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Thursday, December 8, 2016

My Dublin Diary: Out And About On My Final Day

Outside the Gaeity Theatre

After visiting the Archaeology museum, I dined on one incredibly hearty and satisfying bowl of Irish Stew over mashed that stuck to my ribs for the rest of the day:

Look at that - my mouth is watering all over again!

I may not have dined with tablecloths and Waterford crystal, but the pub grub and street food I found in Dublin was delicious. I honestly did not have one bad meal.

For my final night in Dublin, I decided to go with the flow. That started by hopping back on the hop-on-hop-off Dublin bus with my singing bus driver, Sean, and heading around the loop of the city. Along the way, we passed the Guinness Storehouse - which I hadn't planned on visiting since it's a pricey tour and one Guinness was enough for my lifetime. It turns out to have been a good call since the queue was several hundred people long, even in the off-season:

Sean's advice: "If you want to do the Guinness Tour, go early."
Next we whisked past Phoenix Park, a huge expanse of green that was the inspiration for New York's Central Park. The deer are so tame in this park, they'll walk right up to you and let you pet and feed them.

In addition to the deer, I got a good look at the tallest obelisk in Europe, the The Wellington Testimonial:

The monument was built to commemorate the victories of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington. The park is just gorgeous, and if it's that green near the end of November, I can only imagine it's breathtaking in the spring. I promised myself I'll be back one day when it's warm and soak it all in again.

After the bus made its rounds, I hopped off and headed over to Grafton Street, which was decorated to the hilt and full of musical street buskers like this guy (whose name I did not get, unfortunately):

If anyone reading this knows who he is (he was gorgeous and had the crowd mesmerized!) please comment so I can give proper credit. He was terrific!

There were also loads of beautifully decorated shops. Check out this creative display!

Everything there was the pure definition of "Merry and Bright," and in the middle of all the bustle was a couple taking wedding pictures!

Best wishes to the both of you! What a beautiful venue!

I was in need of some 'facilities' after downing a few hard ciders and a cup of tea, so I made my way into the Stephens Green shopping centre, which glows like a beacon in the night.

After traversing a floor or two, I stood in the very long queue for the ladies' room, only to be greeted by this sign when I got closer:

There was no attendant at the desk, but they did have a drop slot for everyone to dutifully deposit their 20¢. In the words of the Irish: Feck that. Nobody did, including me. We were all salty enough about waiting in line. I get that it probably discourages vagrants from using the facilities, but sheesh.

And as I made my way back out to the streets, the lights glowed and the people jostled, and it was wonderful. I eventually headed to the tram, with many a backwards glance. I was leaving for the airport early the next day, and oh, how I wished I had more time. I'll be back Dublin. And I'll get to the rest of your wonderful country while I'm at it.

Next post: "The Little Curiosities"

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