Monday, August 25, 2008

Ireland, Part VIII: Dublin

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The next morning, we again had different options for breakfast. Though the bacon and eggs breakfast is only marginally healthier than the Irish breakfast, I went with that. Damon went with the full Irish again, but she brought him the wrong food. Haha, nothing went right for us there!

The reason we’d stayed near Kildare was because it’s quite close to Dublin without actually being in it, so we’d be in a good position to return our rental car before the morning deadline without paying Dublin prices to sleep. We did manage to get the car in on time, and the inspector didn’t notice the black scuff on the rear-view mirror caused by our little goof in Spiddal. As we were waiting in line to pay, Damon pulled out his wallet and realized he had something else in his pocket….the room key for our last B&B. Oops.

It was around 11:30 at this point at our flight wasn’t until 6pm, so we had a bit of time to go into Dublin and look around. We took an Airlink bus (10 EUR per person roundtrip) right into the heart of town near Trinity College. We looked around the campus. I felt a little funny about this because when we lived in Boston I always found it very weird that tourists would come onto the Harvard campus to gawk. Trinity is certainly prettier than your average German university, but I still think my alma mater has it beat. J We didn’t stop to see the Book of Kells as it was rather expensive and you only get to see a couple of pages. We did browse through the Book of Kells books in the gift shop there to see photos and scans of it, which were nice. The gift shop was a complete madhouse.

Dublin Aug 08

We had some agony trying to decide where to eat here in tourist central when I saw something in the guide book that caught my eye: DIM SUM. Yesssss…. (In Heidelberg we have only found it in the frozen section of the Asian shop, in a limited selection – it’s just not the same.) We went to the restaurant noted, Good World, and they handed us a very short menu with about 10 dishes on it and no dim sum. Noooo, we are there for dim sum and no other reason! We asked them if they had dim sum. They said yes. Then we had to ask if we could have the list. They then brought us a huge book-like menu with not only the entire selection of dim sum but many, many other dishes that were not listed on the menu they initially gave us. I don’t really understand it when restaurants have two different menus. Anyway, we ordered us some dim sum and it was great, not to mention pretty cheap, considering prices in the area. Afterward we stopped for beverages at a bar down the street with the goofy name of Shebeen Chic. When I googled it to link here, I found lots of Dubliner sites knocking it for being crappy and lame, but we had a really good experience there. They were very friendly and when I ordered just tap water, they offered to put some mint in it (yum). The bartender was from Paris originally and found Dublin to be just a giant village, too small for her. Of course, having just found dim sum and coming from little 130,000-person Heidelberg, we had the opposite feeling!

We walked through the garish, themey Temple Bar area and then down a main street toward an Airlink stop to get back to the airport. On the way, we stopped at a huge, beautiful post office to send the B&B key back to the B&B. Thankfully Irish addresses are really easy to remember because there aren’t any codes to remember, so we could address it from the top of my head and send it off. The padded envelope was only like 60 cents and postage was less than a Euro!!! Eat your heart out, freaking Deutsche Post. I haven’t found a country yet where postage costs more than it does here in Germany.

We made it back to the airport and had a nice, uneventful flight back to Germany. As if he knew I was fretting about going back to a less friendly place than Ireland, the German guy in the seat next to me was really nice, helping me get our bags down after the flight and being generally more polite than I would have expected. Thanks, German guy! Germany isn’t so bad after all. After all, it has cool words like Richtung (the direction of) and Tschuessi. And, it’s home now.

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