I accidentally overslept this morning so I didn’t get into Dublin quite as early as I would have liked, but instead ended meeting up with my parents at about 10am. We got breakfast at the hotel bar, where Mom discovered another cultural difference and her dislike of Irish breakfast sausage.
We walked up to the Bus Eireann station at Busarus and booked out tickets to go to Cork for tomorrow. By that time it was time for me to leave for Dun Laoghaire, so we made plans to meet up later, and I caught the DART south.
After they had gotten our tickets, my parents caught the northbound DART to Howth, where they walked around the docks enjoying the bay view, the fishing boats, and the sea lions begging for fish scraps near the pier. They watched a fisherman setting lobster traps for awhile, then traveled south and found a bar in Dun Laoghaire to hang out at until I was done with my stuff.
My “stuff” consisted of a tour set up for our Celtic Tiger class. It was described to us as “a literary tour of the Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown area,” and since we’ve recently been having guest speakers in class talking to us about local commerce and community, we all figured we’d go around Dun Laoghaire and see different local businesses and hear about how they had affected the local economy and community. It was due to that belief that I didn’t invite my parents to come on the tour, and it was due to that belief I didn’t have my camera with me.
The tour was actually a private Wild Wicklow Tour. We started out in Dun Laoghaire Bay at the 40-foot, where it’s considered healthy to take daily swims in the frigid sea water, and to take occasional plunges off the rocks. Anders, Libby, and Mo were kind enough to demonstrate this practice for the rest of us, as well as the effects of laryngeal constriction in 46 degree water. From the 40-foot, we took a small hike through a nearby park in Dalkey that had a gorgeous view of the entire area, as well as many celebrity homes including the castle Enya currently resides in. We also drove past Enya’s next door neighbor’s house, which happens to be owned by Bono.
We then drove past Sugarloaf and into the mountains of Wicklow National Park, where we sat overlooking Guinness Lake (which actually looks like a pint of Guinness) and the rest of some really amazing scenery. It was about at this point that Dennis, our enthusiastic tour guide, started handing out little plastic shot glasses and pouring everyone drinks of Ireland’s famous triple distilled Jameson whiskey, then toasted us and our trip. We then drove through more of the park where we saw the source of the River Liffey and the turf fields where they cut peat briquettes, and drove by one of the (apparently) well-known landmarks of Ireland: the bridge from P.S. I Love You.
That pretty much concluded the tour and I made it back to Dun Laoghaire where my parents were waiting at the DART station. We rode back into Dublin and I took them to the Dark Horse, one of my favorite bars. We all had a pint and sandwiches, and an order of wings since Mom was craving American bar food.
We walked around for a little bit and ended up at another bar near their hotel called Peter’s Pub, and Mom had a Peroni on tap in honor of Pete.
It was a really great day, and tomorrow we’re heading to Cork early.