Thursday, 30 August 2007

Baile Átha Cliath - Part 2

In which I tell the 2nd half of our "we went to Dublin for a few days" tale. Yes, it's riveting, isn't it?

[In other words, you need to be stuck in place with hot metal nail-things or you'll wander off and do something else...]

So Sunday turned out to be a glorious sunny day. How appropriate. After buying some fruit for breakfast and unsuccessfully trying to find an open internet café in order to check-in for the next day's flight home, we wandered down to Eden Quay to catch the bus out to Blessington in Co. Wicklow.

Dublin - O'Connell Bridge

Once there we meandered over to the In-Laws residence where MLYSIL picked us all up in her shiny motor car. Poop, poop!

Now, Angela's recently learned to drive and Ireland's learner driver laws are a little idiosyncratic. For the first year on a provisional licence you have to have a qualified driver next to you. Just like over here. But for the 2nd year, you don't. Apparently. Which worried MLYW a bit. Not to worry though because MLYSIL is a very good driver indeed.

We drove up into the Wicklow mountains and along winding roads where MLYSIL bravely kept us on the road so that we didn't plummet to our deaths in a ravine.

It was chilly up on the mountains, so I was glad to have brought a jumper, but worth it as the views were spectacular (and not very well captured in the camera, unfortunately). Landscapes I need to work on.


Glendalough


We continued on to Glendalough, which is a gorgeous part of the world. There are plenty of long walks to be taken around here, but we didn't have time to take them. It's the sort of place you need to go camping for a week to truly appreciate.


Then on to Roundwood. The highest town in Ireland, apparently. And a lovely meal and a refreshing Guinnes (again!) in one of the pubs there. Oh, and an indoor market was happening in the local church hall, so we bought homemade biscuits, fruitcake and soda bread. These last two were consumed for tea recently and were indeed fantastic.

Drove back to Tallaght where MLYW and I said farewell to the rest of the family and caught the LUAS back to Dublin. The LUAS is a great tram system. Dirt cheap, fast and efficient. I'm at a loss as to why other countries manage to do good, affordable public transport, but we in Britain manage to balls it up most of the time.

Monday was our last day in Dublin and after packing and checking-out of the hotel we didn't have a lot of time or inclination to do much exploring.

Over at Temple Bar we discovered a great free exhibition of photographs by ... and then we noticed that the Irish Film Institute was showing Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal. It's a film with a huge reputation that I've never seen (though I thought I knew it from having seen the myriad homages and spoofs). Noting that it started in just 10 minutes time and that it ran for a very lean 96 minutes we decided to watch it. So we did. And I think my review of the film will have to be part of another post.

After that it was time to head off to the airport on the bus. Aer Lingus check-in was remarkable. No queues. Efficient. And the security people were not the humourless drones that you get in other airports. They actually conversed and joked with you. What a hugely refreshing attitude. These human beings have realised that while their job is to stop terrorists and idiots smuggling banned, illlegal or dangerous items onto planes, they also know that 99% of the people they meet are law-abiding and, for the most part, sensible. So they treat us with good humour and dignity, unlike the humourless, surly drones you get in most international airports (particularly Heathrow and most US places). A very refreshing end to our stay in Ireland.

2 comments:

Delmonti said...

soda bread?

PT said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soda_bread