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Published: July 29th 2008
After a night filled with the sounds of street noise and drunks, we got ourselves up and ready. At this point, I think we need to address a common issue that we have seen in Ireland. Leprechaun showers! Most of the B&B’s that we have stayed in have had these types of showers. A leprechaun shower in very small and typically does not allow you to turn around or bend once inside. This takes a little practice, and I think we have all mastered the technique at this point in the trip. The only problem is if you drop the soap…basically you are screwed…. This is probably why soap on a rope was invented. Our shower at the Helga Lodge was a typically leprechaun shower with an added bonus. The seal on the door was faulty and it produced a lovely lagoon outside the shower door during our showers. Amy showered first and warned me of the lagoon issue. We met downstairs for what I would call “the worst breakfast so far”. After we gathered our things and backed the car, we drove to the city centre. We quickly found a car park and I fancy parked the car (backed in).
This gun follows you whereever you walk in the courtyard...it was erriee
We made a stop at a Starsbucks as Amy needed a little perking up this morning, and then found city hall. We were nearin search of the famous black cab tour of the city to show us the ongoing Belfast issues. Our driver was named Allan and he was hilarious. Our town consisted of a 50/50 tour… 50% tour of the Catholic side and 50% tour of the Protestant side. This tour was very sobering. Catholics are separated from the Protestants by a huge wall and neither dares to cross it. They each work on their own side. The gates on the wall are closed at night and all weekend, so it is possible to get stuck on the wrong side. We saw lots of murals that depict the conflicts and loss of life here. We asked Allan a lot of questions and it was hard to believe that this fighting is still going on. After the tour, we stopped into the TI and then went in search of the elusive Rose’s jam. Eileen and I had the famous jam in England, and we loved it. We stopped in several groceries and finally found it in Tesco’s. Amy was so
excited she skipped to the checkout lane; she had been hearing so much about how good it is on toast and scones, she couldn’t wait to try it. We bought 5 jars and vowed to sneak a jar into our next breakfast stop; we quickly made our way to the M1 and headed south toward Dublin.Once again we were under-whelmed by the border crossing from Northern Ireland back to the Republic of Ireland; no signs, no stops, no stamps in our passports just a subtile change in the road signs—now we were back to converted distances in our heads from miles to kilometers.. We were also weighed down by the sterling pounds (and a few of the other sorts of “pounds” too of course ) that we didn’t spend up in the UK. We hit some nasty traffic and a huge mess of construction. In Dublin we met up with Angie, Brent, and Natalie at the Guinness brewery tour. We missed this tour on our last trip to Ireland and we all vowed that it was a must see on this trip. The Guiness Factory Tour takes you throught 7 levels of the old factory and shows you the entire
brewing process, advertisements, and the most important part is the free pint at the end! We had a great time on the tour and Natalie (17 months) was very entertaining. The tour ends on the 7th floor gravity bar and it has wonderfuls views of all of Dublin. Natalie in true Irish form was very interested in the beer and while trying to smell it ended up with a great Guiness Mustache(see picture). After spending a few euro in the shop, we quickly got ourselves into a cab and over to our next stop. Angie and Brent headed back to their hotel in a cab to drop off Natalie and just happened to pull up next to a Garda (cop) at a stop light. The garda proceeded to pull them over and yell at them because Natalie was not in a car seat. The cab driver played dumb and got himself out of a ticket, but he ended up having to kick them out of the cab. They then proceeded to run approximately three miles to their hotel in an effort to make it on time to our next stop... the Literary Pub Crawl! Amy, Eileen and I went straight
to the The Duke Pub to buy our tickets. The crawl consisted of 4 pubs stops with two actors acting our different scenes from Irish literature. We made a stop at O'Neills, which is the oldest pub in Ireland and is huge. It has 3 floors and 5 bars. We ended the tour in The Davy Byrnes pub which was the subject of a entire chapter in Ulysses. We were all enjoying a pint and catching up. When we were ready to leave, I got out the map to find out how to get back to our B&B when some friendly Dubliners offered to help. They showed me the right way and I thanked them. Before I knew it, they had bought us several rounds at the bar and we were all having a great time. We were joking with them and they said they said they wanted to buy the pints for Brent because he was so cute. I have included a blurry picture of the Dubliner trying to romance Brent.... the picture is blurry because I was laughing so hard that I couldn't hold the camera still. We finally pulled ourselves away, made the short walk to the
Notice the government issued screens that protect the houses from anything thrown over the wall
Loius (light rail). We waited awhile for the train to come and when we finally got on Amy got harassed from the train attendant because she hadn't paid enough for her ticket(somehow they left Eileen and I alone). We all were out cold on the train, and luckily we woke up in time to get off the train. We had a quick walk from the train station and got ourselves back to the B&B for the night.
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