Day 4 – Friday – Dublin without the rain

Posted: 22/06/2012 in Holiday
Tags: , , , , ,

Another delicious breakfast. Anticipating rain, I donned my walking boots. Just after we set off, I felt them starting to rub my heels, and so decided to return for my comfy trainers. Those boots are old, and the lining is disintegrating; time for new ones. DARTed from Lansdowne Road to Pearse Street. I then realised I’d left my phone in the car, so dropped in to see Aileen to confirm arrangements for that evening.

Water feature at Chester Beatty Library

Water feature at Chester Beatty Library

Walked up to Dublin Castle to visit the Garda Museum to see if they’d any more info on my dad; I’d emailed a couple of weeks before (attaching photos) but had heard nothing back. My dad had been a Garda, and was one of the first eight Triumph-riding ‘Courtesy Cops’ (controlling traffic with courtesy!) in the 1950s. The Chester Beatty Library is right next to the Castle so we stopped at its Silk Road Café for a coffee first. Such a lovely place, with tables in a covered courtyard. A couple of toddlers were playing at the water fountain, and got soaked; their clearly sensible mum had a change of clothes for them. The museum staff were less than helpful. They claimed not to have received my email, and said I must have sent it somewhere else. Indeed, they were quite dismissive. I pushed, though, and they let me access my Gmail. And there it was – sent to their address! Then they said emails with attachments are blocked, and that I should have contacted them first. No mention of that on their site. One chap said they couldn’t help anyway. I asked who could.  “If you had just let me finish my sentence, I was going to tell you!” he snapped. I thought he’d finished. He suggested I contact Siochán (the Garda magazine). Pause. “And where’s that?” I asked, feeling increasingly irritated. “Harcourt Street!” he replied. I thanked him and left. I could Google that. A few moments later, he came out of his office, waving a magazine at me. “I was going to copy this for you, but you’ve moved on!” What? Anyway, his colleague copied the info for me. Mark and I had a look around the rest of the museum. It was all rather chaotic; stuff from different eras all jumbled up. Why not a journey through time through the rooms? Some of the exhibits were credited. This made me wonder why they hadn’t welcomed me, and expressed interest in adding what I had to their collection. I have some wonderful photos that would enhance their exhibition, and fill some vital gaps, such as the visit of Cardinal Agagianian in 1961. [A couple of days later, I had an email saying they’d located my email, and offering to find more information. We’ll see.]

Walked back to Dawson Street to meet Aileen. Stopped at Sheehan’s (OK pub but a bit too noisy) in Chatham Street for an aperitif (Guinness: what else?) and then on to Grogan’s in South William Street for another. Grogan’s is a lovely old place; understandably, it was packed inside, so we sat outside with the smokers. There had been a torrential downpour while we were in Sheehan’s but it stopped just before we left. How considerate!

Havana's dessert board!

Havana’s dessert board!

Decided to eat at Havana (a tapas place I used to frequent) in George’s Street. Got shown to a table we didn’t like but moved to a lovely corner table. Another enjoyable evening of catching up and laughter! The early-bird mixed plate of meatballs, chicken and potato gratin was excellent; a decent-sized portion for 12 euros. Aileen and I shared a 500ml carafe of very good white wine, while Mark had a San Miguel. Desserts of creme brulee, tiramisu and chocolate brownie – all superb. Then Irish coffees. Phew! I knew the owners slightly, and chatted for a bit when one came to clear the table. Coffees on the house! After our late night last night, and walking miles around town, we were shattered and in need of our bed. Aileen, however, was keen to go for a cocktail, and I was persuaded. We nipped into The Bank on Dame street, but it was heaving. Out into Dame Street and wondering where to go, we both felt we couldn’t eat or drink another thing. Aileen seemed disappointed, and I felt bad about disappointing her. We hugged her goodbye and walked to Pearse Street, which seemed farther away this time. Back at Ariel House, we found tiny cakes in the lounge. Mark managed to eat one; I couldn’t even cope with a nibble. So stuffed! And so to our lovely bed for our last night in Dublin.

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