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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Home again, home again, jiggity jig [20050123|14:57]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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I've typed in my Dublin travel journal, all mercifully backdated to spare the friends pages. I have to get my Lomo film developed, my digital camera battery crapped out on me on the first day and I forgot to bring the plug adaptor. Pictures will have to wait.

Dublin, Day 1, or "Hello friend I love today"

Dublin, Day 2, or "T'irsty T'ursday"

Dublin, Day 3, or "Sit here and contemplate 'Modern Art' or something"

Dublin, Day 4, or "How to get to 'Hoht'"

I was only there for four days so I definitely count myself a tourist. My overall assessment of the city would be that the nightlife, or pop culture, is overrated, but the art, museums and galleries, or "high" culture, is absolutely top-class. I suppose if you're a college student (particularly an underage American) or out for an easy lay, then Temple Bar isn't bad. Personally, I'd rather be in London, where I can get good spirits as well as beer at a club and have a wide variety of venue sizes and musical styles to choose from. London nightlife is generally good value for money. I'd say Dublin is pretty hit-and miss. (I'm willing to concede that I missed something, since we didn't have any persons into "alternative" sub-cultures to give us guidance.) However, I was consistently impressed by the quality of collections and curation in the museums and galleries I visited, especially considering that they were nearly all FREE. Certainly they give London's a good run for their money. Also, Dublin's streets are far easier to navigate than London's, since a great deal of the city has been rebuilt in grid format.

Favorite pint of Guinness: The Ginger Man, €2.95
Favorite museum: The Chester Beatty Library, FREE
Favorite Irish whiskey: Red Breast 12 year, FREE (from the Old Jameson Distillery bartender)
Favorite statue: Molly Malone, aka "The Tart with the Cart"
Favorite accent: Taxi driver, Wednesday night ("Dey could sue meh fer t'ousans, ye knoh?")
Favorite meal: Gallagher's Boxty House (good food, good meat, good god, let's eat)

Least favorite pint: Kilkenny (not big on the bitter)
Least favorite exhibit: The Books of Kells, €7.50 (Go to the CBL!)
Least favorite Irish whiskey: Bushmills (and it was still pretty good)
Least favorite statue: The Spire (duh)
Least favorite accent: American (bwaha.)
Least favorite meal: Elephant & Castle (sad, because I liked the name)

[User Picture]From: becala
2005-01-23 17:40 (UTC)
I'm such a huge fan of Bushmills and actually lately prefer it to any other whiskey. And oddly enough, I had it by accident my first time. People were always making fun of my bottle of protestant whiskey until they noticed that despite the fact that it comes from Northern Ireland, the bottle only says "Product of Ireland." Hmmmmmmm.

My favorite accents are the southeastern accents-voices tend to be deeper-pitched and it seems like they lisp their S's- and northern irish accents. It'a amazing that we only went an hour west from Donegal and even in Derry the accent was incredibly different from people just a little bit away in the Republic. I'm also fond of hearing any native Irish speaker talk, though. It's just so very different from any "irish" accent.

Anyway, sorry the book of kells was such a disappointment. I did spend a huge amount of time studying that particular illuminated text before I got there. And also the long library was not ripped up when I was there. Of course I also did not know about the CBL at all. We left dublin as soon as possible so all the touristy things I did were done in 2 afternoons. I think I spent 3 days total there on my way in and out.

I think when I go back, I'll make sure I get to the Mullet peninsula. In my hostel I met this dude whose travel goal was to visit every place in the world with the world Mullet with its name. Whee.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-01-23 18:33 (UTC)
I guess I should have been more specific - it was the Bushmills 10 yr that I didn't like. The same distillery also produces Black Bush, which I liked a lot when Marco ordered a shot at The Temple Lounge. The Bushmills site avoids mention of the distillery's location as "Northern Ireland." You might not be able to figure it out unless you either know the counties or you look at the shop's contact number, which has the UK area code.

We really only got to hear the Dublin accents. I'm looking forward to going back and hearing more of them. We watched a little bit of TV in the B&B, including a weather forecast in Gaelic, which was also interesting because the meteorologist was wearing a huge cross pendant. Whoa.

The Books weren't a disappointment, exactly. It was just kind of a letdown to only be allowed to see four illuminated manuscripts after spending a whole day in the CBL. At least I didn't get rushed through the exhibit. There were no lines for anything, actually, which I guess is the advantage of going there when it's pissing rain.

Visiting Mullet sites sound like a noble pursuit. I salute you!
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[User Picture]From: victorine
2005-01-23 20:47 (UTC)
Gallaghers! That's what it was. So good. Please tell me you saved room for the brown bread ice cream with bailey's. I dream about that stuff.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-01-23 23:05 (UTC)
Whoa, that sounds awesome. I opted for the Sticky Toffee Pudding with fresh cream and strawberries. That was really good. Popular, also, as I think I ate at most a fourth of it myself. :-P
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[User Picture]From: repoman
2005-01-24 00:42 (UTC)
Temple bar is a bit infested with lost American college students out for a good time and an Irish lay. It's a college area...and a hip one at that. I'm glad I checked it out but don't need to return. I avoided all American's at all costs out of my home country (hard to avoid here). They only wanted to talk about home. Maybe they didn't notice they were in another country and might want to swap stories on our travels. My foreign friends tell me American's can be very charming out of our country but best avoided in large groups...

I ate at the Elephant and Castle for breatfast and thought it was pretty good. Then again, I was eating with a hot gal and my mind wasn't on food...

Although it's tough to find in Dublin, you can always ask if they have some puchin around. It's Irish moonshine that also doubles as a hair removal serum. I had a couple shots of it at a bar in the country after getting into a discussion with with the publican about wiskey (I'm a bourbon person by nature). I shared some of my Knob Creek (to prove a point) in my flask and he shared some of his illegal brew...
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-01-24 10:46 (UTC)
You know, I've found it easier to avoid other Americans in London than I did in Dublin. I'm not sure why. I guess there are more Irish-Americans obsessed with Ireland than English-Americans obsessed with England? That, or it's the exchange rate on the euro as opposed to the pound. :-P I haven't found that the Americans I've met wanted to talk about home. Most of them want to spend all night comparing England with America. They usually find England lacking in some way. Ha.

I had lunch at Elephant & Castle. Maybe they do breakfast better? No hot girl though. No hot guy either. Wah.

I'll remember to ask about the moonshine. At the tasting, we had to compare the Irish whiskeys (Jameson, Bushmills, Paddy's and Powers) with scotch and bourbon. Of course they picked the low-end for the scotch (Johnny Walker Red Label) and bourbon (Jim Beam). That didn't seem very fair.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-01-24 15:08 (UTC)
There is a pub in London called The Elephant and Castle. Unsurprisingly, I suppose, it is near the Elephant & Castle tube stop. :-P
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