Friday, April 03, 2015

Everything's Closed

The cab driver was sort of wrong!

Mostly still right though.

Our day started with a walk toward the city center, and here I should point out that Marina and Alice put a lot more faith in my Cub Scout-level sense of orienteering than they probably should. Happily, there are a bunch of signs indicating where the city center is, so we figured we'd walk that way and hope that we ran into something. Tomorrow's an early day, and we'd been hearing that everything will be closed, so we figured it'd be a relatively early night.

Happily, we eventually ran into the Trinity College gym! Which was not terribly exciting. But which was connected to the rest of Trinity College, which seemed to fit our goal of something that was both interesting to walk around and, more importantly, actually open. After some brief consideration of joining a walking tour (which we decided against in favor of standing within earshot of one for a few minutes), it occurred to us to check out the Library and the Book of Kells, because that seemed the sort of thing we were supposed to do as tourists.

Unfortunately, mostly every other thing was closed, so the closest we got to experiencing the majesty and beauty of the Library was in seeing the majesty of the line from across the courtyard. And that's sort of fine.

After a quick lunch, we did something that I'd been resisting. I know that earlier in this series, I'd mentioned that I've been trying to get over my aversion to being a super obvious tourist despite clearly being a tourist, but I'd resisted the hop-on/hop-off buses. Until now. Marina and Alice argued successfully for it (reasoning that among the things that were open, most closed early for Good Friday, so it made sense in terms of seeing things quickly and as a means of transport).

Cliche of riding around on a giant bus and staring at things aside, it actually served its purpose. If nothing else, it was a quick and easy background of a few of the locations we'd intended to swing by later in the day, along with constant reminders that everything was closed and that it was odd to stop at Guinness and Jameson and have no one get on or off the bus. Still, covered more ground than we'd have been able to on foot, even if we wound up more or less back where we started.

We walked around the things that were open by virtue of being impossible to close (the exterior of Dublin Castle and Christchurch Cathedral), through what I understand is a very subdued version of the Temple Bar area and into a bunch of touristy shops (one of which we learned was open until 9, so we'd head back there for late-night-for-Good-Friday-I-Guess souvenir shopping after dinner).

We actually wound up staying out a bit later than expected. Before heading back to our hotel, we stopped in at a grocery store to find some water, some prawn flavored snacks and, behind the counter and unavailable to buy today because of the alcohol ban, the bottle of Talisker that we'd lost at the airport! Success! We'll have to revisit tomorrow after getting back from the other side of the island.

We headed home, with Marina and Alice again trusting that I knew where I was going. Surprisingly, I actually did (allowing for a short detour the long way around St. Stephen's Green.) Dublin is really, really walkable, and walking home allowed a lot of opportunities for getting to hear what appears to be some sounds from Space Invaders, which apparently is used for the "It's safe to cross now" sound at pedestrian crossings. I'm a fan.

The hotel bar is actually packed, as apparently hotel bars are exempted from the alcohol sales prohibition, so everyone who's staying here is currently down there.

For us though, it's late and tomorrow, we've got to be up at 5:30 to make it to the bus that will take us to Galway and the Cliffs of Moher.

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