First, an exciting announcement: I appear to be FINALLY over my jet lag. *knock on wood* This means I can actually spend the middle of the day out enjoying where I am, instead of sleeping until I start work in the afternoon, then hanging out awake all through the wee hours of the morning with nothing to do but play around on my computer, and I didn't need to cross continents to do that!
I left Dublin by train this morning, and as referenced above and in my last post, between the sleep schedule and the work schedule I didn't get out and about to see much. But last night I was determined to venture out into the city before I left, so I booked an evening walking tour through the AirBnB "Experiences."
It. Was. Spectacular.
|Daniel O'Connell, The Liberator
It was chock full of the history and culture of Ireland in general and Dublin in particular, ancient and modern. We started at The Spire on O'Connell Street, and learned all about it's namesake (that's him at the top of the statue there), wandered down the River Liffey and into the Temple Bar district, which included a surprising amount of rock n' roll history.
|This is one of my favorite travel photos I've ever taken
|A nice small group of friendly people on the tour with me!
I learned the background of the phrase "beyond the pale," and why milkmaids are traditionally understood to be gorgeous (it has to do with nutrition and immunization, of all things). I learned that Van Morrison is Irish, and still alive. And I learned that apparently there is an Irish superstition that Christmas decorations not taken down by January 8th must then be left up all year. Last year because of the lockdowns, the Temple Bar couldn't get enough workers to take down the giant Christmas tree you see pictured above, and so it's actually been there all year long. The whole city is starting to get done up for Christmas now, so it wasn't out of place to us, but apparently Jack the tour guide has had to explain it to people all year long!
It was such a fun night - I just wish I'd managed it a bit earlier in the trip so I could go back to a few places. After the tour, two members of our party had to split right away to make a dinner reservation, but the tour guide and the French girl Stephanie and I all hung around at a pub for well over an hour, talking Celtic culture and language and the French's obsession with food and all manner of things, and when we finally called it a night Jack was nice enough to escort me back to my neighborhood, even paying for my bus fare.
It was an absolutely excellent evening, and I'm so very glad I got myself out to do it.