Thursday, August 14, 2014

Dublin, Ireland it is . . .

By non-stop bus to Dublin.
August 14, 2014 -- We were up early this morning getting our luggage ready for the transit to Dublin from Cork. As we readied ourselves for the 3 hour bus trip, we talked about our time here in Cork. It's a beautiful city with lots of things to do. We enjoyed our lodgings, the food and especially the people. Our day-trips to Blarney, Cobh, Killarney and Limerick made for a perfect few days. We could only think that Ireland is one of the friendliest and most inviting countries we've visited over the past few years.

Harvey's Guesthouse.
Our bus left at 10:30 a.m. We had "front seats" so it was a great sight-seeing journey along the modern highways and "freeways" of Ireland. Of course, we logged into the Internet for our "Facebook" and email fix! As we entered the outskirts of Dublin and made our way toward the City Center, one could tell we're entering a larger city. Traffic was thick and the roads were a bit congested. Every now and then, we'd come to a stop -- much like the roads at home!!

It turns out Dublin is a larger city from those we've visited so far. It's population is around 530,000 people and the city covers about 45 square miles. Dublin was founded as a "Viking" settlement and became Ireland's principal city after the Norman Invasion which began in 1169. Despite its age, or maybe because of it, we found Dublin to be a mix of the "old and new". There are old buildings and modern buildings, small crooked little lanes and wide modern sidewalks and streets. It isn't unusual to see a 17th Century building next to a modern all-glass 6 story office building. O'Connell Street, one of the main streets is as busy as Broadway in New York City, with large crowds of people going here and there.
O'Connell Street, City Center, Dublin.

We've been lucky this trip with our choice of lodgings. We're staying in "Harvey's Guesthouse" on Gardenier Street Upper -- just a 10 minute walk from the bus depot and the City Center. The guest-house itself is an 18th Century building with high ceilings and creaky floors! Our room is on the second floor and is large and roomy. As one "climbs the stairs" s/he can feel the earlier generations of residents occupying the space! It's fun and interesting. There are 2 living rooms with comfortable sofas and chairs -- and, of course, reading lamps.

Any excuse for a "Starbuck's"!!
Once we were settled, we set out to explore our surroundings. Before long we were in the City Center and recognized some of the landmarks we had seen upon our arrival. We choose to take a taxi to the Irish Ferry Terminal and get our "sail/rail" tickets for the transit to London on August 21st. Our taxi driver was kind enough to wait for us as we bought our tickets and then took us back into the city. We spent the next couple of hours wandering the streets that interested us -- and of course, found a "Starbucks" for a cuppa!!

Tomorrow we plan to continue our exploration of the city. We'll be taking day-trips, using Dublin as a home-base, so it'll be an interesting week in and around this beautiful and busy city.

As always, stay tuned . . . As they say in Ireland -- "a fheiceann tú níos déanaí"