26.09.2012 - 27.09.2012 57 °F
We got up in the wee hours to make an early flight to Dublin. On our way out of the hotel, we happened to notice a delivery of eggs and milk waiting on the doorstep. Hee hee! Our cabby was named Sean and he may as well have had on the garb of a leprechaun. He was 110% Scottish and excited about it. He gave us all kinds of tips and places to see in Dublin and the west coast, and had loads of history about Edinburgh and Dublin. He was just what we needed to wake up (and distract Willis from his catastrophic thoughts) on our way to the airport, so we took pictures with him! He wouldn't fit in our luggage, otherwise we would kidnapped him.
We arrived at the airport and all was well, until the plane rolled up to the terminal. The flight just wasn't dangerous enough with the inclement weather, coastal city, regional flight early in the morning thing. No it had to be a 30 year old prop plane. We were doomed. That is, until just after takeoff, when the sun streamed through the clouds and an enormous rainbow burst onto the sky. Talk about lucky charms!
We didn't die, and instead arrived, checked in, and began our long, cold walk to Trinity College to view the Book of Kells. For those of you that don't know, it's a 1200 year old bible with the intricately drawn images and iconography. We spent a good couple of hours learning about the history and viewing the handful of pages opened at this particular time. Apparently the illustrators, who were monks in their late teens, wrote notes to each other in the margins. Sometimes they were things to do or continue working on, but other times they were complaints about being tired and wanting to stop, which was funny to think about. Unbelievable quality, craftsmanship and time went into creating it. It was awe inspiring, and not in a religious way, but in witnessing the human drive for perfection. And the colors were still bright! So beautiful.
After that we made our way to the Guinness Storehouse by way of the Dublin "castle". The castle portion has been mostly removed or converted into a governmental building, complete with a boring square and nondescript towers. Not sure why I'm even writing about it. Moving on. The Guinness Storehouse is a monument to the infinite well of money that the brewery has drawn from for its advertising. Like Disneyland for beer. We skipped through most of the first floors and went straight up to the top for the magnificent view of the city and the complimentary pint of Guinness. It was delicious and the view truly was worth it.
Dublin smells like pee everywhere you go. There's no gracefull way to fit that into a paragraph, so there it is.
It was evening so we headed over to a pub called O'Donoghues, which is outside of the tourist area and recommended by Sean, our cabby friend. As it was early, the music hadn't started so we went for fish and chips and a nearby restaurant. It was like eating a puffy, mildly fishy cloud. So delicate, so delicious, so we took a picture. On the way back to the bar a street trumpeter was playing a solo rendition of Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen. As they walked by, 20-30 people all started singing. You couldn't help but smile and indulge yourself in a moment communal happiness.
The bar was hopping when we got back, and as we wandered to the where the musicians were, we became aware that it wasn't just a couple of guys playing a fiddle or two. It was 10+ people of all ages, men and women, playing fiddles, miniature accordions, piccolos, recorders, and rasps. And then one of them sang. Pure magic.