Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Paul Simon or bust... Our Dublin getaway! Part six

Saturday morning, we woke up feeling pretty free, since the thing we'd come to Dublin for was finished.  Paul Simon's concert was truly amazing and wonderful, even if being in such a large crowd and sitting in cramped seats wasn't as comfortable as it could have been.  Still, Ireland was a great place to see Paul Simon perform, if only because a lot of the people in the crowd could actually sing. I don't know what it's like for other people, but I am unusually sensitive to bad singing.  I don't know if it's because I have perfect pitch or I'm just a perfect bitch...  It's probably a regrettable combination of both conditions.  Anyway, I was glad that a lot of the people who were at Friday night's show were decent singers.  If I have to listen to people singing along, I prefer them to be on key and most of the people in Friday's crowd were.

We had no plans for Saturday, so we got up and went to breakfast.  I went with Irish buttermilk pancakes and a side of sausage.  Bill had French toast made with cinnamon brioche.


We also tried tea, which I probably ought to have more of.  


The pancakes were also offered with blueberry compote or apples, I think.  One of my British friends said I was going to gain "stones" if I kept eating like this.  My response?  "Who cares."


But I did make sure to have some fruit, too.

My back was hurting a bit, even though we had a pretty good bed.  I think it's because I'm used to having a feather bed.  Because my back was aching, we decided to try out the Merrion Hotel's pool.  We found it empty and very inviting.  I appreciated that it was nice and deep, too.  We also tried the steam room.  I usually can't stay in them for very long, but I managed to do a couple of cycles in there lasting a few minutes each.


The hotel has nicely appointed changing rooms with lockers, showers, and even a machine that wrings all the excess water out of your bathing suit.  Supposedly, they even sell bathing suits if you need one.  


An oasis of calm!  Felt great on my sore back.  The mural was painted by a Brady... Simon Brady, to be exact.




Lots of weights and machines for those who insist on truly working out.  There's also a fully operational spa, which I probably should have made time to try.

After our swim, we went back to the room and got changed.  The weather was lovely, so we decided to take a walk.  As we were passing Merrion Square, we noticed a military regiment and an Irish piper.  We stood by to watch.  Apparently, during the summer on Saturdays, a different Irish regiment does a memorial service for fallen members of the Irish Army.  Family members are on hand to lay wreaths as their loved ones are honored.


A sign explaining... they were also passing out brochures.  Bill was interested, so we watched the whole thing, which took about 45 minutes.


Officers prepare for the start of the program.


Family members stand by.





The guards were giving orders in Irish.


I was more interested in the musicians.


The piper played several pieces, including "Highland Cathedral", which was what I marched down the aisle to on my wedding day.




More than once, I caught Bill standing at attention.







The memorial after the wreaths were laid.  Behind it are several flags, including Ireland's flag, which was lowered to half mast, then raised again.


Across the street from parliament.



And there were also dancers nearby, though they had nothing to do with the military ceremony.  They were also attracting attention.



A playground nearby.  I liked that there was a sign posted that read the area was only for adults accompanying children.  No creepers allowed.


Oscar Wilde again.  You can't miss him in Dublin.

By the time the military ceremony was over, it was time for lunch.  We ended up at what appeared to be a nice looking restaurant but turned out to be a hotel restaurant with little character.  They also played some very annoying dance music that kind of spoiled the ambiance.  Oh well....



We were told the fryer wasn't working, so there was no chance for fish and chips.


My burger came with a salad, which was probably better for me anyway.


Bill had a club sandwich.  Not bad...  and this was also the only place we had Guinness during the whole trip.  Guinness is really a winter drink, as every Irish person instinctively knows.  But you can't come to Dublin and not have a Guinness, right?  It makes you drunk, as noted by Ireland's greatest drinker with a writing problem, Brendan Behan.


The rest of the restaurant.  Lots of cutesy stuff written on the walls.

After lunch, we went across the street, where I proceeded to buy three cheap t-shirts with obnoxious sayings on them.  I'll probably only wear them at home, although they pretty much express my sentiments perfectly.  


After we bought the t-shirts, we passed this all purpose walk in clinic.  Apparently, they have something for everyone...  Reminds me of an old George Carlin routine--  Bud's!  Where all the sick people go!


They have you covered!


Just around the corner is the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland.  I had to take a picture of the sign because about thirty years ago, I read a book called The Intern Blues by Robert Marion, MD.   Dr. Marion didn't get into an US medical schools at first, so he spent a year in Ireland studying medicine before he was able to come back to the States and finish his training.  His book was about first year interns circa 1985. 


And we also found where Bram Stoker lived.

At this point, we decided we wanted to find a pub with good music and character, so we went in search of one... but not before we stopped into a couple of grocery stores to see if we could find some Irish chocolate treats to bring back to Germany with us.  We were successful at a Tesco, just around the corner from our hotel.

Part seven




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