Monday, 12 May 2008


Prior to two days ago, my knowledge of Irish people consisted of watching reruns of Father Ted, that movie about a dead guy who wins the lotto, reading Angela’s Ashes, and a couple of fairly depressing filims about the IRA… We didn’t go anywhere near ‘Craggy Island’, so I couldn’t possibly comment on Ted & Co, but on the whole, it was much as I’d imagined; Dublin is a beautiful city, the countryside is lush and the people are very friendly – with the best accent ever!

Not surprisingly, as many people had warned us, our Ryanair flight was delayed, and it was already pretty late on Friday night, so not the best start, but it tied in quite nicely with my plans to go late-night club hopping in Temple Bar with Kent… yeah, right.
After a comfy, if too short, night’s sleep in our rather luxurious hotel, we hit the footpath to wander into the centre of town… in the rain, ick! It stopped almost as soon as we got to town though, and the rest of the weekend was actually pretty nice - phew.
We took the hop-on, hop-off bus tour of the city – a nice way to check out the sights and decide what we wanted to see later… which led us to a tour of Kilmainham Gaol, the onetime home of some of our Australian neighbours’ ancestors. It also held the leaders of the Easter Rising of 1916, most of whom were executed within days of being arrested… a major landmark in Irish republican history. Our guide was really passionate and she made the whole thing quite real, and I have to confess that I had a lump in my throat in some places; it was very moving… certainly wouldn’t recommend it if you’re looking for a pick-me-up!

We had dinner in a quite little traditional pub just off the Temple Bar, minus the hoardes of hens-parties… complete with a ‘Smokers Beer Garden’ which really meant a covered in area that collected smoke and sent it back inside to the rest of us – nice! If there’s one huge difference we’ve noticed on this side of the world, it’s how many people smoke, and how much less hysterical non-smokers are about it; not sure if that’s a good thing though…
Next day was a bit of a rush to get going in time to get to the bus stop for our tour out to Malahide Castle and the Coast… bed was a bit too comfy and we overslept! We did get there in the end, and it was worth the hurry, as Malahide is a beautiful castle, which was lived in until the mid-70s when the last owner had to sell up to pay inheritance taxes, then she high-tailed it to Tasmania… it must have broken her heart to sell the home her family had lived in for a staggering 900 years! Kent was in his element, and managed to find out that they still hire out the Grand Hall for banquets, complete with string quartet, for the teensy sum of €3000 plus €75 per head for minimum of 30 people, so I think it might be a while before we can afford that (but it would be a pretty amazing experience…). We also headed to Howth, for a wicked view over Dublin Bay – lucky the sun was out, and we could see quite a way across. We also saw the school where U2 met (they’re very proud of their rock music
protégées in Dublin) and heard a few great (and some tall) tales from our guide.

You may wonder why there are no photos… keep reading and all will be revealed.

Our afternoon was somewhat more adrenalin-filled; we took a ‘Sea Safari’ out of the River Liffey and into the Irish Sea in an RIB (rigid inflatable boat – those open ones that bounce around like nobody’s business in the waves – eek!), around Dalkey Island, Dun Laoghaire and the Muglins… which sounded JK Rowling-esque enough to keep me happy. It was quite exhilarating – not something I thought I would love, but I did – and sooo much better than a boring/sedate cruise up and down the Liffey.

From there it was a short wander to the bus station, past a canoe polo game we stumbled across en-route, to get to the airport… where I lost our camera.

Yup. Lost our camera… bother… or something stronger.

Needless to say, there wasn’t much joviality on the plane home. After a similarly quiet drive, we arrived back in Ipswich about 12.30am; not the nicest with Monday morning looming at work for both of us… and still no camera.

It’s not all bad, though. Someone found the camera and handed it in (which was lovely, am so incredibly grateful to whoever it was – hopefully lovely things happen to them) and it’s now winging it’s way back to us in time for our drive to the continent in less than two weeks… so I will post the photos soon.

Take care,
Kent & Eryn x

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