Dublin Day 1

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March 20th 2009
Published: September 17th 2017
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Geo: 53.3441, -6.26749

We got in about 7am local time. It took a while to collect our things and figure out which
bus was ours. I missed our stop by one and we had to backtrack and it wasn't immediately evident where the hotel was (in all of the literature they give a street, but no number). Josh didn't sleep at all on the plane
and he was hanging on by a thread. When we got to the hotel they charged us 20 Euro to check in early, but
we decided it was worth it to have a place to stow our bags and get a shortnap. We hit the sack around 9am,
I'd guess. Just after noon, the fire alarm went off. We were about to leave the room when it stopped. And then it started again. And then it stopped. We decided that this was a sign that it was time to get up and get out into the city. We stopped at Spar which is a local corner convenience store chain and got money and a "fizzy orange" for Josh. We got on the bus and took it not quite all the way into the city center, which meant we had to walk some more. Josh loves walking, so this was very pleasant indeed.

Eventually we found our way to the tourism office where we
could pick up our Dublin Passes and purchase hop-on/off bus passes. Josh is very enthusiastic about riding
on the upper decks of the bus and especially loves the tourist bus because it
goes around in an easily predictable loop, appears every 10 minutes and goes everywhere we want to go except our hotel.

By this point we were fairly starving so we headed to a
crepe place that we had heard about that was nearby. They had both sweet and savory crepes. Josh had a Calzone crepe with pepperoni and cheese. I had one with egg, mushroom and onions (more like an omelet). For dessert we split one with bananas and Nutella. That was a big hit!

We took out our hard-won bus passes and hopped on the next tour bus. It was getting late in
the day, so we didn't want to waste too much time. Our first stop was a two-fer. First was Dublinia which is a museum dedicated to the history of Dublin from the Vikings onward. It is housed at the Christ Church Cathedral complex. The cathedral has been in its current location, in one form or another for about a thousand years and is considered the "Church of Monarchs." It's not too far from St. Patrick's cathedral, but back when there was a wall around the city, Christ Church served the interior and St. Patrick's served "the liberties," or the area outside the city. One interesting trivia bit: the term "taking liberties" comes from the fact that if you lived in this area you did not have to pay taxes to the Lord Mayor of Dublin.

Christ Church is famous for, among other things, being the place where Handel's Messiah premiered (almost exactly 250 years ago).
It is also the burial place of Strongbow (leader of the Anglo-Normans who captured Dublin in 1170). Our favorite thing at Christ Church was in the crypt. At some point back in the mid 1800s, a cat chased a rat into one of the pipes from the giant organ. They got stuck and became mummified. We got to see them both
frozen in action. James Joyce apparently made reference to this pair in "Finnagan's Wake": "as stuck as that cat to that mouse in that tube of that Christchurch organ." Joyce and a cat mummy all at once!

We got back on the open air part of the tour bus and tooled around Dublin a little more, listening to the guide and trying to get our bearings. It was a little brisk, but enjoyable. Josh's 3 hours of sleep were really showing though. We hopped off again and stepped into a pub for some fish&chips and
cider and chicken nuggets and fizzy orange. There was a small crowd watching the horse races (we were
next to the local OTB). It was pleasant, but not what I would call lively.

At this point I had trouble finding a regular stop for a regular bus to take us back to the hotel.
We hopped on and off a few, did some walking, went in the wrong direction a few times and finally got it sorted out. I'm typing from the bus now, actually, and I'll upload when we make it back. Josh is
kind of snoozing next to me. He's just beat!

A few general comments: The weather is great; a really nice surprise. It's just perfect for walking
around. The daffodils are out in force in all of the local gardens.
They were also out
Josh enjoying his Crepe CalzoneJosh enjoying his Crepe CalzoneJosh enjoying his Crepe Calzone

The place we ate was supposedly a local favorite called Lemon. Josh says he'd like to go back.
in force on the streets today. We probably saw 30 volunteers here and
there selling daffodil pins and cut daffodils for the Irish Cancer Society's
"Daffodil Day" which was March 20 this year. I think Dublin must have had several squashed tourists at
some point because they've painted "Look right" on the ground at most of the
intersections. There is a beautiful, walled public park in Dublin that has a circumference of over 7
miles. The River Liffey is really small and has lots of bridges. If you don't buy a licence for
your TV, the TV police can come get you and drag you into court.
My guess is that Josh will have things to say tomorrow when he is awake. I may even be fired as tour guide.

Tomorrow we are hoping to get to the jail and the Guinness
factory, St. Patrick's and we'll see what else. The bus passes are really handy that way.There are a few additional photos with this entry.

Additional photos below
Photos: 13, Displayed: 13


Our hotelOur hotel
Our hotel

I was glad that I had read reviews and knew to ask for a renovated room on an upper floor so we could have some quiet
Our pub crawl consisted of oneOur pub crawl consisted of one
Our pub crawl consisted of one

Nancy Hands was the name of the one and only pub in our crawl today
St. BridgetSt. Bridget
St. Bridget

At Christ Church Cathedral they spell it correctly
The Black KnightThe Black Knight
The Black Knight

"None shall pass!"
The finest in ready-made cowlsThe finest in ready-made cowls
The finest in ready-made cowls

There was a nice selection of medieval-age clothing at Dublinia. I thought it was funny that after telling you that Vikings didn't really go in for the helmets with the horns, they sold plastic helmets with horns at the gift shop
TV licenceTV licence
TV licence

This is a PSA-type advert on the bus warning folks that they have to get a licence [sic] for their TV...or else

21st March 2009

Here comes everybody! (James Joyce)I enjoyed, and printed day one's account for Nanny, who will be back from the funeral late today. Keep having chips, and increase the crawl visits exponentially each day.

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