We wrapped up our tour of Ireland with 5 nights in Dublin hoping for a change in weather that never came. Gray, rainy with the occasional glimpse of the sun and highs in the low 60s was the norm. The bright spot was our daughter Caprial joined us.
While in Dublin we took in Kilmainham Gaol aka Dublin Prison. The tour focused on the impact of the famine in 1845 and the death, imprisonment and mass migration of the population which resulted. We also learned of the 1916 uprising which ultimately lead to Irish Independence. A little history lesson allows you to gain perspective on our current times, both with parallels we seem destined to repeat such as fear and blame of immigrants as well as a reminder that there never were the “good ole days” there has always been fear, famine, and death we can only hope to improve upon the past failures of humankind.
Kelly and I next joined a dinner of Irish Story Telling and music at one of our favorite pubs, The Brazen Head. It was an enjoyable evening for $60 a person. We loved the storyteller, fun and animated with a voice you could hear over the rather crowded dinner of about 100 people. The food was mediocre pub grub like fish and chips or Irish Stew, the music was probably some our least favorite. A couple of old guys with gravelly voices playing a guitar and a banjo. We liked the evening overall but really wouldn’t give it a 5 star review.
Our second apartment in Dublin was fantastic, one of the best of our stays in Ireland, a spacious two bed two bath overlooking Smithfield Market a newly developed pedestrian zone which just happened to be across the square from the Jameson Distillery. With such an opportune location we decided to try a little Jameson after Cap arrived. My nephew Josh and his wife Bree were traveling in Dublin and were able to join us for a couple meals and a little Jameson. Josh, Bree and I signed up for a Jameson tasting where we sampled 4 of the various Jameson Whiskeys, very nice if a little rushed but a reasonable price at $33.
The most fun of all of our outings was the Jameson cocktail making class with Kelly, Cap and I. As no one else had signed up it turned out to be a private class with a great bartender Kieran. I must admit that I was a little taken aback when Kieran first introduced himself with his tats, multiple facial piercings and eyeliner. But we quickly hit it off and it proved to be a great time. Cost was $55 a person, we made three cocktails then were taken to a reserved table in the bar to enjoy them. A very fun 5-star experience.
On our last evening the three of us joined the Dublin Musical Pub Crawl and dinner. We wandered through Dublin in the rain making stops at three pubs accompanied by two very talented musicians. They played a variety of traditional instruments and the singer had an amazing voice. Over another mediocre pub dinner we were joined by a traditional Irish dancer. A very enjoyable evening costing $53 per person. I would recommend it over the storytelling evening if you wanted to choose one.
The next day we boarded RyanAir for a slightly better experience than our last. The flight was almost on time and there was a little less standing and waiting. It must be a company policy to make no announcements and keep the customers uninformed. We waited in the terminal for about an hour, saw our plane arrive and offload about 15 minutes before our scheduled departure time, then we all lined up and eventually boarded our flight. During that entire time there was not a single announcement, or a word spoken by the ground crew. Crazy.
We were all looking forward to Croatia, a country we had never visited before and weather which was forecast as sunny and 90. I am not sure we were quite prepared for the adjustment of highs in the 60s to highs in the 90s. We were sweltering on our first day. Luckily we were able to compensate with several swims in the sea just outside our apartment and we put Cap to work on her recent skills learned from her high-priced education. Not her university education but her education at the Jameson school of advanced cocktail making. We are settling in nicely.