Day 7 Monday is bus travel back to Dublin. Janet is always the first on any bus and secures the front seat so we have the best vantage point for the trip. Our Killarney driver, Charlie, is taking us to the big city and he has some issue with his driving hours - they are quite strict and each driver has a card that he puts in a special slot while he is operating the bus and they are only allowed to drive for nine hours but need to take half hour breaks every so often and then so many hours rest between and he had a call out last night that kept him out just past midnight. The substitute driver takes us for the first hour, Charlie is following in a van and then they switch off, with Charlie back in charge of our bus and the other guy takes the van back to Killarney. A bit of a rigmarole!
We have a stop in the town of Adare, a little walk around and a snack. I choose something called Chester cake which I thought might be a bit like a raisin butter tart in a slightly different shape...it had a pastry top and bottom and the filling looked like it was moist with dried fruits. Three servers had to be consulted before we had a name for it and I figured since they went to all that trouble I could at least try it. I googled it later and it’s made up of leftover things that didn’t sell. Be warned, do NOT buy Chester cake!
It seemed a long bus ride and we were passing through Limerick, so Ron - you know, the guy in every group who’s always got something to say and tries to get everyone stirred up - lots of fun and a nice guy with a really nice wife whom he obviously adores - they celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary with this trip - tells everyone they have to come up with a limerick- we would get a few lines going but nothing solid and after most had fizzled out, I decided it was too hard to rhyme Canada or Toronto but it was all in good fun and helped to pass the time!
We got to our new home, Mespil Hotel in Dublin 8 which is the good side of the river, had a quick walk around the block with Robert, our tour leader, pointing out a few restaurants, the grocery store and pharmacy. Back to our room, a bit on the small side but we have a fridge and kettle, twin beds and a decent bathroom, it’s all good!
Dinner is Ely wine bar, one of 100 best in Ireland - the bar is raised! Everyone agrees this was our best meal yet! I had crab cake, salmon with peas and bacon sauce and this chocolate pot with peanut brittle and salted caramel ice cream, so good!