Traci and I were pretty wiped out when we finally arrived at our hotel after the flight delay and long flight. Despite this, we knew this was no time to take a nap if we hoped to have any chance of getting over jetlag. At the time, Ireland was 5 hours ahead of East Coast U.S. time. This would change by the end of the week to a four-hour difference because of U.S. Daylight Savings Time. We dropped off our luggage in our room and set out to explore Dublin.
We stopped by the reception desk to find out the location of an ATM machine so that we could get the local currency - the Euro (€). One euro was equivalent to approximately $1.30; therefore, the conversion was not in our favor. The nice lady at the reception desk gave us a tourist map of the city and pointed out a bank and a pizza place. Traci and I wanted to do our ritual pizza meal that we do each time we travel abroad. That was the intent until I flipped the map over and saw a delicious-looking advertisement for fish and chips at a restaurant called Beshoff's.
Beshoff's is a fast food place that specializes in fish and chips. They were located on O'Connell Street a block over from our hotel. All I can say is that the meal hit the spot!
first meal in Ireland - fish and chips at Beshoff's
With our stomachs no longer growling, we continued up O'Connell Street to have a look around. With traffic moving in the opposite direction than in the U.S., I am so thankful for cities such as Dublin and London that paint instructions on the street at intersections that tell you to "Look right" before crossing.
O'Connell Street has very wide sidewalks and is lined with pubs, fast food places, hotels, souvenir shops, tour companies, and other businesses. One distinguishing landmark of the street that we found useful for finding our way back to our hotel is a 394-foot tall metal spire whose illuminated tip can be seen from almost anywhere in the city. It was built to celebrate the new millennium, but unfortunately, its construction wasn't completed in until 2002. Dubliners have given it some funny nicknames such as the "Stiletto in the Ghetto". There are some even funnier nicknames that have to do with male anatomy but I won't mention them here since I want to keep my trip report clean.
Our walk led us over one of the bridges that traverse the River Liffey and into the Temple Bar section of the city. This is the nightlife area. There are pubs, restaurants, street musicians, night clubs, a comedy club, and other establishments. You can hear live music emanating from the pubs as you stroll the cobblestone streets. There are people on the streets that will solicit your patronage at their pub or restaurant. Traci and I looked at menus until we came across The Quays Restaurant that was serving bread and butter bread pudding. It did not disappoint.
On our way back to our hotel, we stopped at a Tesco grocery store to buy some snacks for the room. Traci was in search of plain potato chips - not cheese and onion flavor, buffalo flavor, or any other flavors that were sold everywhere we went. By the way, in Ireland and the U.K., potato chips are called crisps. French fries are called chips. Anyway, she wasn't successful in finding plain crisps but was able to find other snacks. I always felt so remedial when it came to paying in cash. I was not able to determine the value of the euro coins at a glance like I can with U.S. coins. Instead, I had to try to read the numbers on them. The €1 and €2 coins can actually add up to something significant; whereas, the U.S. coins in my pocket at any given time rarely add up to a dollar. Anyway, it was at this grocery store that I discovered an Irish brand of soda called Club (not to be confused with club soda). I especially loved their orange flavor. I drank way too much of this stuff during our 10 days in Ireland.
All the walking we did helped us to avoid going to sleep too early in our fight to overcome jetlag. We managed to stay out until 10:30 that evening. Back at the hotel, we even watched some game shows on TV such as "Family Fortune" (Irish version of "Family Feud") and an entertaining game show called "Take Me Out" in which a single man tries to choose a date from a group of women who use a light to indicate their interest or disinterest in the man's self-introduction. continue...