March 22, 2015: Dublin

It was around ten this morning when our Aer Lingus flight touched down in Dublin, Ireland.  Both girls slept for the entire flight from Orlando so they were pretty well rested.  Dominica got a few hours and so was tired but not completely without rest like I was.  I was very exhausted.

We had no access to our luggage today because it is checked through to Madrid. So we were lacking simple things like our toothbrushes.  But we had our carry-ons so at least we had a few things.

Our bed and breakfast was located right near the airport so our plan was to walk today.  We actually did quite well walking from the airport to the bed and breakfast. It took maybe twenty minutes and was a gorgeous morning.  We were very excited to be in Ireland.  This adds a new country to the girls’ travel resume.  Liesl and Luciana have now been to eleven countries each (and neither have been to Canada) and Dominica and I are at thirteen each.

The bed and breakfast was great and ready for us as soon as we arrived.  We got right into our room and dropped stuff off.  The room was great with three beds and plenty of space for us.  Perfect for the four of us.  The whole place was very nice and the proprietor was very nice.

Once we were settled in it was nearly noon.  We were so exhausted and really wanted to go to see the city but after much discussion decided that we just could not handle doing the bus tour today that we had wanted to do.  We would be ill and falling asleep on it rather than enjoying it.

Instead we just walked to Kealy’s Public House which was practically next door and recommended by the bed and breakfast.  We got fish and chips for Dominica and me and pasta for Luciana.  Liesl shared fish with us.  She is on a fish kick ever since yesterday in EPCOT.  The food was great but we were so exhausted that we really could not enjoy it.

After the food and beer we were really dragging and were very happy that we had not attempted to go into the city proper.  We walked back to our guesthouse and Dominica and I went to bed while the girls stayed up and played for a while.

We managed to get a few hours of sleep.  That helped a bit.  Luciana climbed into bed with me which was nice but did not help me get much sleep.

I got up and showered.  That felt good.  Then we decided that we needed some supplies and I wanted a chance to get to see the area a little.  Would be awful to be in Ireland for the day and not get to see anything.

So around eight o’clock I set out to explore the area and see about finding some foodstuffs for the family.

I went for a walk of a few miles.  It took quite a long walk before I found anything that resembled a town or shops at all.  A very long way.  And it was quite cold out, maybe forty degrees.  I did not bring a jacket because I have learned that lesson over and over again – every time I take a jacket for a walk I end up sorry.  Better to freeze now than to overheat and sweat.

The walk was pretty boring but it was good exercise and gave me a chance to get to really see a little bit of Ireland up close.  Everyone was hungry so I just kept pushing on until I found something.

I finally made it to the far side of the neighbouring village to the south, on the way to Dublin proper, and after much walking finally found a local southern fried chicken take away (yeah, seriously), a McDonald’s (the only restaurant with customers) and a gas station with a very tiny mini-mart in it.  I stopped at all three.

The little market was pretty lean as for selection but I got a few local candy bars, some Pringles for the girls and some biscuits.  Then I stopped at the McDonald’s as I was far from the take away and unsure that they would still be open or have a single thing that we could eat.  So I got simple American food, sadly, but it was the only thing open in the town proper and where everyone local was eating.  So while not “local” in one sense, it was the very local place to be eating nonetheless.  An odd paradox.  The one thing that was really cool was that they had genuine Cadbury Creme Egg McFlurries!  So you know that I had to try one of those.  And, of course, the French fries in Ireland are vegetarian unlike the ones in the US.

On the walk back I stopped at the take away place and found a veggie burger, fries and onion rings for Dominica and the girls.  While I was there I ran into a couple of guys from Poland who were really interested that I was from the US and they talked with me while I waiting for me food and then walked quite a ways with me to discuss travel, moving, cultural differences, Ireland, etc.  We had a nice time.  You are so much more likely to run into people who want to talk in Europe than in the US.  Americans are so standoffish when it comes to meeting people.  American culture is very cold and reserved.  Europe is so much more open and communicative.

The walk back was much warmer than the walk there, which was pretty surprising as it was now after ten at night.  It was a long walk back and I was rushing to try to get back with the food before the food got too cold.

According to my iPhone health meter I did even more walking today than we did yesterday with all of the walking in Walt Disney World.  No wonder I have a monster blister on the bottom of my right foot.  I did nearly ten miles today and over nine miles yesterday.  Almost 20,000 steps today!

I am glad that I did the walk, even with the blister and the cold.  It was great exercise, a great change to see some of Ireland and I ended up talking to at least half a dozen locals which was fun and informative.  It was a very good use of my very limited time in the Dublin area.

Once Dominica ate we got the kids to bed and got to bed ourselves.  If we are lucky we will pull off four hours of sleep before we have to be up tomorrow.  Alarm is set for three thirty!!  We need to start walking back to the airport at four in the morning so that there will be time to get through security and get to our gate after doing the walk.  A very short night for us.