Thursday, July 15, 2010
|In Kilmainham Jail|
|In the Victorian wing|
After that, we stopped at the Patriots Inn for lunch before walking to the Storehouse for some Guinness swag -- no, you can never have too much. We hopped back on the bus at that point, getting off again near Grafton Street for more shopping. Well, the girls shopped. Cee bought a cigar, and then we went wandering, stumbling upon the James Toner Pub for a pint before meeting the girls back at the Porterhouse for, you guessed it, another pint (of their own porter in my case -- delish!).
Within minutes of greeting Jae the previous evening, she'd mentioned Montys, a Nepalese restaurant she'd heard about; that was on the docket for supper. Well, what a treat! From the opening recommendation -- dumplings! -- we were hooked. My lamb ledo bedo (traditional Nepali curry) was amazing, and the peshwari nan was ridiculous -- seriously, probably the best I've had to date, and I'd like to think that means something now, after a year of trying great curries.
We finished the night off with a few more pints and live music at O'Neill's.
Friday, July 16, 2010
DART to Howth. The Victorian row houses gave way to greenery and, finally, the beautiful Irish Sea and Ireland's Eye. The air was heavy with salt as we left the train, and while the sun was shining through the clouds, we'd packed for showers. We noted Beshoff Bros fish and chips shop immediately, knowing how good that would taste after our cliff walk.
|The harbour, Dún Laoghaire in the distance|
When we pointed at what we thought was the way down, he replied, "No, that's the boring way. What you want is there," pointing to a gap in a low wall that was in a similar, yet entirely different, direction. He said the way was intuitive: that so long as we were heading down, we were heading true. He emphasized that, while it was simple, we wouldn't see "any big German signs pointing the way," which had us in stitches for most of the way down -- Cee in particular, given his heritage.
Once back in Dublin, we decided to take the Laus (pronounced 'louis') -- or really neat, futuristic tram, as we liked to think of it -- to Abbey Street for more shopping. We were a bit confused about where to catch it, and ended up waiting longer than it would've taken to walk the distance, but it was worth it: we couldn't very well leave the city without riding it, after raving about it for days. While Cee went with Jae to buy his sweetie a ring, Tea and I crashed for a bit in St. Stephen's Green.
Salamanca. The place was packed, so we put our name on the list and went to a different Porterhouse close by. Aye was shocked when they told him they didn't have Guinness on tap -- 'til we explained it was a microbrewery. The hilarity continued when we were seated in Salamanca, however, because they didn't serve it either. As he said, we probably found the two places in Dublin that don't serve it (and it was all he'd dreamed about having since his flight had touched down). We got the story out of the waitress eventually -- apparently you have to buy Guinness in such large quantities, that it doesn't make sense if it won't appeal to most of your clientele -- and consoled ourselves with a few Murphy's (and sangria for the girls, a Paulaner for Cee).
|At the Mercantile|
Saturday, July 17, 2010
It rained heavily all morning, which was just as well, 'cause Tea and I slept late. (Cee got soaked on his morning walk, though.) It started to clear up in the early afternoon, so we went to a pub for a late brunch before heading to Croke Park for the 3 p.m. hurling match. As we got closer, you could see the crowds converging, with plenty of supporters of the boys in blue: Dublin.
|Hurling match at Croke Park|
GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Quarterfinal was between Dublin and Antrim, to be immediately followed by the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Quarterfinal between Dublin and Armagh; as we found out later, the latter was a real grudge match: the last time Dublin and Armagh met in the play-offs was five years earlier, with Armagh clinching the victory.
|Fans pile in for the football match|
We still found so many opportunities to laugh, though, like when the five-year-old behind us squeaked, "Take their heads off!" Another time, as I was just about in the lou, this giant of a man grabbed me by both shoulders, and, staring down most earnestly, said, "Is there anything blue on my face?"
As if the question weren't strange enough, his heavy accent really threw me. "Anything blue?" I said.
"U'm, no." (I decided to ignore all the little bits of paper towel all over his face; the guy had obviously been scrubbin' somethin' fierce in there.)
"Ah, bless you!" he said, taking off for the stands.
I saw him again later as the last match was letting out, and noted that he was sporting no colours while being harassed by a crowd of his friends, all dressed in blue. Cee had speculated earlier that supporters of the boys in blue had painted a rival fan -- against his will, shall we say -- and this gave weight to the argument.
I'll close out this section with a video clip from the football match. Just after it ends -- with Dublin winning, as should be obvious -- the guy in the middle of the frame turned to us and said, "We've waited five years for that!" Awesome!
The raucous Temple Bar then greeted us, in full swing by this time, and we set a meandering course. A few streets later our way was blocked by a crowd. Peering over heads, standing on tiptoe, we picked out the band and stopped to listen. Folks of inner circle were dancing as that song finished, and then a haunting tune was struck up. We were mesmerised by the crescendo, swaying, and then clapping, faster and faster, when suddenly this "Wop! Wop!" of a police siren pierced the bubble. Against the odds, they'd decided that this was their best bet of getting through Temple Bar to whatever crime was in progress. I took a hasty video of it, and, as you'll see, they did make it.
And that, other than momentarily losing the girls as we walked along the Liffey, thanks to a series of well-built gentlemen deciding that ironing in the buff in their well-lit apartments was the best way to spend a Saturday evening, was our trip to Dublin, done and dusted.