Why a picture of frying meat? I took the picture because the fan for this stovetop was on the other side of the kitchen, and the stove was right beneath some curtains. Just a little odd. Maybe the steam from the stove feeds the meat-sniffing plants above it.
Another weird appliance was the toilet: it had to be cranked at least 6-7 times up and down real fast before it developed a head of steam and got everything flushed. We were a bit panicked that it wasn’t going to be pretty until we figured out that little technique.
The orange juice concentrate they use here comes in a bottle and it is called “high juice squash.” At first I thought it was a combination of orange juice and squash. But I think that’s their synonym for “concentrate.” You mix it 4 to 1 just like with the frozen concentrate.
As you can see, we do home cookin’ while we’re traveling. It’s great to rent an apartment and bop on down to the grocery store instead of eating out all of the time. Neither of us are particularly “foodies,” so this is a great way to extend the travel dollar, plus you learn interesting things about their everyday food too.
So to close the book on London, we did enjoy it immensely. The friendliness of the people continued to impress: we had to drag our two (and too) big suitcases on about a ten minute walk from the apartment to the tube. They generally have no escalators or even lifts (elevators) in those stations, so I approached the three flights of stairs with two 50 lb. suitcases in either arm ready to suck in a deep breath. Suddenly out of nowhere a Prince Harry-looking chap stopped and offered his assistance. I would have been dumbfounded anywhere else, but I’d come to expect such courtesies from Londoners. If it had been in Paris, and it was a 98-year-old woman trying to haul a steamer trunk like John Candy had in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, they would have sneered at her as they jostled around her. Maybe spit at her too, plus maybe throwing a few stones and kicking the trunk while calling her names. Okay, they weren’t that bad, but I’d have been very surprised to have gotten the same offer in Paris.
We were just really impressed with Londoners in general. Good show, cousins!
And so off we go to Dublin. We took the train to the airport just like we were London professionals, and had an issue-free flight from London to Dublin. Once in Dublin, we were treated to the same kinds of courtesies we’d gotten used to in London. The information desk was friendly and informative, but then when we got a little confused down on the road, we asked a driver sitting in a bus a question about where to pick up a different bus. Not only did he provide great information, as we thanked him and walked away, he even pulled up beside us in his big bus, and elaborated even further, moving his bus slowly along to match our strides. For a moment I thought he was going to say, “Ah, the heck with ye. Jump into me bus and I’ll take you there meself!” So far, the Irish are definitely keeping pace with the Londoners in the courtesy department.
We’re staying in a nice old hotel that first opened in 1824. Here is the front of the hotel:
We took an initial walkabout around the hotel just to get a feel for Dublin. It suffers a bit by comparison with Amsterdam, Paris, and London, which, to be fair, are cities that will put most around the world to shame. It’s a nice city, but we’re not going to spend a whole lot of time here because the main focus with Ireland is to get into the countryside and explore all of that. It’s time to relax after the hectic pace of the big cities.
The hotel borders a park called St. Stephen’s Green Park. It’s a beautiful park that appears to be appreciated by Dubliners, as we saw many couples and families in the grass with picnics and/or blankets.
As you can see one of the first purchases we made in Dublin was a nice wool hat for me. My bald pate gets a little chilly in the cold wind, so now maybe I look a little more Irish or something, although we hear the Irish really do like Americans, so we’ll be unabashedly tossing our American accents about. But that Irish accent… it is truly music to one’s ears!
Carolyn had long dreamed of having an authentic English afternoon tea, and the hotel had a very nice one, so we had made reservations for that and spent the rest of the afternoon being proper Englishpeople. We had several types of tea as well as some delicious sandwiches and four separate desserts that were, well, you know, they were desserts!
That’s about it for this day: mostly a travel day. As is tomorrow in a different way; we’ll be picking up a car and driving to a house in the countryside. I’m sure it’ll relieve all two of our readers that we probably won’t be posting daily like we have been, because the idea is rest and relaxation, with of course occasional road trips. If we find somethin’ pretty, we’ll throw it up here. Unless, of course, we find a proper Door of the Day: