Published: October 11th 2010October 11th 2010
Sunday, October 10: Happy Birthday Michelle!! I hope Cael has done something very nice for you. We loved the Yoda video!
After another lazy morning, we finally left our hotel around noon. Caught the 46A to Dublin's city centre to St. Stephen's Green. We stepped inside the park briefly and then wandered down a crowded Grafton Street, stopping occasionally to watch/listen to the street performers. At the end of Grafton Street we found two leprechauns hanging around the Molly Malone sculpture and were finally able to get a picture for Mike. We shared a Shepherd's Pie at O'Neill's and had one last experience with their black-lighted toilet stalls. Then we began our hike to the Jameson's Distillery, about a mile away...but of course Ed would walk 500 miles and he would walk 500 more just to be the man (you get the idea)...to take a tour of the distillery. We stepped into the courtyard of Dublin castle but did not want to take a guided tour of the castle so kept moving. We had to wait 30 minutes in the visitor center for our hour long tour of the distillery but we were not disappointed. It is no longer a functioning distillery as they have moved all their operations to Cork, but they keep plenty of Jameson's on hand for the tour participants. Ed was selected to be one of eight to do a taste test at tour's end and was awarded a professional taster certificate. Poor guy was 'forced' to drink Jameson's, scotch and bourbon. I'm sure the certificate will find a place of honor in our home when we return. The security guard at the distillery gave Ed a head's up on a pub a couple of blocks away that has Sunday afternoon music. We walked over and were not disappointed with The Cobblestone. We arrived around 4:00 and the trad players had been going since around 2:00. They were playing lively jigs and reels with about eight musicians and an occasional a cappala rebel song. We met Fergus shortly after he sang. Fergus described himself as a labor organizer, historian, and somewhat of a rebel. He told me that a lot of the Dublin P.O.'s visit The Cobblestone because their office is only a block away. The pub did not seem to be a tourist destination and was a very enjoyable find. We stayed a couple hours before hiking back to South Dublin to The Brazen Head where Ed tucked into a plate of mussels and I had some brie and brown bread. The toilet lights were not working and the rooms and stalls were lit with candles. Oddly the hand dryers were still working. We walked back through the medieval village area and on to The Temple Bar where we had a pint and watched more of the world dart championship. We've been catching bits and pieces of the tournament all weekend. We walked back through a quiet Grafton Street and on to St. Stephen's Green, which was closed by this time. We found our bus stop and a pub across the street called Houricans with Ann, the bartender, and her friend, Ian, who were a delight to talk with. Both had spent time in the US, Ann in Florida, and Ian traveling as a musician with an Irish orchestra. The dart tournament had ended with Wade as the champion--we had kind of been pulling for him all weekend. We caught our 46A back to Dun Laoghaire. The bus was full of students returning to Dublin from their weekend but quickly emptied as we headed south. We decided to get off in downtown Dun Laoghaire and walk the last few blocks to our hotel. We made one last stop at a pub for a nightcap at Gilbert and Downey (we think that's the name) and met a very nice young man, Ronan, who is also a musician who had toured the US. The stroll down the street to our hotel was beautiful. It was a cool evening with a clear sky and it had been a lovely day in Ireland.