Our trip to Waterford, Killarney, Dublin
and the Dingle Peninsula, Ireland
October 1-12, 2009
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Saturday, October 10 and Sunday, October 11
We were up at 9:00 am this morning and KC called Moran’s right away to find out what was up with the flat tire. They told him it had been slashed and was not reparable, but that they could replace it, for less than he’d pay to have Hertz do it so he and Herb drove the car down to have it installed.
While they were gone, I packed, took a quick shower, and was just finishing up when they got back. Phil had stopped by to settle up and we’d spent 20 minutes with her, filling her in on yesterday’s excitement, and getting her take on Curran’s. She told us that it was the most popular place to arrange marriages because the then-proprietor was very good at getting the parties to come to an agreement on the dowry.
She told us a very funny story about how the father of a 40-year-old man had visited her father with a bottle of whiskey when she was 16. Her father drank the man’s whiskey and sent him away. When her mother asked what the man had wanted, he said, “Phil.” He wasn’t about to give Phil away but he had no compunction about drinking the man’s whiskey!
Right before KC got back from the garage, I snapped this shot of the artwork I was coveting on the wall in the master bedroom.
Etching in the master bedroom that is simply amazing
La Chute (the fall) by Guillaume Azoulay.
Dingle to Dublin Airport, 4 hours 33 minutes:
When KC got back, he was in a hurry. He was worried about what the accident would cost, he didn’t want to pay for an extra day’s rental on the car, and we were already late leaving, so we rushed all the way to Dublin with only one stop to grab a soda and use the facilities.
A Sulky, slowing us down:
Bread for sale in a gas station along the way:
Street signs showing distance to exit (each slash is 100 meters):
Street sign showing next roundabout:
Street sign at each street in roundabout:
As we got closer to Dublin, we discussed whether to take the car directly to the airport or to drop us off at the hotel first and then have KC and Herb take the car to the airport.
KC wasn’t thrilled about driving around Dublin at rush hour but Herb and I really wanted to drop the bags at the hotel so I called the hotel and got what seemed to be very simple directions. Right. Our maps did not cover one critical part of the journey and we ended up downtown where there are no street signs for cross streets! KC was very calm the entire time and we did, eventually, find the hotel but with great difficulty as all the streets were one way going in the OTHER direction!
Herb accompanied KC back to the airport where they got off relatively easy. The cost for the tow was only 220 Euros.
Our room at the Conrad Hilton:
When Herb and KC were, finally, on their way back to the hotel, but stuck in traffic because there was big football (soccer) game being played in town that night, I called KC and was told to find a place for us to eat. He didn’t care what but it had to be close because we were all hungry. None of us wanted to eat in the hotel so Elke suggested I call the concierge. He came through in spades, with a reservation at Foley’s, two 2 blocks away. Not only was the food good, it was reasonably priced. The only down side was the heat – why are all these restaurants so warm?
KC had vegetable soup and beef-and-ale pot pie, Elke had liver pate and salmon with bacon and a mushroom cream sauce, Herb had oysters and rack of lamb, and I had smoked salmon and grilled black sole. My sole was delicious – some of the best fish I’ve ever had.
Black Sole at Foley’s:
For dessert, we ordered two ice creams – toffee crunch and Bailey’s. I had a cappuccino and Elke had an Irish coffee which came with some delicious macaroons. They also brought 4 glasses of baileys with the dessert, in brandy snifters filled with crushed ice, which looked and tasted delicious.
We discussed our plans for the next day and decided to split up. Herb and Elke wanted to sightsee, but I wasn’t that interested in spending the day on a tour bus, I really wanted to check out the shops that Olivia had recommended on Grafton Street. KC was torn, but decided to come with me.
I was in bed by 11:30 but KC stayed up to watch Terminator IV.
Sunday, October 11
I woke up early but I had a migraine. We had coffee sent up to the room but it didn’t help so I took a Zomig and went back to bed. KC read his book. The stores opened at 9:00 am but we didn’t leave the hotel until noon. We walked through St. Steven’s Green to Grafton Street.
St. Steven’s Green:
St. Steven’s Green:
Grafton Street is a pedestrian area and, although it was Sunday, it was mobbed. There were musicians, mimes, and ‘artists’ like the Mr. Bojangles pictured below who looked like a bronze statue until he moved!
Mr. Bojangles on Grafton Street:
I really hate crowds so I rushed from one store to the next until I’d found the boots I was looking for. I actually found three pair and couldn’t decide between them so I bought them all knowing I’d have trouble packing that night. We had a late lunch in a pub – fish and chips for me, sausage and chips for KC – and then called Herb and Elke to make plans for dinner.
They were wrapping up their day as well so we agreed to meet in the lobby bar in an hour. On our way back to the hotel KC saw Zara, one of my favorite stores, so we nipped in there and I bought an adorable skirt.
Back at the hotel I changed into my new duds and we went down to meet Herb and Elke. They said they had a wonderful day! They took a bus tour in the morning which allowed them to get on and off at will – a nice option, and one that would have tempted us to go along, if we’d been willing to get up that early – they had seen The Book of Kells and had also spent some time in the Grafton Street area but had not bought anything. They had lunch at a bar Oscar Wilde used to frequent, now renovated, but I don’t remember what they ate.
One page from the amazing Book of Kells :
The entry fee for the Trinity College Library , where the Book of Kells is housed, was 9 Euros which they felt was a fair price given that there were many other things to see there , but we joked that they had only seen two pages of the Book of Kells because it’s stored under glass, obviously, being over 2000 years old, and only two pages are displayed at any one time. The guard told them that they turn the page every month so, given that there are 340 pages, it would take you 14 years to see the whole thing!
Detail from another page in the Book of Kells :
I have to admit that, in researching the links for this log, and looking at some of the photos, if I had known how detailed the artwork was I would have been tempted to see it myself but, I also think I would have been disappointed if I’d only seen two pages and they hadn’t lived up to my expectations.
Herb really wanted to visit the Temple Bar district, so we decided to have dinner there. We went upstairs to freshen up and then took a cab to Oliver St. John Gogarty’s . We walked around the area a bit – it was crowded, more so than the last time we were there, probably with people who had come in for the game the night before – and then returned to Gogarty’s for dinner.
Dinner in Oliver St. John Gogarty’s :
We had the same table this time as we’d had the first time we were there but were surprised to see that the wait staff was obviously not Irish, which did detract from the ambiance somewhat. KC had cream of chicken soup and coddle, Herb had seafood chowder and coddle, Elke had lamb stew, and I had breaded cheese with currant sauce and Guinness (beef) stew. The soups were very good as was my breaded cheese, and the stews were good as well, but the coddle came with these anemic looking sausages and neither KC nor Herb finished theirs.
The portions were huge so we skipped dessert and went back to the hotel bar for a nightcap. I had an Irish coffee, the best one yet, and everyone else had a shot of Jameson’s. We agreed to meet at 7:30 for the cab ride to the airport (our flight left at 10:35) and went up to pack. KC played games on his Blackberry while I managed to get all our stuff into our two cases without expanding them or going over the 50 pounds per bag weight limit. It took me over 2 hours. After sorting out the VAT forms, I went to bed, just after midnight.
Monday, October 12
I slept fitfully but did NOT have a migraine when I woke up, thank goodness. We showered, dressed, and were downstairs at 7:25. We had called ahead and the concierge had a large cab waiting for us which whisked us to the airport where we breezed through check-in, security, and the VAT process. One company, though, did not have an office at the airport so I will have to mail those forms in.
(NOTE TO SELF: All the forms I filled out specified “no customs stamp, no refund” and I had seen no place in which to get a customs stamp so I wrote to their Chamber of Commerce and was directed to this WEBSITE (www.revenue.ie) where I discovered that (1) only those goods worth over 2000 Euros needed a customs stamp, (2) there are drop boxes inside the terminal where you can place those envelops to avoid having to send them in and (3) you can have your receipts notarized in the US if you are unable to get a custom’s stamp. All of this was good news; however, one month later, I am still waiting for a refund from all three companies so, if you MUST have the refund to justify the purchase, DON’T BUY IT. )
We found the Aer Lingus lounge and had a cup of coffee and then Herb walked around the stores. He came back raving about a cape he thought Elke should buy, which she did on our way to the gate, and it was indeed gorgeous.
At this point it was obvious that our cribbage match was over and that Elke and KC had prevailed. The final score was HB=3 EK=4 so Herb and I will be serving them dinner. The menu, at the moment, will include both sushi and mushrooms, two of their “favorite” foods.
Airport lounge in Dublin:
The flight home, for me, was absolutely fantastic because one of the movies they were showing was the latest STAR TREK film which I managed to watch 2.5 times! We had warm nuts and a salad, I had the chicken and pasta dinner, and we both had a small cheese pizza, all of which were good, but the highlight of the trip was the movie.
I had intended to listen to my MP3 player, and had gotten it out, but after my 10th trip to the toilet (that’s what happens the day after I take a Zomig), I couldn’t find it, so I asked the flight attendant for a flashlight. When I told her why, she came back and practically disassembled my seat. I thought it was gone for good until KC got involved and saw it perched on a ledge underneath (I have NO idea how it got there because I NEVER listened to it) and saved the day.
The flight landed on time and we had no problems with security even though we’d been around farm animals. They didn’t clean our shoes, like they did last year, because there was no longer any hoof-and-mouth disease, but they did send our bags through a special scanner. I have no idea what for.
There was very little traffic and we were home around 1pm. On the kitchen table, was a huge pile of mail.
Mail waiting for us when we got home:
That, however, was nothing compared to the 750 pieces of EMAIL we each had to slog through. I was really tired so that’s all I did that day – delete spam. We ordered a pizza at 4pm, I went to bed at 8pm, and I slept until 6:00 the following morning. I unpacked and started working on this web page. Actually, I first broke up last year’s page into smaller pieces, because Phil said she didn’t have broadband and wasn’t able to see the whole thing, and THEN I started working on this page, sometime in the evening.
It took me 4 days to get the page to the point where it could be proofread. Then while Herb, Elke, and Em were looking for errors, I started adding the maps and other links. The page was ready to be published on Tuesday at which time I broke it into smaller bits. So, all in all, it took me a whole week to get this page up! In retrospect, while I enjoyed the greenery at this time of year, and I’m glad I saw it, I prefer the weather in April.
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Note to self: bring the following next time: boat shoes, knife sharpener, speakers for MP3 player, adaptor plug.
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Last Revised: November 08, 2009
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