Dubliners

Day 1:
Breakfast at K.C. Peaches
Trinity College tour 
Hodges Figgis
The Gutter
Guinness Brewery tour – bought tickets in advance and avoided the 2-hour queue. Self-guided tour through an awesome building where they repeatedly seek to convince you that they brew the world’s best pint.
Arthur’s Pub
Chapters Bookstore
Jameson Tour
Brazen Head – established in 1198 (not a real year, for as we all know, years started in 1776); a quintessential Irish pub. It is said that Robin Hood was a former patron.

Day 2:
Not the Kilmainham Gaol – we woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed (read sleep-deprived and sans tails) to wait in line for a tour because, once again, we’re British and just love queueing. Instead, we found out that, though historically it’s first come first served, they now take reservations. Starting that weekend. But never fear, we modified our morning plans to go eat tea and pastries – weight log be damned.
Queen of Tarts – life really isn’t worth living without these delicious scones, muffins, oatmeal, and tea. We’re joining a gym next week.
Outdoor book market
Dublin Castle – the garden is free and so was the rare sunshine!
Christ Church Cathedral

For our first trip out of Poland, we hopped over to the Emerald Isle for a couple days. After I was questioned by customs, as per usual, regarding my dual passports and assortment of current and expired visas, we took the last plane out of Modlin and arrived late in sleepy Dublin, where we trudged to an apartment just outside the city center. Naturally, our AirBnB host turned out to be from, where else, but Warsaw.

The next morn, the first thing on our agenda (well, second to coffee) was a brisk tour of historic Trinity college. Dressed like a Jedi, our tour guide led us through the beautiful campus, pointing out the statue of a former sexist campus president and a ghetto dorm with woeful insulation and no running water. He really sold the college. But in all honesty, the tour was great and seeing the Book of Kells was just the whisky in the coffee. Over the weekend, it was so refreshing to be able to ask questions in English and to eavesdrop on people because we spoke the language. Well kinda. Irish is certainly a distant cousin of English ‘Merican.

We spent at least 4 hours in Dublin touring bookshops because we’re literate and European and cultured now, as evidenced by our variety of fancy vinegars and lack of a dryer in our apartment. And also because it’s quite hard in Warsaw to come by books in English that aren’t 50 Shades of Grey or books 5-7 of the Harry Potter series. Therefore, we bought 14 books in Dublin… in fact, the $40 round-trip tickets to buy said books were probably cheaper than shipping, so we’ll write it off as an economical decision. All of the bookshops we went to were great (if only because they sold more than just Polish books) but two in particular really stood out.

Hodges Figgis (not to be confused with Śmigus-Dyngus) was referenced in James Joyce’s novel Ulysses and, because we Poles are a predictable people, we purchased the book there. It’s a very well-stocked bookshop with a huge variety of genres and authors. The second shop we liked was The Gutter, named after a quote from Oscar Wilde’s Lady Windemere’s Fan. In fact, I’d argue that more thought and effort went into planning how best to pack to maximize the number of books we could bring back on Ryanair than actual planning for our weekend activities.

If ever you should find yourself in the Dublin airport, try to hunt down these circular cushioned vestibules to curl up in. It was also in the airport that we first saw Gaelic in real life. Such a silly, made-up language. I digress. Back home, while waiting to get through customs, we chatted with a family of traveling Americans. We are proud to report that their 3 children, whose combined age would enable them to vote back home, ain’t got nothing on us. For in Wrocław, they found but 49 Polish leprechauns (gnomes) to our 67. I’d say some of us found the pot of gold and some of us were losers.

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“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”

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