July 19th 2014 entry continued…
The next morning (July 18, 2014), Kathleen prepared a traditional Irish breakfast composed of eggs, ham, sausage, more sausage, tomatoes, and juice. I chatted with my German “neighbors” who were also staying at the B&B. During our chat, they informed me that my name is of German decent. Who knew?! (Although I wonder if they thought I said my name was Christoff instead of Christa. I have this weird habit of introducing myself and then biting my lip causing people to think I said Christoff…lol). We planned to meet up later in Howth, a fishing villiage about 20 minutes away from my Bed & Breakfast, at the Abbey Tavern.
After my meal, which I in no way was able to finish, I hopped on the bus to Dublin and after grabbing a coffee and getting my sim card fixed ( I turned my phone off and when I turned it back on it had locked me out,) I searched for the hop on hop off tour bus stops. When that was unsuccessful, I settled on walking to Trinity College and taking the tour led by one of their students. At the end of the tour, we were able to see the Book of Kells. The idea behind the book of Kells is that a lot of the poorer people couldn’t understand the languages (Hebrew, Latin, Greek) that the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) were written in, so they tried to communicate the message via beautiful “illuminated” pictures. The book of Kells was pretty, but in my opinion in was out-staged by the long room which is the most beautiful library I have ever seen. (I am a book lover :))
After the Trinity Tour, and the Book of Kells viewing, I was starving and a bit nauseous from all of the food and Guinness consumed the night before. I had originally planned on my day wandering Dublin being a culinary experience but NO. I needed something simple, so I went to Bewely’s Cafe on Grafton Street and had a ham and cheese toasty (which I believe is the equivalent of a grilled ham and cheese), a 7 up (or “minerals” as the Irish would call it..which is crazy…lol), and a chewable pepto-bismol ( a travel essential). It was KIND of awkward eating alone but I read a book and got over it.
After lunch, I FINALLY found a hop on hop off bus stop, and rode to the Kilmainham Gaol (a famous prison turned museum). It must have been amazing because it was sold out! Booooo! I hopped back on the bus and rode to the beautiul pheonix park and took a stroll. It was fun trying to talk to tourist from different countries and taking turns taking pictures of one another (solo-traveler bonding 🙂 ). After a while I was soooo hot. That morning it felt like a rainy fall day so I decided to put on Hunter rain boots or “Wellingtons” as the locals would have called them. Needless to say, this rainy, 60 degree weather, that one typically expects in Ireland only lasted for 20 minutes. Fast forward to my walk in Pheonix Park, I am BAKING in my rain boots.
It took at least an hour to find my bus stop. (I am directionally challenged…lol) I asked some locals for directions. They told me to “follow the tram tracks” and “look for the spire” (The Spire is a large needle looking tower in Dublin). At this point I was so so glad I was in an English-speaking country.
When I arrived back at my Bed & Breakfast, I took an hour nap, and woke up at 9 to meet my German neighbors in Howth. However, they were a bit older than me, and had already gone home by then, so I bought some fish & chips and enjoyed the views of the sea.
Although it would seem that this day had a lot of hit & misses, I am very proud of myself for NOT planning my day and just wandering the city. I am a planner, and a lover of itineraries so this was very hard for me to do. I think part of the excitement of solo travel is getting lost, making mistakes, and developing your street smarts and what not ;).
Now, I’m back at the bed & breakfast , wide awake because my body has not adjusted to the time change. ( Note to self: Buy Z-Quil next time!) Walkabout Wicklow Hike is tomorrow. Excitement!!
Stay tuned for part 3 of my Ireland Solo Trip featuring my Walkabout Wicklow Hike and Temple Bar. (It looks like the Ireland series will be about 4 parts.)