Dublin Day 2

Continued from Dublin Day 1.

Two more nights until Austin!!! Another night of being woken up at random times late at night by the paper thin walls in our hotel. It doesn’t help that it’s Saturday night, so many of the people who come back late are drunk and loud.

We slept in and didn’t get out the door until noon. Slept in for several reasons. We didn’t sleep well due to the noise issued mentioned above, we wanted to start flipping our body clock to be closer to Austin time, and we don’t have too much planned to do/see in Dublin.

Some sort of protest in front the general post office. The GPO was the headquarter of the 1916 Irish uprising and remains an important in Irish history(which I know very little about).

The rain is gone, replaced by sun and very strong winds. I’ll take the high winds over the rain any day though.

I really do like this spire for some reason and find myself taking photos of it every chance I get.

Apparently murder is morally above fracking.

The Liffey river, dividing Dublin North and South.

Trinity College. We chose not to go in and see the Book of Kells, which is stored here.

Oh, duck tours, in every corner of the world.

Found our lunch spot, also recommended by RL’s family friends who now live in Dublin.

My Palestinian falafel!!! Soooo good!!

Got more falafels for free because we were the first dine in customers for the day!! Score! I will say, now that we are in Dublin, we are eating the consistently best foods of this whole trip.

I’ve never seen falafels get made before, but apparently there’s a little device that works similar to a ice cream scooper to form the falafels.

They are promoting the elephants at the Dublin zoo. Really? They are making it seem like the little elephants were transported here in those wooden crates.

Bicycles get no love here in Dublin. There are many bike lanes, but very few cyclists here.

On another note, no pedestrian in Dublin seems to follow the cross walk signals. Everyone just crosses whenever there’s a gap in traffic whether the signal says go or step. There also does not seem to be a convention on which side of the side walk to walk on. Some people walk on the left side and some on the right, and very few people yield for you since there’s not an established right of way. It’s rather annoying and makes walking around this city unpleasant. We do not feel settled here in Dublin.

Taking a walk across the city to visit the Guinness Brewery.

They have random fruit stands on sidewalks. There was a tomato incident here where a whole tray of tomatoes fell. RL leaps into action and helps out while I just stand around and take photos.

This seems to be an immigrant neighborhood. They’ve got these pop up sidewalk shops selling all sorts of random goods. Seriously, who buys detergent and toilet paper at a sidewalk pop up shop?

Guinness is just ahead.

Ugh, the line for tickets is really long!

Fortunately, there’s a ticket kiosk with short lines…it took us 3 different credit cards before it accepted one of our cards…it was from this incident that I realized my Bank of America Visa isn’t working. I later found out after calling customer support that my card had been canceled a week ago and that they had issued me a new card back in Austin due to one of those massive security breaches at some unnamed retailer. Thank you BoA for not notifying me that you cancelled my card while I am out of the country.

Got our tickets and ready to go see Guinness Storehouse. This is the number 1 attraction here in Dublin. I don’t like to drink Guinness, and I’ve never bought into the Guinness marketing machine…but I guess I’ll come see it. The tickets were VERY expensive at 18 Euros!!!!

A whole display of barley. I sifted my hands into it like many other here.

Then RL noticed that there were bugs in it…

Upon closer inspection, there were MILLIONS of bugs in here!!!! This whole barley pit has been infested with bugs!!!! AAAHHHH!!!!

Look at all those bugs that crawled out of the barley pit and died. Seriously…grave oversight here. The bugs must have been here for a while, and they never even bothered to replace the barley and take care of the bug issue. I have a bad taste in my mouth from this already.

More long lines. Nope, not waiting in it. After that bad experience with the bugs in the barley, I am literally just walking straight through all the exhibits and trying to make my way to the very top of the Storehouse where the Gravity Bar on top provides you with a view of all of Dublin.

More lines. This is the most crowded place we’ve visited on this entire trip so far I think.

More lines, just to pour yourself a pint of Guinness. No thanks.

Reached the Gravity Bar, and it is CROWDED….

Got my free Guinness…or rather, I paid 18 Euros($23) for it.

The view from the Gravity Bar. How crowded is it over here? I had to wait in line just to take a photo of this view next to the window. Fuck this shit, we are leaving!! Didn’t even finish my beer.

I know some of my friends visited here and had a great experience…I can’t say that it was the case for me. The whole experience felt gimmicky to me…I felt like all I did was pay $23 for a pint of Guinness while I had to fight for a spot to look at the vantage view of Dublin for a split second.

Now that we got our one singular attraction(Guinness Storehouse) that we wanted to see out of the way, time to stroll back to our hotel through the city.

Waltons Music, supposedly one of the bigger instrument stores here in Dublin. They do have a great selection of instruments, except for accordions. Seriously, where do all the accordionists in Ireland buy their accordions?

Grafton Street, one of the big shopping streets in Dublin.

The protest that we saw earlier in the day in front of GPO has grown in size by the afternoon.We had spent half of the afternoon walking around Dublin, time to head back to our hotel and take a nap!!

It’s now time for dinner. We are heading out to meet up with RL’s family friends BG and SG for drinks then dinner. They are big foodies, and have pointed us to all the right eateries in Dublin.

This building is literally called Government Buildings, I kid you not.

Arrived at the bar to meet up with the Gs.

Met up with the Gs, now drinks!! I am drinking a Galway Hooker, one of the few craft brews available here in Ireland.

RL with BG and SG.

Some things we learned from the Gs about Ireland. Dublin has the partying atmosphere because people visit it for the Creic(pronounce crack), loosely translated to “the fun life”. It is hard to buy property in Ireland unless you can prove ancestry, and that goes for different regions within Ireland. So it seems like you can’t just go around to different counties and buy any piece of property that you see. The Irish are nice but it is hard to break into Irish social circles. Many of the friends circles go way back in the days from college or even earlier in life. There’s a very strong separation between personal life and work. Spouses are not even supposed to be invited to the other spouse’s work Christmas party, etc.

Dinner spot, right across the bar.

Sherry with almonds. Sounds good!

Steak tartare.

Pork chops.

Creme brulee!!! Can’t go wrong eating with major foodies, both company and food was excellent!! Our funnest night out in Dublin for sure! Loved learning about all the food and cultural insights from the Gs (who have lived here for 7 years now).

Endless line of cabs. I’ve never seen so many cabs lined up in one street before!!

After walking so much today, it’s nice to take the cab home. At a stop light, our car randomly shuts down and then the engine turns over but does not start up. Our driver is just as confused as we are, and announced that this may be the end of our time together. While trying to start the car, the cars behind us are all honking and the car next to us(not blocked by our stalled vehicle) also honks at us and the drunk guy in the back gives us the finger…not sure why but we all laughed about it, guess he just wanted to be a part of it all.  Another several tries of turning her over, she magically starts back up to life. That was odd…but yay we can continue on our trip home!

To be continued at Dublin Day 3.

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