We are on a driving trip to Ireland, where we will be spending three weeks traveling around the perimeter of the island.
This will necessarily be an overview, nothing in-depth as we have a lot of ground to cover. As we get older, with so many places to go, we figure this is likely the only time we’ll be here, so let’s see as much as we reasonably can in the allotted time.
We landed in Dublin early Sunday morning, got a bus into the city center. We had a bad breakfast in the hotel, after which we were able to check in to our room early. Then off to Temple Bar (formerly a sand bar along the river that was later owned by a guy named Temple, so nothing to do with drinking or worship), where we hopped on a vintage bus for tea and a little tour. The tea and sandwiches were good, the tour was pretty worthless, but sitting and watching the city go by was not a bad way to shake off the jet lag.
We walked back to the hotel, exploring our neighborhood and conked out early.
The next day we had a walking food tour that was very interesting. Francesca, our guide, Italian married to an Irishman, was excellent, showing us lots of history, architecture, keeping it interesting as we hopped from one restaurant to another trying a taste of this and a taste of that, from traditional Irish fare to the contemporary food scene.
Late in the afternoon, we were off to the Teeling whiskey distillery. This is the first Dublin distillery to open after the Irish whiskey industry collapsed in the 1920s, due to Prohibition and the rise of Scotch.
Dublin looks like a thriving city, with the same inequality problems of any modern city anywhere. Skyrocketing property values cause homelessness, so lots of panhandlers, and every building seems to have become a urinal.
Also like many modern cities, there are lots of immigrants. Retail, coffee shops and restaurants are staffed by eastern Europeans, Latin Americans, Middle Easterners and Africans.