Delta’s flights from SJO to ATL and on to DUB were comfortable and high tech. We had our own screens, USB port, and a generous selection of movies, TV shows, and other entertainment choice to wile away the hours. Food was delicious and plentiful. Sleep was not! There was just no way to get in a position to do more than rest my weary eyes.
The immigration process took a while, even in Atlanta where we had to go through security again after navigating customs declaration and having our passports checked. Fortunately our bags were checked through to Dublin which meant we did not have to retrieve them in Atlanta! In Dublin no one cared about a customs check; we just hauled our suitcases off the carousel and walked out the door to get some euros and find the bus to the hotel.
Leeson Bridge House hotel is about a half hour walk from Grafton Street. It was very doable especially as we didn’t have any rain at all. It is very clean and staffed with kind professional people. Our room was about the right size for a leprechaun! The double bed just fit in the room with a minimal path on three sides. Though the one large window opened onto the street, night traffic noise wasn’t bothersome and quit before midnight. The bathroom was roomier though I really never liked the setup of a shelf above the sink. It makes one need to be vigilant when bending over to wash one’s face and standing back up.
We reserved a room for the night we flew in as so we could crash as soon as we registered. I had requested they hold it for us and they did! We slept for about two hours and then arose to get some fresh air and exercise before going back to bed at a normal time. Bill is looking very patriotic! Maybe he is trying to make a positive impression for residency in the future!
We walked down the main road to St. Stephen’s Green which was resplendent in green green grass, circular beds of singular color tulips, people reposing in the warm sunshine, and squeals of children letting loose their abundant energy.
Grafton Street is full of shops and restaurants with buskers filling in the background noise.
Being tired and hungry we walked back to the hotel and chose a restaurant nearby. The Farm is as organic and sourced locally as they can be. We decided on a two-course meal for an expensive 22.95 euros each. The hotel gave us their card to present which gifted us each a Perseco, similar to champagne. We could choose a starter and entree or an entree and dessert so went with the latter, of course! Tasty shepherds’s pie and lightly cooked veggies filled Bill’s tummy while mine was nourished with lamb and a colorful medley of roasted veggies. This was a first time to try cooked radishes. As they were impossible to cut and rolled off my fork quite readily, I ended up using my fingers and then left the rest in the dish. The potatoes on both our entrees were prepared laden with Irish farm butter, very decadent – but not greasy!
Somehow, we both found a nook and cranny for rhubarb crumble with vanilla ice cream. We managed a short walk and fell into bed at 7:30 and slept just over twelve hours!
Perhaps because we didn’t arrive to use our room the first night, we were given a complimentary breakfast the first morning. Eggs, sausage, bacon, breads and pastries, pancakes, grilled tomatoes, juice, coffee and tea, etc. were to be had – and they were! It held us through until dinner, which this time was a Cornish pasty off Grafton Street as they were blissful back in ’73 when I was a chambermaid in Cornwall that summer. Yum!
We spent the day ambling around the fair city. First we changed dollars for euros at the Bank of Ireland and then went a bit further to Trinity College. The old library is amazing! What history it contains!
Filled with awe we walked the streets for a while. I needed a new pair of hiking boots and found a store having a sale(!) wher, crossed the Ha’Penny Bridge, and sunned ourselves in a park near Dublin Castle.
The pedestrian tourist walk did call us and some stores made us enter!
The next morning we broke fast at a local cafe with granola and fresh fruit for Bill and porridge for myself. The loose leaf green tea served was the real thing but couldn’t find it the stores.
We meandered along a different route hoping to visit the gaol, only to find out it was sold out in advance. The grounds around the museum of contemporary art were across the street and vast. The groundskeeper was trimming the grass. I still love the smell of the freshly cut blades!
We didn’t view the exhibits but after a bathroom break we made our way to Guiness for a tour and tasting. A couple of interesting signs along the way:
Even though we had tickets for two o’clock we were allowed to enter early as it is self-guiding. It really was interesting for someone not a fan of the foamy brew. The ticket included a free pint which Bill learned how to pour for himself. He enjoyed it from the Gravity Bar which affords 360 degree views of Dublin while I opted for lemon water.
Being tired from walking and standing for hours we treated ourselves to a taxi back to the hotel, rested, and then decided on eating at the Sussex Restaurant which turned out to be a bit fancier than we thought, as well as expensive. The food was nourishing and well presented. Our waiter was from Hungary and spoke English well for having been in Dublin for just a few years.
Then it was time to pack our things and head west!