Note: I scheduled this for six in the evening by mistake. Oops...
Day one recap: girl drank too much whisky on plane, had strong opinions about windows. Saw Book of Kells and bought cool socks. Got lost in the streets of Dublin. Ate shortbread.
Welcome to Day Two. I'm typing on my Kindle this time. That's progress.
We awoke at 7:45 AM. This does not sound dramatic by US standards, but because of the pesky five-hour time change, my body kept screaming "What are you doing? Whyyyyyy" as I got dressed.
Fortunately, I regained my trademark composure over breakfast.
Actual thing I said to an Irish waiter: "I know you call bacon something different here, but I'm tired and I can't remember what it is. So please bring me bacon."
He found it amusing, thank goodness.
After breakfast, we set off for our official tour of Ireland by bus, a journey made more exciting by the extreme narrowness of London streets, its highly creative bus drivers, and the great daring of its cyclists, for whom the solid line apparently equals a bike lane. I would not drive a smart car through those streets, much less a bus.
Dublin is a strikingly beautiful city whose history is continually present. It has an entire Georgian district, as well as some churches that were originally constructed by Vikings. A statue near our hotel has bullet holes from the 1916 Uprising. I expected our tour guide to have a perfunctory knowledge of Dublin, but he blew me away with his incredible historic knowledge. At one point he lamented that the 1916 rebels had stored their ammo in one of the public record rooms. It sustained a direct hit and exploded, destroying eight hundred years of county records.
He also explained the continual focus on the 1916 Uprising, which goes beyond its hundredth anniversary this year. "The Irish are sentimental," he said. "We love a hopeless cause or last stand."
They really do love the Easter Uprising. I was here for some time before I realized they lost.
(At one point he also said we could be in Whales in an hour and a half for a short day trip. I was all for it, but Grandma said no.)
After the bus tour, we breaked for lunch. We had just passed the smirking statue of Oscar Wilde, so we retreated to a cute, literary-themed restaurant. I ordered the "Wilde" (haha!) mushrooms on toast because it was cheap, and the restaurant was unexpectedly Fancy. I anticipated the normal, canned and highly processed mushrooms you find in nature, so I was surprised by the Highly Fancy Mushrooms they served. Don't get me wrong, they were delicious. I just have no idea what I ate.
We wandered around until we found our tour bus again and set off to St. Stephen's Green. It has some historical significance that I cannot recall precisely-- I believe a large crowd of young men were gunned down by the British there-- but all I can say for certain is that it is divinely lovely.
We were flagging well into the afternoon by this time, so we limped the hundred odd miles back to our hotel and had a tea break. The magic little elves who cleaned the room also brought more shortbread. It made me ridiculously happy.
Then we went to see live music, got lost, and somehow found some quite good fish and chips. I'm still not certain how that happened...
It's quite late now, and we have an early train to Cork in the morning. So goodnight, dear readers!