Thursday, June 21, 2018

the final chapter...

Our last day in Ireland, Tuesday, June 19. 
Found in the DART station at Bray, some wonderful mosaic murals depicting the last 100 years and this one in particular, showing 1916 which, here in Ireland, you’ll hear over and over again - a very important year, the Easter rebellion against British rule.
We took the tram to Greystones and walked back to Bray - Janet, retracing her steps! It did seem easier going back the other way, we both agreed the hard part was all the uphill from the Bray side, easier by far on the downward! The weather cooperated and we had a beautiful final hike!
I haven’t mentioned this before, but there is a serious issue here, the lack of public restrooms. Now, they don’t call them that. If you ask for the way to the washroom, the local will look rather puzzled then usually in an loud voice, they say, ‘oh you mean you need to go to toilet!’ While you are dying inside, trying to be discreet about it, you find out they are not readily available. Even in restaurants, there will be a prominent sign stating ‘toilets are only for use of paying customers!’ And then, it involves going down the stairs, along this corridor, around the corner, maybe up a bit and when you are totally lost and not sure you’ll ever get back to your table...stop laughing, it’s not really that funny! Don’t expect to find them at the tram station either, for some reason, they are not obliged to provide services and if there is one, it’s usually inside, after you’ve paid the fare. Also, do be prepared to have some coins ready in case there is a fee to get in. In Greystones, after walking about 2 km, following the signposts for ‘public toilets’, we finally located one near the beach, at the back of the car park. It required 50 cents in coin for 20 minutes. We speculated on what would happen if you used up more than 20 minutes...
Janet’s choice for dinner was Oceans, a pub/restaurant at the north end of the beach. I chose the classic, fish and chips, with the obligatory mushy peas (a British tradition that tastes like canned peas mushed up in a used ashtray, yuch! - I did try them several times so you can't say I didn't give them a real shot!) and a pint of the local brew, and the  crumble, in honour of Ron - I do wish he was here to eat this (the crumble, that is) because I don’t really like it either...
Early next morning, bus to the airport, find the VAT refund place - after going through security, on the way to the boarding gate - the refund will be processed and applied to your credit card in about 4 weeks if all is correct - check your statement.  We still haven’t had to show our passports until the final checkpoint just on the way to board the plane!

The flight home, a mere seven hours is a piece of cake, no issues! Back to Canada, home at last! The sisterhood of the travelling hiking boots closes another chapter! Thanks sister!

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