Irish Adventures – 10-29-2012

With luck and karma, I was able to get situated into my first class seat and ready for take off.  Since I had the blessing of the travel gods and goddesses, I did not get stuck between Kansas City and Philadelphia as the hurricane came through.

I landed in Dublin and caught a cab to City Center where the streets were blocked due to the 33rd annual Dublin marathon.  14,300 people lining the streets of Dublin getting ready to start (and that was just the participants).  My hotel was on the other side of the drop point and between me and it was the marathon route.  Thank you to whoever invented 4 wheel rolling luggage.  BTW, yes Dublin streets are cobblestoned in places.

I was able to see the start of the marathon from the start stand and even saw the last person finish the marathon at the finish line.

After a refreshing 1 hour hike, I found the Shelbourne hotel, a distinguished hotel with an amazing pedigree.  The rooms were European small, the service supposedly impeccable.  But the breakfast buffet…  fresh blended smoothies, a juicer, fruit, baked breads from the kitchen that melted in your mouth covered in Irish butter and let us not forget the cheese that was freshly made locally with not an ounce of hormones or genetically modified anything to be seen.  In Ireland you really do only need to eat 2 meals a day.

The National Museum of Art was small but carried a beautiful Caravaggio.  A brilliant painting with stuffing colours and evocative figures.  In the Irish artist section, they had paintings by Yeats.  It is a good thing he had a day job as a writer.  I want to note an Irish painting called “Breaking the 6th Seal” it was one of the most powerful paintings I have seen in years.  With darkness and light and the chains of humanity being broken, a must see if you are in Ireland.

At the museum was Kevin, a wonderful 61 year old Irish gent who kindly shared with me places that are a must see and do in Dublin.  Lemon soap is in my future as well as a tour of the behind the scenes of Abbey Theatre (sadly I did not get around to this one).

As I visited the gloriously decadent statute of Oscar Wilde (yes, it is a must see.  One of the best statutes ever.  Please take my advice and do not be all cynical like I was in regards to seeing it.)  I met a group of girls who was carrying around Susie Sunshine the duck for her photo ops.  Growler is disappointed to be sitting around in his room (and sadly he didn’t go out and play on this trip hardly at all.  Too much to do and see I guess and I do believe he was off doing his own adventures where I wasn’t invited at all).

Wandering around Dublin and Temple Bar is filled with your people in their early 20’s homeless and beggars.  At the same time, the streets are filled with musicians filling the world with song.  Dublin reminds me of New Orleans without the drunks and Cajun food.  Is there any wonder I love this city?

I found O’Neills pub for Irish stew and Guinness.  Prior to getting on the Gravedigger bus.  As haunted tours go, that one is a miss.  Even though the acting and people are wonderful, it is a Disney ride.  I am hoping my Hellfire tour is much better.

At the Cavanaugh Pub (the oldest pub from 1833 owned for 8 generations by the same family) a wonderful Italian boy (31) and I had a grand conversation about the world and life and everything.

The Irish are nice.  There is not much more that needs to be said than that.