The Dublin Dried Pea/Dulse
During a past meeting of the Committee of The Flat Cap and Muffler Sports and Social Club a motion was proposed and carried that it was about time we, the Committee, broadened our horizons a little
Bagpuss wanted to spend some Euros, Croz needed the motivation to get a passport and the rest of us just wanted a decent pint of stout.
Dublin of course, but we all met up at Holyhead Ferry Terminal on Friday 16th September 2005. Metal Chicken and Phil had driven up from the nest in glorious Glossop, Croz had picked Granny Weatherwax and Nogbad up from wonderful Worsley and Bagpuss had caught the train from grand old Guisborough.
After boarding the ferry - through the cargo doors! - we laid claim to three tables near the windows and prepared to sail. The voyage out was a little lumpy and caused much staggering and that was before we'd hit the stout.
Disembarking at Dublin Port, we then hopped onto the shuttle bus for the short trip into the town centre. T'was then we encountered the Dublin Bus Drivers Sense of Distance and Direction.
Asking the driver for directions to Trinity College was our first mistake. After realising that the 'Spike' was the local vernacular for the 'Tower of Light' we traipsed off down O'Connor Street and over the bridge in search of Trinity. Our Second mistake was in thinking that there would be a reception area at Goldsmith Hall, wrong again, we left baggage and half the party at the Hall and headed back to the main College for our room keys.
After a very refreshing cup of tea - made by Metal Chicken - a quick wash and brush up and we headed off in search of our first pint and something to eat. Suitably replete we crawled back to the apartment and so ended our first day in Dublin.
Our second day started with Nogbad cooking breakfast (well done that man). Suitably replete we walked it off through the beautiful grounds of Trinity College to see the Book of Kells. The colours are so fresh, but the elbows of the, mainly American, tourists so sharp! After a look at some of the collection of first editions, we wandered out of the College and caught a bus, a Dublin Tour bus. If you've never had the chance to ride on one of these, they are highly recommended just for the driver's commentary alone.
We disembarked at the Guinness Brewery and queued for the Exhibition. We didn't have to wait too long and it was well worth it. After a stop for some lunch in the restaurant, very tasty and can anyone supply the recipe for Guinness bread? we made it to the Gravity Bar on top of the brewery to claim our free pints. What a view... After this it was back on the bus and off to the Jameson Distillery.
It was here we had our first calamity, Bagpuss left his bag somewhere containing the guide book, some gifts he'd bought at Guinness and his teeshirt, not the one he'd bought at Trinity though! For me the highlight of the conducted tour was being awarded a certificate to say I was an approved Irish whiskey taster. I do like a drop of Whiskey! Of course the other members of the party got free drinks as well, I just had rather more. As time was getting on we hopped on the Tour Bus hoping to get back to Trinity. Alas it was the last bus of the day and terminated short so we caught another bus back to Goldsmith Hall.
Washed and brushed up we walked back to the bar we'd been in the previous night only to find that they didn't do food on a Saturday night and this was after arranging to meet Gnomon in there. Luckily there was another bar just down the street that did and Metal Chicken redirected Gnomon who arrived just as we were being served our meals. After eating and more beer Gnomon offered to take us for the 'Best Pint of Guinness in Dublin' . Unfortunately some of us just couldn't make it (and we do know who we are), and so ended the second day in Dublin.
Bagpuss had to catch the early ferry home and had left before the rest of us surfaced, We ate another one of Nogbad's breakfasts and packed. At this late stage in the trip we'd acquired tourist maps of the city and realised that the Dart, station next to the Hall of Residence, would take us back to the pick-up point for the shuttle back to the ferry so we experienced another form of public transport.
The ferry trip back was quite uneventful and much calmer than the outgoing one and it was with regret that we parted at Holyhead. We'll do it again! Pictures of the trip can be seen here
Digging out their walking boots and tourist guides were