In fact, Jameson uses barrels from bourbon country and then they recycle them again to become rum barrels.  I then went to Glasnevin Cemetery.  I couldn’t hear most of the beginning of the tour, but what I did catch was pretty interesting.  We went into the vault of Daniel O’Connell and it’s good luck to touch his coffin.  I also poked around in the museum reading about some Irish history.  I then headed over to the Guinness Storehouse and took the self guided tour.  The place is enormous! It’s 7 stories in the shape of a huge pint glass, with the top floor being the Gravity Bar that has floor to ceiling windows and it was packed.  Beautiful view of Dublin though.  I learned to pour a pint in Guinness Academy and also learned out to taste it “correctly.”  I naturally got hung up in the huge gift shop and spent too much, but that can’t really be helped!  Ha!  I caught a cab to the Hard Rock Cafe for the shotglass that I collect at every cafe I go to and then back to the hotel.  I was beat!  Tomorrow I may go to Kilmainham Gaol prison.

 

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July 9, 2015

Started out with breakfast and found out the things I ate yesterday (that were previously unidentified) are a blood sausage.  I’m a total hypocrite-I didn’t mind them yesterday, but did NOT want to eat them this morning.  Ugh.  I then went to Kilmainham Gaol (jail) for a tour.  It was really interesting and I learned quite a lot about Irish history.  Glasnevin tour made a lot more sense today than yesterday.   I went to Trinity College and saw the Book of Kells and the Long Hall-quite a sight to behold!  I caught a taxi back to the hotel and saw first hand Irish road rage!  At Trinity, a student took us on the tour.  Back at the hotel, I met up with my tour group and we got on a bus and did a city tour, plus went to Dublin Castle, where we also did a tour.  LOTS of history there-very overwhelming.  It was really pretty and I found out that George Mitchell (former Maine senator) had been there and is very well liked in Ireland.  After that, we stopped at St. Patrick’s Cathedral and headed back to the hotel for some downtime and then a welcome drink with the group.  We got a run down of how things work and when we’re leaving in the morning.  (0800) For dinner, we went to the Merry Ploughboys Pub for Irish music and dancing.  It was a very fun evening.  I bought one of their CD’s, got them to sign it and took a picture with them.  Oh, I found a post office today-21 Euro for 20 stamps-ouch!  Okay, off to bed…Blarney Castle tomorrow.

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The rest of the trip to follow in another post….

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