Sunday, July 3, 2011

Day 17

We had a fairly leisurely morning this morning, meeting at breakfast at about 08:30.  After breakfast, Dad, Paula, Grant and I decided to do some serious geocaching.  We managed to log 5 geocaches, a record for us! 

We had a couple of really funny moments… at one point I was walking, entirely alone, down the pavement outside St Stephen’s green muttering “where am I going?”  “am I going in the right direction?”  passers-by must have thought I was insane!!  Unbeknown to them, Grant and Paula were scuffling along behind the bushes on the  inside of the railing, directing me to the geocache, …. Crazy!  We eventually found the geocache and I managed to retrieve it through the railings!

We also found a geocache in the gardens of Dublin castle, the castle is sooo beautiful.

We saw quite a bit of Dublin while on the geocaching trail.  I particularly like the Georgian architecture in Dublin, all the buildings look very similar, but the doors are painted different colours, it really looks nice.

Dad found a pub named after him (he's Neil Thomas Read)

Rox joined us half-way through the morning and we went in search of Molly Malone's statue.  I have always had a thing for Molly....

We then did some shopping.  Grafton Street on a Sunday is lovely.  Dublin wakes up quite late on a Sunday – things only really get going at about noon, but then it’s great fun.  There is a lovely vibe, lots of people out and about, buskers on the streets, I really enjoyed it. 

We had lunch at a very good pub off Grafton St and then headed back to our hotel.

At 14:45 our tour officially started.  We met our fellow tour-mates:  we’re a large group of 48, with people from Canada, USA, Australia, 3 others from South Africa and one couple from New Zealand.  There are 2 teenagers who look to be about the same age as Paula, a boy of about 12 or 13 and his younger brother and the rest are people our age and older.  We didn’t dilly-dally, but set off straight away for an orientation tour of Dublin.  We mainly drove around on the bus, seeing all the major sites. 

We got off the bus and went into Trinity College, a really beautiful university, where we got to see the Book of Kells  which is housed in the library there and was absolutely amazing to see.  The library is awe-inspiring.  They also had the “real live” skeleton of a giant (the poor man had a tumour on the pituitary gland) at the college, which was completely beside the point, but which I found fascinating! 

Grant caught us unawares... I promise we weren't as bored as we look, we were waiting to get back on the bus!

We continued on our tour and also took a drive through Phoenix Park a huge park that borders on the President's home.  It is really beautiful and full of families enjoying the sunshine.  We were SO lucky, we got to see one of the herds of wild Fallow Deer that roam freely in the park, apparently it's almost unheard of for them to be this low down in the park at this time of year.

After the tour we had a short rest and then met up with our tour-mates for a Welcome Drink, introductions, and a short talk about our tour.  A couple of the men on our tour look like they could be great fun.  At the introduction we were asked to stand up, say who we were and where we are from and anything else that we felt like saying (it sounds scary, but it was all very relaxed and light-hearted)…. One elderly chap stood up, said “I’ve had a pint of Guinness and now I don’t remember who I am”… and promptly sat down!  That broke the ice!! 

We decided to have supper locally, and went to a nice Italian restaurant near our hotel.  Then it was up to bed, for an early night as we have to have our bags out by 06:45 tomorrow morning!

No comments: