2011 UK and Ireland travel blog

Molly Malone

Daniel O'Connell at the head of O'Connell Street

Steve with his favourite brew

River Liffey

Dublin day today or as much of Dublin we can see from the open top of a double decked

tour bus. These buses are everywhere in Dublin as they are in Liverpool and London. And as frequent as the multitude of regular city transit. One of these tour passes is good for 2 days with hope-off hope-on privileges. A lot of the major sights featured, but it would require weeks or months to discover Dublin it seeems; perhaps a lifetime.

Fascinating, ancient and filled with wondrous delights with a distinct history of its own. This is Ireland it certainly is not England. Just a little less hectic and a lot more courteous and of course with that special Irish brogue. Bussing around all the famous and lesser known sights, getting off to walk around Trinity College and view the ancient and famed Book Of Kells and all the while getting a constant and intesting barrage of Ireland's seemingly endless quest to be free from invader's subjugation.

Ireland's patriots and heroes are celebrated everywhere here in Dublin and of course

the dominating essence of the Catholic church is too, everywhere. Huge majestic churchs and cathedrals dot the city as do Viking and Norman remnants. A whole lot of people have come through Dublin and not all just to see the sights!

After lunch Joan & I went back to the huge Guinness Works, the brewery and museum and store and what a throng went through it all. Taking a couple of hours as the facillity

is a couple of centuries old and vast it was marvellous to explore.Some pints of Guinness (my favourite brew) and a meal of Beef and Guinness Stew with mashed potatoes that was heavenly it was back on the bus, do another tour making our way back to our hotel. Always during the tour the guides make it quite plain just how ghastly the English monarchy treated the Irish for centuries. I think the tour bus drivers get their revenge in the way they operate through Dublin's incredibly narrow twisting alleyways.

Straight-ahead, get-the-hell-out-of-the-way. Twice we had near misses. Once with a bicycle rider (yes they have odd breed here too) that like Vancouver bike riders has no regard for other vehicles. I don't know how an accident was avoided but it was accompanied with a boisterous exchange of threats sprinkled frequently with that curious and common Irish word...fookin. As in "Do ye no have fookin eyes mate".

A great day I wish we had several more because Dublin has a real charm that it is immediately apparent. But it was cold today. The winds of Hurricane Katia are still blowing heavily across Ireland giving yes a wind chill. Not real warm to begin with in mid September but with the howling wind that at times made it hard to walk, the temperatures felt to be in the high 40s or low 50s. Yeah I still use Farenheit, I never could get the hang of that Frenchy Celsius. And my God these Germans are getting on my nerves. Barging into the queues at will and speaking loudly in all pubs and restaurants and dominating every buffet. So tomorrow we head south into the Wicklow Mountains heading down to Waterford, Cork and Killarney. Now let's see what driving in Eire is like. So until tomorrow this is Steve & Joan & Patricia signing off.

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