Sunday, July 16, 2017

Travelling to Ireland

Well, it's has started, a new adventure.  An old Army buddy and I have headed Dublin for a couple of days. Then to Belfast and the St. Patrick's Center, then to the Titanic Museum.  All this while on the way to walk Hadrian's Wall.  84 miles across the central British Isle.  That will include a ferry ride across the Irish Sea to Briton.

After a 2-hour flight delay because of thunder storms, our Aer Lingus 757 is off to Dublin.  The 6-hour flight is what it is, hot and uncomfortable at first.  We are lucky to have an empty middle seat that makes the trip 100% more enjoyable.  A little trick that I have learned from years of traveling is to book both a window and an aisle seat in the back of the plane.  Usually, the middle seat will remain free if the aircraft isn't 100% full.

The Dublin Airport is an ultra sleek European design.  After clearing customs and collecting our bags, I grab some euro's out of the first ATM that I see.  We catch the number 700 bus to the city center.  It's a short 2 block walk to our hotel.  We can't check in for a few hours so they are holding our bags so we can take a walk.  We grab a map and go to a Cafe to plan our first adventure, but we need coffee first.

We first head over to St Patrick's Cathedral which is an awesome place.  We catch a choir singing and enjoy the World War I display with a remembrance tree.  After working in Afghanistan, it was moving to see memorial plaques of soldiers that had died there.  In the rafters, they have the old regimental flags hung to fade away, like old soldier that never die but only fade away.  Some famous author said this for 

We then walk up and grab some fish and chips at the famous Leo Burdock Fish and Chips.  Serving this stuff for over a 100 years. We take it down to the St Patrick's Cathedral Park and have a great lunch.Then it's back to the Hotel to check in and take a nap.  So that we can go see the Guinness Brewery later in the afternoon.

We sleep until 1700 we see that the last tour starts at 1800 off in a mad dash to the Guinness Storehouse and Brewery.   A magnificent place with a cool observation deck.  A brewery is a brewery tour they seem to be about all the same, but this one is in Ireland, so it makes it special.  We buy the required t-shirts then it's off to Dinner.

 Our last stop of the night is dinner and where else to go but the oldest Pub in Ireland, established in 1198.  It caps off an extraordinary day.  The Brazen Head Pub for some Bangers and Mash which is a dish of sausages and mashes potatoes and vegetables.  There couldn't have been a better spot to end a great first day on a long adventure through the British Isles.