Sunday, September 23, 2007

More City Centre, Phoenix Park, and Dublin Nightlife

Woke up too early. Must be jet lag. Decided to head to the city for a bit and check out Trinity College and possibly the Jameson Whiskey Distillery, if I have time.

Odd moment on the bus. The bus takes me past a church which is uncannily the exact church that I have seen in a dream. The same look, the same architecture on its sides, and even the same steps and fenced off areas on the side. Hmm...

Walking south on O'Connell St. during the day, I stop at an internet cafe where I jot down some thoughts, upload some photos, send some emails. I decide that in the interest of time and cost, I'll write my logs and do most of the photo processing offline, then hop into some internet cafe, upload it all, and peace out. Guess I'll just write a quick blurb for now to let people know I'm alive and then take off. *That was the last blurb that I updated with this one.

Ah, Trinity College ... Very old buildings. This part of Dublin apparently used to be over a body of water.

On to the Book of Kells, a very old book of the gospels in the Bible, meticulously written and decorated with inks made from dyes from all parts of the world. Lapis lazuli, a specific kind of ore found far away from Dublin to the east. A red dye, made from pigments harvested from a specific kind of beetle in the Mediterranean. Yeesh.

Trinity Library... Fancy.

Illegal photography is really the best kind. I contemplated climbing the stairs and taking photos from the 2nd floor, but alas...

On the way back, I decide to stop off at the Stag's Head, a bar recommended in my Lonely Planet. Old women and gentlemen in the front corner getting their drink on.

I go for the meat, mushrooms, potatoes thing with a brown sauce made with Guinness. Sounds good. The reality doesn't disappoint either. It's fantastic. No beer for now though, there'll be plenty of time for that later.

Headed back to the hosts. Suz was there, and we get ready and take off toward Phoenix Park, a gigantic park to the west of where we are. It's much like Stanley Park in Vancouver, which is basically a huge park broken up into smaller areas with things to do. We rent some bikes and take off toward the recommended point. This park is HUGE. My legs totally feel the pain, especially when riding on the grass. Passing by a boring fort and riding past a bunch of trees and a semi-hidden house, I can't help but imagine myself traveling around the world of Oblivion... except, I'm on a bike instead of a horse. A lot of biking later, we reach the giant field in the center where a bunch of deer are grazing, and stop a moment to take some photos.

Continuing on... much more biking later... Alas, it was too late. The recommended area was already closed by the time we got there. Ah well. Headed back down the center road, we reach the entrance much quicker than it took to get to the back. After paying the fee, we take off back home to get ready and meet up with some of Suz's friends.

Matt, Suz and I leave the flat and head toward the city centre where we meet up with her friends, Belinda, Helen, Kelly and Renee. Another one of them shows up, Chris, a big guy with a THICK Australian accent. We go over to a Chinese/Korean restaurant. Oooh, I get to try the local Korean fare and compare it to what we have at home. Decided to get what I thought would be soon tofu, but it turned out to just be kimchi soup. Oh well, I tried a bit, it was good. Helen and Chris both opted for bi bim bap, but the spicy/nonspicy was switched, so I took the spicy one off Helen's and ate it (she got another nonspicy one as a replacement). It's good. Helluva spicy.

Cucumber whiskey + Helen.

Afterwards, we head a few steps away to the bar where the CS meet is happening. The Irish are a rowdy, fun loving, beer swigging folk. Lots of chatting and drinking. Helen isn't feeling the place for some reason (possibly a very rowdy Irishman talking to everyone passing by and making lewd jokes) so she suggests going to 4 Dame Ln (a bar appropriately named after its address). Kelly wants to grab a drink first, and I'm still really full, so instead of a beer, I went for... a bottled coke! It tastes different than in the states. Apparently, they don't use the corn syrup. Good stuff. I gotta tell you, I don't know if it's just the fact that I'm in Ireland, or I'm with all these cool people I don't know, or I'm singing along to random 80s/90s songs blasting through the air with the girls, but I'm having a fuckin blast. And I haven't even drank anything.

After we finish, we let Suz know that I'm being kidnapped away to other Irish bars and then we head off.

So many people in the streets. SO MANY. We head toward what happens to be ... the Stag's Head street, and I hear some singing going on in a nearby bar. Interested, we head on in to check things out. Apparently, all Irish people can sing very well, and this guy is no exception. From traditional Irish songs to U2 to The Killers (Mr. Brightside) he does not disappoint, hitting high notes and everything. I haven't had a bit of alcohol just yet, so you can trust me on that one.

Half pint (YES! You can get half pints. Serves me perfectly well) of Guinness and five songs later, we decide to head out to 4 Dame Ln again, literally 50 feet away. Stopping for a moment to chat with the bouncer of the Stag's Head, an idea pops into one of the girls, to take me to a bar called the Long Haul or something, and we take off.

Drunken moment of the night! I'm excellent at word vomiting, especially when I'm drunk. So, for some reason, I've been thinking that Kelly and Helen are much older than I am because I always think cool people that have their shit together are always mature, and older. We ended up discussing age somehow, and she mentioned how horrible it is to be as old as she is, and that she was 8 when it was 1990. Addled with alcohol, my brain starts putting numbers together, slowly. My mouth, however, is faster than my brain at this point, and I blurt out "Hey, I'm actually older than you guys!"

Whoops. Good thing they like me and Aussie's are very chill and laid back.

Arriving at The Long Haul, which is actually spelt The Long Hall. Here's where I decide to try one of the local ciders, called Bulmers. Nothing short of the most awesome drink ever created, I tell you. It's basically apple cider with alcohol. Deeeeeeeeeelicious. It's hard to sit down in one of their stools at this point.

Finally, we left and head to 4 Dame Ln, which reminds me of the bars/lounges back home. Lots of modern/hip hop music, it seems more trendy, more upscale. Another Bulmers later, we head upstairs to check out floor 2, which is playing Latin/Funk/Jazz music. We join tons of people dancing. Fantastic!

This is what the Irish think of the war. Great posters! Ha!

I'm holding..... a CANDLE. I don't know why. I blame Bulmers.

Downstairs for a little bit more, we decide to call it a night around 2, thanking the both of them for a wonderfully fun night. We all walk Helen to her place first, then catch a taxi back to Finglas road, which is where I'm at and near to where Kelly is.

Next, Irish Cemetery.


Grace said...

Glad you've arrived safely and thats you're okay.

Jojima said...

watch out for them tourist traps on High Street in Edinburgh. Make sure you visit Arthur's Seat!!