Dublin, Ireland - Day 2
Trip Start Jun 25, 2008
77Trip End Sep 01, 2008
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First taxi ride of the trip took us to our first stop: Avoca. Awesome, amazing food served on the 3rd floor of a local clothing and furniture boutique. Photos below
Next, a nice stroll down Grafton Street (famous shopping strip in downtown Dublin). A couple of street performers, window shopping, etc. ... Which landed us in St. Stephens Green. A huge park with a huge pond. Locals and tourists alike enjoying the fair weather (cloudy skies, no rain all day!), grassy areas, fountains, and historic statues.
After enjoying the play area at the park, we hoofed it about a mile to the nearest DART station. All of the research I had done on Dublin told me that for a true Ireland experience, one must travel to the countryside. Unfortunately for us, time wouldn't allow for that this trip. BUT, we could come close. A trip to Dublin's outlying areas would give us at least a taste of the countryside.
For 14 Euros, we secured a family day pass with unlimited usage on the local train system. We quickly hopped on a train, and then after two stops hopped off after a last minute realization that we were on a commuter train that was going to ship us in the wrong direction! Thankfully an Irish native had eavesdropped on our conversation and spoke up in the nick of time, allowing us to jump out of the train just as the door started to close
After a couple of hours of play time and exploration, we headed back to the DART station and took off towards Howth, a typical Irish fishing town with great views and the smell of fish in the air from all the fishing boats. At that point, we were now very much ready for dinner (approx 9:30pm when we boarded the train) and so I asked a fellow train rider where we should eat. He was happy to oblige ... offering us a tip to eat at Beshoff Bros., home of world famous Fish'n'Chips
As we waited for our food to be prepared, I happened to strike up a conversation with an older gentleman who was enjoying some ice cream. Short version of the story is ... he is a local Irishman, traveling to northern CA next month at the same time my house is going to be vacant for a week. Naturally, I offer him the place. He is blown away and very interested, but a bit taken off guard (understandably if you think about the fact we'd met only minutes prior to my offer). We keep chatting and to show him I'm serious about my offer, I ask the store manager for a pen and provide Mr. Chris Crowley with my office phone number and instructions on how to use my home. Red with shock, he very pleasantly extends an invitation of his own ... he'd like me and the family to join him for tea in the morning ... at his church. Turns out Mr. Crowley is the 'boss' (lower cased b of course) at Whitefriar Street Church, age old Roman Catholic church and home of the remains of St. Valentine, one of Dublin's top tourist attractions! How stinkin' cool, no? So ... tomorrow, just before we head to the airport to travel to Spain, we get a private tour and tea with fifteen friars at a super famous church ... not exactly something we'd planned on. I can't wait!
Off to bed for now.