Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Celebrating 14 years in Ireland! Part seven


We were literally lodged next to Europe's Facebook Headquarters!

After our Guinness Storehouse experience, we found a cab right outside.  The driver had "Bullet In The Blue Sky" playing on the stereo.

"U2!" I said.  "How appropriate!"

"What is this song called?" Bill asked.

"Bullet In The Blue Sky." I said.  "I think it came out around 1987."

"It's not from 1984?" Bill asked.

"No, U2's 1984 album was The Unforgettable Fire.  I feel pretty certain this song wasn't on that album." I answered.

"The song was recorded in 1986." the cab driver said.  "And it was released in 1987."

"Ha!  I was right!" I cheered.  "I can't ever forget The Joshua Tree because I was 15 years old and taking a journalism class when it was released.  One of the girls in my class was a big U2 fan and went to Hampton, Virginia to see them perform while they were on tour that year.  She ended up meeting Bono and he signed her white turtleneck.  And she also 'locked' her class ring.  She wrote a big article about the experience in our school newspaper."

"I was in Germany the first time." Bill said.  "23 years old."

"Holy shit, you're old, mate!" the cab driver said.  It turned out he was 46 years old and hailed from Liverpool, England.  He'd come to Ireland to golf and fell in love with a local.  They are now married and have several kids, the youngest of which is six years old.  The driver then told us a story about how the six year old had woken him up that morning by climbing on his face.

The driver went on to tell us about how much Dublin has changed since Bill first visited, back in 1984.  He pointed out an old bar that used to be full of guys who worked in the Docklands area of the city.  He took an old friend to the area, trying to find the bar.  They walked into it and asked where the bar was located.  No one confirmed that they had reached the right place.  I seem to remember there was some talk of the IRA, too.

We left the cabbie and then decided to look for dinner.  Unfortunately, there wasn't a great selection of restaurants near The Marker Hotel.  We ended up going into the restaurant at the nearby Clayton Hotel-- it was called Vertigo.  From the very start, that was an annoying experience.  They were playing horrible generic dance music in the dining room.  Also, we weren't aware that in order to be served, you had to go up to the bar.  There was no sign alerting us to that fact.  So we sat for awhile before another customer clued us in to what we needed to do.  Bill was starting to have flashbacks to our very bad experience at the Esquire Bar in San Antonio.


Carlsberg is a thirst quencher, but not that inspiring.

Bill ordered a chicken and avocado burger.  I had a cheeseburger.  It took a very long time for the sandwiches to get to us, plus we were drinking Carlsberg beers, which aren't all that interesting.  Add in the terrible music and the fact that all we really wanted to do was eat and hit the sack, and you have a couple of crotchety middle aged folks.  First world problems, right?


Disappointing burger...


Mr. Bill's chicken sandwich.  It could have been better.


Neither of the burgers were particularly good, either.  Bill said his was okay, although it had little avocado on it.  My burger was overcooked and not very hot.  I finished less than half before we decided to cash in our chips for the evening.  We have a reservation at a Clayton Hotel the night before we fly back to Germany.  Hopefully, it will leave a better impression than the one in downtown Dublin.

On the way back to the hotel, I noticed the European Facebook headquarters, located directly next to our hotel.  I had to take a few photos.  It looks like an interesting place to work, based on the big posters with provocative slogans on them in the foyer.


Several of the signs I noticed from outside Facebook's headquarters in Ireland.

Monday morning, we got up and had our breakfast.  After that, we checked out of the hotel and got a cab to the car rental office where Bill had arranged to pick up a vehicle for our three hour trip to Sligo.  After a few tense early moments, Bill got the hang of driving on the left again, having done it for the first time back in March of this year when we were in Scotland and England.  Aside from drifting too far off the side of the narrow roads and some momentary confusion, he's done a great job driving.



I tried to snag a couple more Dublin shots from the car.

We stopped at a grocery store in Ballysadare and picked up some essentials for our five nights at the beach cottage.  We were going to have lunch, but it looked like everything in the little village, except for the cafe in the grocery store, was boarded up tight.  Lots of young folks who obviously attend the local Catholic school were walking around the town in their uniforms.  I actually found myself admiring the uniforms.  As a youngster, I didn't like the idea of being forced to wear the same thing as everyone else did.  However, as a middle aged woman, I don't think school uniforms are a bad idea.  And I even liked the classic look the kids were sporting.


In Ballysadare, apparently being versatile is the key to economic success.


The construction stoplights in Ireland have timers on them, letting you know how long you have to wait.  Bill and I both like that.  There is a lot of construction going on here, which is a good thing.  The roads are narrow and very well used.

After we shopped, we finished our drive to Aughris Head, which is where our beach cottage rental is located.  When we arrived in the mid afternoon, Bill found the keys to the house.  The ads didn't lie.  It's literally right next to the Atlantic Ocean.  As I type this, I hear waves crashing dramatically on the rocky coastline.  It's very peaceful.  Adding to the appeal is the fact that there is a bar located within walking distance of our little house.

More on Aughris in part eight!





First impressions...  I picked another winner.


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