an active second day in Dublin
Dublin Travel Blog› entry 40 of 68 › view all entries
I had slept well, but woke horribly congested in the morning, although thankfully, my throat was not as sore. Breakfast of cereal and toast in the dining room, an excessively hot shower, and starting a load of laundry preceded returning my hired car and the subsequent good walk back to the laundry. Having packed my clean clothes, I strolled down the Henry Street, a commercial pedestrian road, seeking the (i) of a Tourist Information Office to pick up a city map.
With map in hand, I found The Custom House, but it was shut due to a student protest, so I continued on to the actual site where U2 recorded their first three albums, Windmill Lane Studios, which has since relocated, but the buildings remain.
I checked my bag at a DART station before following O’Connell Street back across the River Liffey to find the cobblestone campus of Trinity College. I then proceeded down culturally rich Grafton Street, a bustling redbrick shopping lane decorated with sidewalk performers posed as statues, to Saint Stephen’s Green where I observed its dirty water pond and lush flowerbeds. On to Dublin Castle, I decided not to take a tour, but was satisfied to watch an artist complete a very impressive sand sculpture in the courtyard.
It was a struggle to get directions in the city since everyone I asked was a visitor as well, but I eventually found Kilmainham Gaol, a former jail and the set of U2’s video for their 1982 single, A Celebration.
As the tour concluded, I met a sweet family of four from somewhere near Galway. They invited me to join them, so we all (kids included) hung out at The Quays Bar for a pint and some tradi’ before enjoying a hilarious guitar playing street comic outside to close the early evening.
I contemplated taking the ferry to Holyhead for midnight, but the realization that no hostels would be open to let me in convinced me to stay in Dublin a second night.
Ordering a beer at Temple Bar pub, a couple of Irish guys inquired about my accent and asked where I was from. The word “Connecticut” had caught the ear of a fellow American who promptly introduced himself and them me to one girl from the US and a nice Canadian couple. Leaving Temple Bar together after a few laughs and drinks, we ended up at The Oliver Saint John Gogarty pub where we remained until after 1:00am.
Along my stagger back to Jacob’s Inn, I stopped to chat with the Custom House protesters. They looked so funny lounging in their sleeping bags on the cold concrete with picket signs leaning against the massive masonry structure. With a sense of accomplishment, I went to bed happy at 2:30am, pleased and relieved that I had, after all, found fun on my own in the city at night.