20 July 2006

good craic

Well it's been a while since we left the rugged landscapes and accents of Scotland, to arrive on the Emerald isle. Let me start by saying...

Kate Daley knows how to show people a good time! She's been living and working in Dublin since May, and was the best hostess one could hope for. After living with strangers for the past few weeks, it was a really nice change to be welcomed into someone's home for a while. The first day here, while Kate and her roommates were at work, Brian and I set out to explore the city.

Upon first observation, it reminded me a lot of home. The Dublin accent is not too strong, and it actually resembles the Canadian accent a fair bit. The streets were packed with locals, 'non-nationals' ie many immigrants, and tourists galore. We escaped the masses by grabbing a pint of Guinness at a place called McGruders. And let me add that it was delicious! The old black stuff tasted NOTHING like it does at home (read: Molasses and tree bark). It was smooth, creamy and rich. There have been many more to follow, including a free one from the Guinness storehouse tour that Kate's roomate got us into for free.

Kate and her roommates took us out 'The Barge Bar' which was huge, full of werid-looking men trying to dance with us, and blaring Dance Mix '93 tracks. I ended up embarassing myself by telling more than one Irish person how it had always been my 'dream' to come here bla bla bla. I also quizzed people on Dublin history. Never read historical fiction before visiting somewhere if you plan to drink any Guinness.

The next day Kate took us to a fishing village called Howth to check out a festival. We ate lots of junk food, watched a seal feeding, laughed at a person on stilts and caught some awesome Irish dancing. I wish i could post pictures to show you, but it's just not possible here :(

After another night of fun, we decided it was time to see some more of ireland, and took a bus to Galway, 'Ireland's cultural capital'. There, we were met with things wonderful and awful. The best parts included watching the sun go down on Galway bay (just like one of my favourite folk songs), Taking a day trip to see the awe-striking cliffs of Moher and the Burren (a rocky landscape full of caves, and rich with history), and finding a beautiful Claddagh ring from the original makers.

On the other hand, we were unfortunate enough to have to share our room with many, many buskers, who smelled so bad it was like they baked their BO in the sun for the month, then added a dash or two of sewage and more sweat. It wouldn't have been so bad if they hadn't closed the windows to incubate the smell, and then puke and leave the bathroom door and window open to waft yet another smell in, and then refuse to wear anything but tight black briefs and pace in front of me (mumbling to themselves), with their paunch at my eye level. Alas, that was how it unfolded, and it was very, very unpleasant.

But anyways, we found another hostel that was much quieter, and smelled a fair sight better too. Galway is a great place, especially during the arts festival. We watched short movies in the park on a projector, ate ice cream to temper the heat, and drank white wine among many other revellers by the seaside. We also checked out a really tight cover band in a 500-year-old pub that was really, really cool.

We eventually made our way back to Dublin to visit Kate once again, and had a lovely night at a bar called Zanzibar. It was strange for me to take in the arabian decor with so many memories of the real place, but a cool novelty nonetheless. We had many laughs and a lot of fun with Kate, and hopefully she will have as much fun on her backpacking adventures as we've been having.

So today is our last day in Ireland, or in any English-speaking country for that matter. Today we fly to London, and sleep at the airport (where I shall spend hours in the makeup stores)and then we fly to Paris tomorrow morning. I'll try to post a little more regularly once we're on the continent, lest I forget any part of this intense trip.


Gillian Edworthy said...

sounds incredible dal! haha i can just picture you quizzing all the locals on their own history - thats awesome,
enjoy the london beauty stores, even for someone who doesn't know a whole look I could tell it was an impressive market - the store I went to was "the boot"??? i think, haha

looking forward to hearing about your trip to France! careful - the men there are QUITE forward! haha,

cheers dudette!
miss yah

j'tan said...

I actually feel a little nauseated after that vivid description of busker BO! The black briefs nearly did me in. I think I'll forgo 2nd dinner tonight :\

I would love to taste Guinness from the source -- I'm one of the crazies who likes the bitter black replica we get here after my 87 year old grandmother acquainted me with the taste.


Erin said...

Dallas, I'm in Germany, come find me! Berlin, to be exact. No blogs about it yet because I'm too tired. But blogging to come. Have you/are you going to see Italy this trip? I might be going this weekend or two weekends from now...the weekend in between, I'm in Prague.

...come to Prague??

take care!!!