Wednesday, December 21st, 2016, Dublin

Sleeping well but not long enough; breakfast in the hotel; where do I want to go here in Dublin?; Writers Museum; a lovely lunch at Ann's Bakery; an extra-large Irish sweatshirt; getting lost while looking for the River Liffey but having a very nice wander around anyway; Dublin Visitors' Centre; a bit of an afternoon nap; looking for somewhere to have dinner; Eddie Rocket's

Jurys Inn Parnell Street



I had both an early and a late morning today–early because I woke up much earlier than I wanted to and couldn't get back to sleep and late because I was able to doze off after I had breakfast here in the hotel.

I fell asleep sometime around midnight and once again slept quite well until I woke up before 3 AM. I was quite awake, and eventually gave up altogether on trying to get back to sleep about 5 when I decided to just watch something streaming on my Kindle Fire or iPhone. I took a shower and had already been downstairs to the reception desk in the lobby to ask where I could get an ice bucket. There's an ice machine quite near to my room but when I wanted to cool a beer last night I had to use one of the gallon zip lock bags I packed some loose, small stuff in; it turns out I needed to ask at the restaurant, which I did when I went to breakfast right after it opened at 7 AM.

I had a very nice breakfast, with scrambled eggs and white pudding, and the excellent porridge with some honey and jam mixed in.

Sometime last week I had watched a video about Dublin I hadn't seen before which showed several places I hadn't been to when I was here in July as well as many I had. Sunday night I watched it again and this time made notes of the places that looked interesting. So this morning after breakfast I typed up the list, sorted it, looked them up online, and added the places to my list of interesting Irish sites when I could find web sites about them.

Afterwards I stretched out again, and shortly after the sun came up about 8:30 AM I seem to have fallen asleep again for at least a couple of hours.

Around noon I went around the corner and up the street to the small but very nicely done Dublin Writers Museum, which I enjoyed quite a bit including the children's area upstairs. It's a charming little museum in a lovely old building.

I still wasn't quite ready to have lunch so I wandered around the neighborhood looking for somewhere that appealed to me the most. I eventually decided on one of the branches of Ann's Bakery–Dad would have loved the pastry counter at this place. I had a very nice beef stew, which was quite satisfying even if it had more potatoes than I wanted. The strawberry cheesecake was delicious.

Shortly after I had lunch I went into an Irish souvenir store where I found a very nice Dublin zip front sweatshirt that fits quite well. At first I was carrying it in the shopping bag but eventually decided I might as well just wear it, which would let me take pictures easier.

After that I just kind of wandered around for a couple of hours, it seems like. I'm not sure where I went but I went through at least a couple of neighborhoods I'd not been through before. I wound up over by St Agatha's church which wasn't open when I was there. From the single picture on their web page, I think it's another church I'd enjoy. While I was there I looked up and recognized Croke Park not far away.

I was sort of looking for the River Liffey which I thought I'd walk along until heading back towards Parnell Street and the hotel but I was actually a bit more East than I realized. I didn't find the Liffey but discovered I was besides one of the canals here in Dublin but had no idea which one. (It wasn't until I checked Google Maps a few minutes ago that I realized it was the Royal Canal). I eventually got to the Connolly train station, where I decided I might as well find the men's room there. It's a very pleasant and rather lovely station for both the trains and the Luas light rail

Somewhere along here I used Google Maps on my now Irish Samsung smart phone to find my way back to the hotel's neighborhood. I was still East of O'Connell Street which I recognized when I got to the corner. I stopped at the Dublin Visitors Centre along the way, primarily because there was this sign out front advertising a fairy gift store which was quite small but rather nice and had some interesting and amusing items. I didn't buy any but did pick up several brochures for a couple of attractions that looked interesting.

I'd gone to the Leprechaun Museum when I was here in July and rather enjoyed it even though it's usually geared towards families and kids. One of the brochures I picked up was for evening visits for adults–unfortunately I already have plans for that night.

Another of the brochures was for a half-day trip to Malahide, the castle there, and to the coast nearby. I had already been thinking of making the trip out there since it was one of the places on the video I'd watched a couple of days ago so I booked a ticket for one morning while I'm here.

A different brochure was for a concert by the Dublin Legends. It turns out that this group is the latest incarnation of the group originally founded in 1962 which was most recently known as the Dubliners. The concert is in the evening of the same day as my trip to Malahide, but that leaves at 9:30 and is only a half day, so I bought a ticket for the concert as well. I had a bit of a problem with the Ticketmaster IE web site so I had to actually call them and order the ticket online.

I might have actually slept for a bit late this afternoon and wasn't in a hurry to have dinner so around 7 PM or so I went out for a wander around. It's been quite chilly again so this time I wore my heavier vest over one of my sweatshirts. I walked down O'Connell Street a bit but didn't see anywhere that I was interested in this evening, so I went back down Henry Street. There don't seem to be very many restaurants along there but at least one of the department stores, Debenhams, has their own café and restaurant. I thought it would be amusing to have diner in a department store so I went in. It's a rather nice place but when I got upstairs to the restaurant it was already closed. I hadn't seen any signs with its hours, or I wouldn't have gone in.

I kept going up Henry Street to the corner with the Church restaurant and bar which I'd been to while I was here in July. Back then they had performances of Irish music & dance on, I think, Monday through Wednesday evenings but since those aren't currently listed on their web page it wasn't one of my top priorities although it's quite a nice place. I would have had dinner there tonight but didn't see any free tables on the main level and didn't feel like climbing the stairs to the other, upper floor.

I continued along to Parnell Street, not far from the Café Cucina where I ate last night. In the shopping center across the street from the restaurant is a branch of Eddie Rocket's city diner which is very similar to the Johnny Rockets fast food chain. I'd eaten there while here in July and had a pretty good cheeseburger with bacon that was a bit too crispy with some wonderful sweet potato fries.

Along the way back up the street to the hotel I stopped in the small branch of Aldi to pick up some cookies and a couple of juices which should be good for at least a couple of days even without refrigeration. I was rather surprised to see that it was just about 10 PM when I got back here to my room.

I have the first of my two Christmas pantomimes, "The ugly sisters and yer wan" at the Olympia Theatre tomorrow night. Before I began typing up today's notes I spent about an hour finding out where the theater is and where I might want to go before the performance.

When I arranged them from closeness to the hotel to closeness to the Olympia Theatre I think I'll go to: the Whitefriar Street church which is supposed to be quite lovely and well worth visiting and which I didn't get to when I was here last; St Patrick's Church of Ireland cathedral which I loved when I visited on my last trip; the nearby 18th Century Marsh's Library which I didn't make it to last time either; the delightful medieval Christ Church cathedral which I also loved when I visited last summer; and probably Dublinia again since it's right next door and on the Dublin Pass.

Then I'll head on over to the Olympia Theatre. The show's at 7:30 so I should be able to have dinner somewhere along the way first.

It's now about 12:30 AM and time to close up for tonight. I hope I sleep better and longer than I have the last couple of nights.

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