Tuesday, March 13, 2007

One more day in Dublin... what to do?

We decided that we would head into Dublin and then go as far as the train would take us with our 'short hop' passes. Howth was written up in the Lonely Planet as a nice working fishing village that had a hike atop the summit with some views... and I was aching for some sweeping Irish ocean landscapes!

We spent the time waiting for the train talking to an older gentleman who had lived in Howth all his life...when he wasn't working as a type-setter on cruise ships! We chatted with him almost the whole way into Howth. He was nice enough to give us some good directions to the summit for hike. We got off the train and hopped on a bus to the summit...the plan being to hike back down to the town.
The view was fantastic! There was even a pony at the trailhead...we hiked down to the edge of the dangerous cliffs and walked along them for a short while before we looked back again at the above view...one thing was notably different...the rain was a LOT closer!

Jen: Should we run back to the bus stop?
Sara: Yes.

And so we did, narrowly missing a downpour! We took cover in a small convience store and had a candy bar while we waited for the bus, I noticed this box outside door, upon closer inspection, I saw that it was formed peat logs for burning (like the convience stores that sell presto logs and kindling in the US). Many homes till heat with peat in Ireland, it was neat to see it as part of everyday life.
We shopped our way down the waterfront and had lunch the Wheelhouse, and it was delicious. It was a really a cute old building, as were most of the buildings in Howth. It really is a beautiful and historic little town and we had a great time streaching our legs a little.
After we got back from Howth... we had time to kill before C and F met up with us in Dublin for a night in the Big city! Every Thursday (pronounced Tursday) shops stay open until 8pm. Grafton St. is the big pedestrian shopping area in Dublin and it was hopping! We had some coffee and met up with C and F at the train station, hopped on the LUAS (we were such seasoned travels) and then got a little lost trying to find the Front Lounge again (so much for seasoned Dubliners). C and F liked the feeling at the Front lounge as much as we did...but they had pretty much run out of food! So we wandered the streets of Dublin in a starved state finally deciding on an Indian restaurant. A group of spanish speaking rugby players came in...making an odd mix of US women, burley spanish speaking men and the slight lanky Indians, all of us in a tiny Indian restaurant where the door was too hard to open from the outside and a server came running everytime someone peeked in.
After dinner we headed to The George to experience gay Dublin! Sara and I had checked it out the previous day and didn't get us lost along the way this time. There was a bouncer outside the entry way, to get in you walked past the bouncer, into a vestibule and then through the door into the building... at least this is what Sara did, waiting for the rest of us at the door. However, when I tried to walk past the bouncer, he stepped in front of me, blocking my way....
Bouncer: Have you been here before, Miss?
Me: Today?
Bouncer: Sure.
Me: No, we were here yesterday (I am pretty confused at this point... this guy doesn't act very friendly)
Bouncer: You know this is a gay bar?
Me: (dumbfounded) Yeah, that's why we are here!
We are (I am) then allowed to enter and I realize... I didn't look gay enough! The bouncer was trying to save the dopey tourist from getting into something she wasn't expecting... funny, Sara got past with no problems! It was fun to be in the gay scence a little. The security was striking! C was our watchwoman, keeping us apprised of the comings and goings. After 10pm, all the exits were restricted and entering and leaving was only through a side door on the alley, with two bouncers outside and more inside the door. Not like in the states where there is just usually one punk kid outside the door checking ID's, the legality of homosexuality is still new and in a fairly conservative country, not widely accepted.
The last train to Maynooth left Dublin at 11:10, so our night had to end early, we all agreed we would have liked to stay longer but we all were a little tired and C and F actually had to work the next day! So we hopped into a taxi and took off to the train....as you can see from the photos...those girls were a little tired! A great day overall... and our last day in Ireland is next!

No comments: