Two busy, fun weeks.
Two Tuesdays ago, we hit up Howth, a bubble-shaped town on the east coast on Ireland. I had some delicious fresh cod (fried, with salt and vinegar; yum), and Bonnie and I went out on the famous cliff walks. After wondering amongst muddy hills, and prickly bushes, we discovered that we weren’t on the famous cliff walks after all, but rather a random path that wasn’t really meant for humans. We found the real path, but we were already wet from the rain, and muddy from the- well, mud. (Admittedly, it was quite fun.)
The Saturday before last, Bonnie and I went south to Waterford, a town best known for its crystal, for which it’s known worldwide. A tour through the facilities allowed us to see glass-blowers in action, as well as other elements of the process. We also saw a lot of pretty things we couldn’t afford.
On Sunday, we went on a tour through old Dublin with Bonnie’s flat-mate, Dee, led by an actor playing a blind man. He called himself “Zozimus.” We called him “the blind guy.”
Last Tuesday was for Kells, best known for the Book of Kells, which is in Dublin, and not Kells. Kells itself is a neat little town, with a fake lighthouse in the middle of nowhere, a few nifty cemeteries, and quite a few big celtic crosses.
On Wednesday, Johnny arrived with three of his Syracuse/London friends (Evan, Mike, Mark), and Mark’s friend Simone. Bonnie’s friend, Elaine, arrived on the same day, at the same time, on the same flight from Edinburgh, Scotland. They all met on the plane.
Leading up to St. Paddy’s were a few days of Dublin wanderings. Johnny and his cohorts hit up the classic Dublin sights (Jameson Distillery, Guinness Storehouse, etc.), while Bonnie and I took Elaine around to more humble, free things. On Thursday everyone made their way to Smithfield to see Grupo Puja, a bunch of acrobats and musicians from Argentina and Spain, who played repetetive, ambient rock music while others did aerial stunts on a giant metal ball moving a hundred feet in the air). It was pretty cool, unlike the weather, which was pretty cold. We went out for drinks afterward to warm up.
I’m supposed to have a lot to say about Paddy’s Day, but I really don’t. It was, however, a fun day. We made it in to town around 11 or 12, and tried our best to secure a good place to watch the parade. The streets were flooded with people, and lots of lots of green. In the Temple Bar area, the streets were just as crowded, and in the pubs, there was scarcely room to breathe. We did an admittedly minimal amount of drinking in Dublin that day, returning to Bonnie’s flat around five to order Pizza and watch Arrested Development. When I say ‘we’, I mean Bonnie, myself, and Elaine. Johnny and his friends made it a pint-filled day, returning to UCD around 11:30. All of our guests left Saturday morning, giving us a lazy day filled with Cheez-its (thanks to Andy, Michelle and Shayla!), and homemade vegetable korma (thanks to Uncle Ben and Patak’s!).
We leave for Edinburgh on Tuesday, and will be traveling around Britain for about two weeks. When we return, I’m sure there will be stories to tell (and photos to share). -sj