Musicians play in the front yard of Joe Wattie's pub on Inis Mor Sunday afternoon
I'm clearly a city rat. As much as I enjoyed the peaceful loveliness and raw beauty of Aran and Connamara, I was happy to return to Dublin's busy streets. But there's no mistaking this for any other city - Dublin has a vibe all its own. It's also hot and humid, which us a real change from the cold winds of the west. We took the 7 a.m ferry back to the mainland - I had an early night, but did get a walk in after dinner to talk to a local cow and her new calf. It stays light until nearly 11 p.m. here so there's no problem about getting lost in the dark. Emily took us to a stunning ancient monastery on the Shannon River called Clonmacnoise, founded in about 545 or so. Standing crosses, a cathedral, temples, it was a combination university and religious site. Here's a good site with some infor: lawrencetown.com/clonmac.htm
We were all tired - it was a long day - and it was sad to say goodbye to my new friends. We crossed back over The Pale (at last I am no longer considered beyond the Pale) and made our way into Dublin. We
One of the magnificent standing crosses
dropped Matteo and Adrianna at the airport -they were flying home to Milan, and then Emily took me to my hotel. She's spending a couple of days in Dublin with her family before heading back home to Kerry. She was a terrific guide, smart, cheerful and sweet. She pushed us to try challenging hikes and climbs and encouraged us as we went. "Please yourselves," she'd say as we picked our way up and over rocks and up hills, meaning, choose your own path. I'll miss her.
I came back to the Handel hotel on Fishamble because the manager offered me a great deal to book here again - 50 euros including breakfast. And then there's the Karma Bar, where I am writing to you now while I sip a pint of Bulmers cider. I'm growing very fond of the stuff. Pints are cheap here compared to Temple Bar just a few blocks along. I paid just over 4 euros for this pint of cider and was changed the same price for a half in Temple Bar. Ate noodles at Wagamama tonight - it reminds me of the late, much-missed Izykaya in Toronto, and then wandered home through Temple Bar, stopping
in a pub to listen to some music and enjoy the "craic." I'll sleep well tonight - glad to get out of those hiking boots. I've pulled my achilles somehow and I'm limping a bit, but things feel a lot better in my sandals.
I have a full day ahead tomorrow - seeing the Book of Kells, the Guinness factory and a cocktail in the Clarence, the Temple Bat hotel owned by the guys in U2. Wonder if they have an Edge-tini? That would be a bit much, so it would.
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