Monday, September 12, 2011

Dungarvin to Dundalk, (East Coast) Ireland

Monday September 12, 2011

I woke Tyler up with the enthusiasm of a little boy on Christmas morning today.  "Get up, Get up!" I squealed and dragged him barefoot to breakfast still blinking his eyes over yet another Full Irish Breakfast (the only difference between this and the English ones are where you eat it).  Today's agenda included a casual life-threatening drive into Dublin to walk the streets and shop for souvenirs.  Immediately after breakfast and a quick shower, we headed north onto freeways and "dual motor ways" despite numerous warnings that tourists should never drive in Dublin. "Nahhhhh!" we said... we aren't tourists anymore.  Why we have had enough Guiness to make us landed immigrants!  So white knuckles wrapped around the right sided steering wheel, we headed into the arteries, and arterioles that make up Dublin. We stopped at a couple old cathedrals and churches along the way including St. Nicholas, no doubt a distant relative.

St Nichol Church

Navigator Tyler guided this intrepid traveller at every turn of the wheel with a vague road atlas on his lap as he called out exits, pointing up one way streets and down Do-Not-Enter roads, and calling for U-turns until we finally reached the centre of Dublin town.  We parked in a parkade just off of the famous O'Connell Street and walked the tourist district for hours jaywalking, smiling at pretty girls, and buying gifts as we pleased.  The weather changed by the minute throughout the day.  One minute, forcing us to take shelter, the next sunny and warm though the wind came in strong gusts all day, everywhere we went. For the entertainment of tourists, we both had the opportunity to chase our caps down the street, trying to stomp on them as we ran.

Ha'Penny Bridge in Dublin

To commemorate our great day, we bought matching pipes and some very aromatic pipe tobacco and once we had beaten the congestion and made way for a good hour, we turned into the small city of Drogheda and toured the streets for a bit.  Longing for a great Father-Son experience, we spotted an ancient medieval tower and smoked our pipes in its shelter from the wind, talking in silly Irish accents at eachother, and laughing at people as they looked at us suspiciously leaning on the stone walls of their city.

By nightfall, we had a B&B in Dundalk, right on the west coast of central Ireland and walked down to the neighbourhood pub for a pint before bed.

Tomorrow, we are headed to the ocean with time scheduled to just sit there mesmerized by the waves rolling in while we smoke our pipes and further consider the meaning of life. From there we will head back west across the island in one more zig before we zag across to Belfast and fly to Rome Thursday.