Friday, June 1, 2018

The Emerald Isle...

We made it! Landed safely in Dublin the other day. The flight was a non-event, only a six hour direct flight. The food was food, nothing special but we didn’t starve. Upon landing, it was 6 am here and we’d been up all night. We were in no rush to leave the airport at that time as our lodging wasn’t available until much later. We had a breakfast and then went in search of a new SIM card for Janet’s phone so it would not cost exorbitantly for keeping in touch with email, text and wifi for googling directions on the go. It was 25 euros here for a month’s use and without that her home cell coverage would have charged $10 per day...things to know ahead of time! BTW, my suitcase is awesome! We had quite a bit of wheeling to do and it was a piece of cake with my new Heys bag!
We also purchased a three-day ‘Leap’ pass for 19 euros each which gives us unlimited use of the Dublin bus/dart/tram, a really good saving as opposed to pay-as-you-go. 
We then went to try it out and rode the bus for a couple of hours, not exactly by design but we finally got to our village of Donabate where our first lodging is, an Airbnb booking - I think I mentioned I was a little apprehensive after the fact because it seemed so cheap but it’s good, I think we lucked out. It’s a little small, especially by North American standards but the good parts outweigh that once we got organized. Suitcase open, shoved under the bed works for me! The shower is another story. They have this little box on the wall in the shower which is a version of hot water-on-demand but it’s brutal. It alternates between scalding hot and icy cold...hopefully we won’t encounter that in our hotel accommodations! Both Janet and I have experienced this technology in the past so it isn’t a complete surprise but we still don’t know how to deal with it any better. 
People here seem really friendly and extremely helpful, most go out of their way to chat and offer directions, even if you don’t ask! Janet and I must have ‘tourist’ written all over because  everyone seems to be looking out for us, checking to see if we know where we are going and then asking where we are from.  One guy thought we were Americans and when I corrected him and said we were Canadian he apologized all over and then told us it was just like people away accusing him of being English!
We went to a pub that night for dinner and got another rude awakening. Ordering a salad! Yikes! Not Canadian standards or mine! A few weeny, tiny greens, a couple of cherry tomatoes cut in half, a small handful of diced peppers and cucumber and it’s all slathered in something totally gross called ‘salad cream’. That’s the UK version of a watered-down version of a yukky mayonnaise! It’s not a good thing. Tonight at a different restaurant, Janet ordered the ‘New York-style’ Caesar salad. It came in a large soup bowl - maybe a handful of iceberg lettuce cut into one inch pieces, a handful of croutons, quite a bit of bacon cut into about half inch chunks and drizzled with a creamy, whitish dressing over the top - you could see the zigzag drizzle pattern... she didn’t really complain. I did have my first pint of Guinness - it was pretty good!

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