Sunday, June 15, 2008

Ireland, Day Two

Okay, I missed posting yesterday which was Day Two, but I was too pooped to post, shall we say. I went to bed at 7:30 last night, that's how tired I was.

Yesterday was definitely better than Friday. Well, in most ways. We started with breakfast at Maya Che, which was a buffet affair. It wasn't a mesmerizing lot of choices, but fairly standard. It wasn't thrillingly fantastic, but it would do: a variety of cold cereals, including a nice fruit and nut muesli; scrambled eggs; sausage (not U.S. sausage!); black-and-white pudding, which was some sort of bread mixed with herbs, nuts and eggs and made into patties; bacon (which was like Canadian bacon); fried new potatoes; an assortment of breads, including croissants, danish and sweet fruit rolls, and and an assortment of juices, all accompanied by coffee that would strip the paint off a brand new car. We were a bit surprised to learn, after the fact, that this buffet would cost us €21 per person - more than $32US! It was not worth that! But everything here is far more expensive than even New York prices.

We headed out to the rugby pitch at 10 a.m., being guided by EverLost since we had no map. She took us into town a completely different way than she had led us out the day before, and that was a bit disconcerting. It's hard enough to get your bearings driving on the left side of the road, but when your stupid nav system decides that she's going to take you on a different scenic route each time you leave, that's just too much. At any rate, she took us down some narrow country road that was full of blind turns (because the farmland is divided by 5-foot-high rock walls). She tried to lead us down a road that led to a highway, but the entrance was closed (it looked as though it had never yet been opened--it seemed somewhat near completion, but wasn't finished). So we had to turn around and go back out. We thought she would try and lead us back to that road, but thank God she didn't...she changed her mind and eventually we got into town, in plenty of time for the first game. We even got a good spot to park (Jess pulled rank with his "I'm the team photographer for the Gotham Knights"--which he is--but we wondered if the parking attendant wouldn't tell us to leave. He gave us a little static, but less us park nonetheless.)

We were at the pitch most of the day. I was wearing jeans and a short-sleeved silk shirt, which, at the time we pulled into the lot, was fine. I took along my windbreaker, though, because I understood that the weather could change quickly, and this windbreaker can heat up like an oven since it is microfiber. So I was convinced that I had enough to cover me for the day, especially as warm as it was. That warmth lasted only about as long as the sunshine, about 10-15 minutes. Clouds blew in and that was the end of the warmth. It became chilly and breezy. Not so much that the windbreaker wasn't sufficient, but surprisingly near its limit. Fifteen minutes went by and I felt a drop or two of rain hit my face. I was worried.

The weather kept changing all day. Slighty warm. Slightly cold. Drizzly. Slightly windy. Out and out light rain. Even breezier. Colder. Damper. It finally became so cold that we had to leave before the day's games were up. It was too much for my windbreaker, and Jess was freezing, too--he had been only in short sleeves the entire day.

We left and went back to the hotel, by yet another way. This time, we were led through a large, large shopping mall complex that was packed on a Saturday afternoon. Because this area of outer Dublin is fairly lightly developed, the infrastructure has not been built to accommodate the horrendous volume of traffic it must carry, so it took us about 20 minutes just to get through that area. It's pretty amazing that the overall mileage to Dublin City University from our hotel is about 8 miles, but the drive took 45 minutes.

On the way back to the hotel, we noticed a Marks & Spencer store in the mall. Marks & Spencer!. Woo-hoo! We loved Marks & Spencer when we visited London two years ago. They have an absolutely fabulous food store in addition to their department store. (Bizarre, isn't it? A department store with a food store! But it is wonderful!) At any rate, we made a mental note of it, since it's only minutes from our hotel. We'd definitely be making a trip back, because we could make a cheap and delicious meal from M&S prepared foods.

We made it back to the hotel and decided to eat in the hotel's casual dining area, inappropriately named Hourglass. Ha. No one in this joint had an hourglass, to be sure. They were busy watching the soccer game in the lounge, and by they, I mean the entire waitstaff. We waited around for some ten minutes before a waiter wandered by and we caught his attention.

We ordered. Jess had fish and chips and I had a grilled chicken Caesar wrap. While Jess' meal was okay, and I mean just okay, my wrap was pathetic. It didn't even taste good. The fries were the best part of the meal. The meal took over an hour and a half. We left we decided that we had seen the last of Hourglass.

We went upstairs, watched a little TV, and I decided it was time to sleep.


At 12:15 PM, June 18, 2008, Blogger Greg said...

Oh, what I wouldn't give for a nice big plate of bangers and eggs--I love irish breakfast sausage. Well, okay, I wouldn't give $32...but still...

Didn't anyone warn you about the quality of food in the British Isles? They are not especially reknowned for it, after all.

(That's why you need the pints to help build up an appetite and properly unfocus your eyes!)


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