Tuesday, 22 October 2013



I got decent weather to pound pavement and see a bit of Dublin.

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It's small enough so you can hit the majority of sites in a long weekend.

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It seemed like a bit of a tough town. I never felt unsafe, but there were some characters out.

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They really have capitalized on stereotypes though.


There's a couple big old churches- Chirstchurch and the eponymous St. Pat's.


I tried to get this kid to pose like a swimsuit model for me because he kept photo-bombing me, but he totally half-assed it when his friends started laughing at him.

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Both of the main churches cost money to go into, which helps pay for the upkeep, but I skipped out on that as I've seen enough churches in france to know what expect. It's dimly lit. There's probably a half-naked jesus, looking sad on the cross. Maybe some nice stained glass with bible scenes. It may or may not smell like a headshop with all that incense.

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I was disappointed at street level culture. There were a lot of chain and mall shops, and I was hoping to find more interesting galleries and shops. I found that part of the city pretty uninspired, but I could have just been in the wrong neighborhoods. Also, Paris has spoiled me.

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But there were tons of pubs.


I got to meet up with some lovely nice people that were met in Turkey, that I had threatened to visit. They totally thought I was bullshitting. Surprise! I'm here!

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Which meant I had to try and drink a beer. This is what I feel like when I have to drink an entire pint of beer or lose all street cred.


I just....can't. I fail at Dublin.

Monday, 21 October 2013


I love being a tourist.


Although, I try to be a good one. A traveler, rather than a tourist. I shun the traditional American uniforms of jeans and tennies for comfort, and try to dress up a bit. Think petticoats. I do get asked directions quite a bit while I'm in a strange place, so my undercover costume seems to work.


The only thing I really knew to do in Dublin, aside from the ever-present alcohol distractions, was Trinity College.


Mostly I knew it because they have the Book of Kells on display.

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For an extra buck on top of the admission fee into the library, a hunky young grad student will give you a little campus tour. Worth it, even though I learned little. It was just...so...distracting.

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The library is something to see (the books are organized by size, which is mind-blowing) and the Book of Kells is amazing. Despite only being able to see one page, what a page it is! They do have a nice display of other pages of the book in the museum, along with fairly exhaustive explanations of the creation and history. Yes, of course the complete book is digitalized and online for you to see. The illustrations are spectacular.

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Saturday, 19 October 2013


It seemed weird to have to use my own two feet again, but I begrudgingly got my walking shoes on once again.

Traveling and experiencing the kindness of strangers is one of the joys of life, and this trip was no exception.


I decided to take a round-about way to get back to Paris. I found if I took 4 different trains I would eventually end up in Wales, where I could hop a ferry to Dublin to visit some friends. So that's what I did.

Naturally, one train was 8 minutes late and I ended up having hours to kill in a few random towns around Liverpool while waiting for the next train to catch up with me, but I smartly got an open ticket and it wasn't a big deal, and I love just being able to stop at a random place to check out what's going on.

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I finally got to Holyhead, and I still had hours to kill before the ferry ride, so I took a walk.


There was actually a bird preserve and a lighthouse on the north side of town, but not a puffin was in sight, so I headed into the downtown area.

It was pretty depressing. I was really hoping to meet someone Richard Burton-esque while there, but I only saw sad sad sad people. Alcoholism seems to be a huge problem here, and the main billboard advertiser in town was for a suicide hotline.


And, although this rarely happens, I got a sense of being not welcome. It was like I was there solely to kidnap their FAS-afflicted children. Suspicious stares abounded. I mean, really. Look at me:


That's the face of someone who wants to get the hell out of Wales as soon as possible.

Even the dogs were looking at me with shifty eyes.


Anyway...not wanting to squander an afternoon, I kept going. Nothing seemed to be open, but I finally found a place that sold me their last heat-lamp warmed cornish pastry as they were closing their doors and that was a real high moment.

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There was a church, built upon the remains of a Roman fort.

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The church was closed, the maritime museum was shuttered, nothing to eat. My impression of this part of Wales...I would probably need that suicide hotline if I lived here.


So I sat on the beach and worked on my socks until it was time to go.


Finally, go time.


The boat was pretty big and spacious, and the seas were almost comically rough. It takes about 2 hours to get from Holyhead to Dublin, and there were quite a few people emptying the contents of their stomachs the entire trip. As the boat was pulling into port, this one gentleman who had filled several bags with his lunch, missed a few times and got the table he was at and his shoes, proceeded to make a pass at me and FLIRTED with me in between dry heaves, and offered to share a cab into the city with me. Um, no? I think I'll walk. He wasn't even playing awkward when I bumped into him the next day at the Book of Kells. Shameless.

It was nice to be on land again, although it was far from dry.