Part 7:  Dublin!

After a very fancy breakfast buffet – croissants, scones, cereal, fresh fruit… they had it all, we showered in luxury (this hotel was fancy!), and we packed our bags.
We were soon on our way to Dublin, having stopped for a very quick walk around Trim Castle, where they filmed some parts of Brave Heart.  But we were racing the clock to get the rental car back to Dublin Airport on time.

Now the returning of the rental car was fraught with confusion and delays.  The fat controller would not have been impressed (there’s a thomas the tank engine joke for those of you who are fans).
We might have gone to the wrong place, and then fought through the road works to find the returns booth. Then I may have stood in the line at said booth for a day and a night, while Mrs Graham had to run to the loo and in the mean time I found out I was standing at the wrong booth so I may have had to push all the luggage down the other end of the parking area to the correct booth where there may have been a nice man who said stay here and went and sussed out that we had returned the vehicle wthouth any extra dings – all bumpers in tact and no broken knobs and buttons, and had filled it up with petrol.  Tick tick tick.

We got the all clear and were soon on the aircoach heading for the city!

It didn’t take us too long to figure out the map and stagger down the street, packs on our backs, to Blooms Hotel.  It also didn’t take us long to locate Grafton Street, where we stopped at Bewley’s for lunch, had the yummiest goats cheese pizza, then meandered about, enjoying the shops and the sights.

We headed out to Temple Bar that night, not sure exactly where we were going, and by chance ended up in Farrington’s Bar, I think because it appeared to have spare seats!
Turned out we’d ended up in the right place, the hours zoomed by as Jac supped her Guinness (sorry – I’m not a fan, that stuff is not for me!), the music was good, and we met a few of the regulars.  The funniest was Jay, the guy who will have had us believe he was some kind of  professional pool player,some kind of venture capitalist, a physicist and there was some talk of gas pipes.  I am not sure if I have any of that right – it was loud and late, and I was distracted by the man on the corner who’s job it was to hold a sign advertising lap dances.  What a career choice aye!!

We stayed a while after closing, the bar staff having closed the blinds and bustling about at their end of night jobs, lifting mats and clearing away the last glasses. But Jay the gas pipe laying pool playing physicist assured us it was fine to stay and finish our drinks, before we headed out into the night and back Blooms for a well earned sleep!

The next day involved a tad more shopping, stopping for lunch in the sunshine in St Stephens Green, where we admired the pretty grass that you’re not allowed to sit on.  This rather aggrieved Jac, as she pointed out, quite rightly, that it’s not like they are short on the green stuff.  I think it’s about the spit and polish of certain areas,  I can see they are trying to keep them looking spic and span.
But coming from NZ  – where what is grass for if not to lay about on, or play a quick game of cricket or frisbee on, or just to frolic about on, it seems odd.  But that’s where you have to respect that other people do things differently in their neck of the woods… or corner of the globe!  But I will admit to having a wee giggle at the little girl in her pretty summer frock, who noticing her mother was momentarily distracted, took the opportunity to waddle happily across the grass… past the sign warning her to stay off, and up to the garden where she merrily started pulling the little flowers out of the garden.. roots and all! You go girl I thought.

We made the most of a beautiful warm evening, wondering over the O’connell Street bridge, and back over the ha’penny bridge, squinting in the evening sunshine, checking out an old church or 2, then heading back to Farrington’s where we partook of some cider and guinness to cool us down in the evening heat.  We had an entertaining night with Ryan – who turned out to be Australian, but we forgave him, till he ditched us married ones for a footloose and fancy free German girl he’d met on the way to the loo.  Even with his white sports socks and sneakers.  Where ever you are Ryan, if we convinced you of anything I hope it was to LOOSE THE SOCKS 😉

We snuck off home from Farrington’s before closing, excited to get in and unwrap the most special purchase of our Dublin holiday.  The fact we’d been brave enough to be seen buying such shockingly ‘fan – tastic’ t-shirts – although we did our darnedest to be as discrete and possible, and had shoved said items low in our bags to ensure minimum embarrassment.  I think the girl in the shop may have been a bit confused when I told her to sshhhh up when she tried to start a conversation with me about my plans for the concert the next night.  I assured her we would not be wearing the items in public, but this just seemed to confuse her more.