3.26.2009 Dublin Days
We caught the bus into Dublin. It sounds so simple, doesnâ€™t it? When someone says that, they really ought to fill you in on the effort that goes into such a statement. Let me help: Thereâ€™s the scramble for the exact change, the bus information (where do I catch it, how do I get back to here, what is the name of the stop where I get off in both directions, where on the bus itself do I board, how do I validate my ticket, what is the age for child prices, what is the bus schedule), the organizing of a dayâ€™s needs (water, lunch, guide book, camera, money, backpacks, and final bathroom breaks) before hurrying up to the road, determining the correct side of the road, then only to learn that youâ€™ve just missed the bus.
Return to camper to regroup, then later return to bus stop early, talk for 45 minutes with nice English couple while awaiting late bus, and finally make it onto the bus and getting off when you know youâ€™re in downtown Dublin. Success! There, thatâ€™s more reality than â€śwe caught the bus into Dublin.â€ť
Great day in Dublin seeing more of this charming, high energy, bustling city. We started with a phone call to Ned from an internet/telecom store and it cost just 3.20 E for all of us to talk about 15 minutes. Then we enjoyed seeing Dublin Castle, the Chester Beatty Museum (Top Museum in Europe 2002), Trinity College with the Long Room on the Book of Kells, and walked across the Haâ€™Penny Bridge.
In fact, we missed our bus home because I insisted on walking across that Haâ€™Penny Bridge because Iâ€™d missed doing so 22 years ago and didnâ€™t want to miss it again!
Lunch at the Dublin Castle
So we wandered in search of some sustenance, ending up at an Italian Restaurant who kicked us out. We only wanted a pizza and had explained that to the outside promoter and again to the hostess of the restaurant, but the waitress huffed when we ordered it and then the manager came over to inform us of our faux pas, to our great chagrin. So we slithered quietly out, somewhat relieved by the exit, and determined to trust myself more in the future, we enjoyed some treats at a sunny cafĂ© with pleasant, smiling servers. There is no dignity in international travel.
We did make our next bus back and the trip at the top of the double-decker bus was like a scenic tour of the picturesque city at nightfall.
Today we decided to stay and relax, enjoy, savour our time. We needed to take care of the rig, organize our equipment, and breath out. Iâ€™m trying to do that more, but I feel like I get a bad grade if not productive. Smooshing down that feeling, we signed on for another day at this nice campground. There are about ten other rigs here but the weather is very windy, cold, and it rains every half hour or so for about five minutes. Iâ€™ve never seen weather on fast-forward as it seems here. So we havenâ€™t met or even seen many people.
We rode the bikes into town, stopping by a bike store in Kildunkin (sp?) for a few kickstands and a reflector that was knocked off Liaâ€™s bike. Shawn was very helpful and said he gets to meet Lance Armstrong every year when the Tour of Ireland rolls through (in August?). Shawnâ€™s sister had also lived once in Houston, TX.
Anyway, he kindly let us leave the bikes there on the edge of town while he put the parts on for us and we shopped along the way in local stores lining the tight, quaint road, and in modern shopping mall areas that could never be seen from the road.
Chester Beatty Museum
We were shocked at the prices. (1 E = $1.35 U.S.) Multi-purpose saline solution for our contacts, a medium size bottle was over 20 E! That is about $27 U.S. for essentially salt water that would cost at most $4 in the states. We have looked in many stores and have only seen that one bottle. No wonder! A simple digital tire pressure gauge cost 30 E! Many of the food items cost on the high side of what weâ€™d pay in the States, except they are in Euros, which of course makes them expensive for us.
I hope everyone in Ireland is earning about $150,000 a year because otherwise, I do not know how they live. It has apparently been a really rough 18 months for the Irish economy after a really wonderful boom time, so sadly, I think the people are hurting. I hurt with them.
We successfully emptied our black water cassette toilet! We rolled it up to the â€śchemical toiletâ€ť room with the cute little match folding, rolling cart. It was not pleasant, but simple enough to dump it in the oversized commode with no seat. A nearby hose allows cleanup of the tile floor with drain and off we go again. Essentially, the cassette toilet is like having a porti-potti that you access through a door on the outside of the rig. Iâ€™ll have to get you some pictures (of the clean part).
We switched over the propane tanks today and were happy that Sugar has 2 large canisters.
I believe they are about 6 gallons each since one seems to last as long as Ciaoâ€™s did over our winter trip to DC. We have the heat on, which burns up most of it- and weâ€™re so grateful for it.
I cannot seem to connect to the internet here at the campground office, although Charles had no trouble with his iTouch, which is vexing, as I havenâ€™t a clue what to do to fix it - my random clicks of various properties surely doesnâ€™t help. I was so impressed that Orla could figure it all out with her network.
Speaking of dear Orla, she was so kind in coming by our first evening here in the campground. Sheâ€™d noticed that the insurance tag was due to expire on our trip and immediately took care of it in Dublin. I was so out of it that I donâ€™t think I was very gracious, but I think jet lag is very real â€“ it is only later as the fog begins to clear that I realize how dopey I have been!