Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Dublin, day 1

Amsterdam is our travel hub, and we will return to it in due course. Perhaps to try out one of the super duper massage chairs in the airport - as opposed to the regular seats Michael is using. But today is just a stopover on our way to our first destination.

Michael chooses the regular seating

The Aer Lingus flight to Dublin was jam packed, and late, but it went smoothly. We emerged from the airport to find a beautiful clear warm day. Later we learned that it was the hottest day of the year, at 27 degrees C. A taxi took us to our hotel which is just outside the very centre of the downtown area, close enough for walking. A shower and change of clothes later, we headed out to see the sights. Grafton St is clearly the tourist draw card, with all the usual international brand names. I decided to begin my contribution to the Irish economy with the purchase of a Pandora charm. Readers will know that on our last trip to Hawaii I took along a book on how to construct Celtic knots, and lots of coloured pencils. I spent a lot of time working on them, and so it was appropriate for me to get the Pandora charm of a small silver Celtic knot.

We were hungry - breakfast was hours ago on the plane coming in to Amsterdam. We found a table in the sunshine at Bailey's, just off Grafton St. I had a bowl of Irish stew with soda bread, Michael had smoked salmon on bread with chips and salad. We looked up and saw a plaque telling us this was the location of Leopold Bloom's door. There will be more stories of Joyce, and Ulysses.

From lunch we walked over to Trinity College. The lawn was filled with people enjoying the sunshine. We thought we might as well try to see the Book of Kells while there, and joined the queue. It moved quickly, and soon we were there. Again I was happy to see some beautiful examples of Celtic knot work, and to see the glorious illustrations and text. Then upstairs to the Long Room, a magnificent library. Alas there was nothing in the shop that appealed to me. Only two small books on knot work. Michael bought a tie.

We returned via a M&S food court where we bought Turkish cherries, Spanish blueberries, two apples and some chips. Michael was ready for a coffee, but I was ready for more profound relaxation. Is 4.30 too early to go to bed? It was - I flipped around on the TV until 5.00, and then faded out.

We woke early, as you might imagine. I had woken much earlier and lay there listening to a Science Show podcast so as not to disturb Michael. I really wanted to begin listening to Frank Delaney on Ulysses, but didn't want to make too much noise trying to find the iPod.

Breakfast out was on the agenda, but we were very early. Nothing much was open, not many people about was walked down to the banks of the Liffey, then finally found a place offering breakfast. Traditional Irish free, including black pudding, soda bread with marmalade, drinkable coffee.

And of course

Back to our room to download pics and blog. Michael is here for a conference, and will register for that in a few minutes. He is giving a presentation. I will go and find ThisisKnit while he is conferencing. I have in mind some Donegal tweed yarn.

I have just listened to the first four podcasts on Ulysses, and we have covered the first word in the book, stately, and are still on Page One.


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