Tuesday, 28 March 2017

In Dublin's Fair City: Ireland Day 2

Ireland Trip 2014 Day Two

"You never know when you're going to meet eleven people on the street and have a tea party."

The view for breakfast!
The view for breakfast!
    Today I woke up to - you guessed it - a cloudy, drizzly sky. But as anyone who knows me will tell you, cold and rain are my preferred sort of weather, so I was pleased. I mean, to be honest, I would actually be disappointed if it wasn't rainy in Ireland. 

     To make the day even better, Lauren had the day off, and we spent the afternoon wandering around the paths of Phoenix Park. It's an unexpected 3 square miles of green in the west of the city, and there are all sorts of surprises hidden in those grounds!

Just one of the scenic routes of Phoenix Park.
Just one of the scenic routes of Phoenix Park.
A drizzly day at Phoenix Park with my umbrella.

     We walked past some lovely flower beds that looked especially bright on such a grey day, and as we went on we also came across a race, an enormous monument to the Duke of Wellington, a herd of deer, countless trees, and miles of paths.

It's an amazing park:
  • It's home to the Dublin Zoo
  • It's 351 years old
  • It's the largest in Europe
And, as Lauren and I could tell you, it is a very nice place for a walk, even in November. In warmer weather (I suppose even Dublin has dry pleasant weather sometimes) it would be the perfect place for a picnic!

Flowers even in November! A cheerful sight.

The striking Wellington Monument: an icon of Phoenix Park.
The striking Wellington Monument: an icon of Phoenix Park.
Looking at the top of the monmument.
Craning our necks to take in the monument from top to bottom. It's rather tall...

Lauren and I with Wellington! :)

     The Wellington Monument has a bronze relief on each side that is actually made from French cannons used at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815! They depict some of his famous battles.

Strolling along the paths of Phoenix Park.
One of the enchanting paths criss-crossing the park.
A herd of deer in Phoenix Park!
And there they were!

Enjoying our coffee and hot chocolate in the Phoenix Park Tea Rooms.

     I think we were just as surprised to see the herd of deer as they were to see us. They were magnificent! That was along a lovely trail near the American Ambassador's Residence, which we were not expecting to see right in the middle of a public park. But there it was!

     As we made our way out on the main road (Chesterfield Avenue) we stopped at the Phoenix Park Tea Rooms for some much needed warm liquid. It only really rained on our way out, so happily we didn't need to dry off while we drank our hot chocolate and coffee. But it rained again while we were walking to find a bus after lunch, and that is what finally soaked my poor shoes.

      (Note to potential travelers: make sure your shoes are actually waterproof before you go on your trip. Otherwise, you might have to wait three days for them to dry... like I did. That Dublin air is damp.)

"I would never say no something that contains the words Irish and breakfast..."
Chesterfield Avenue, the main drag through Phoenix Park

Sharing our delicious Irish breakfast sandwich at the Meeting House Square in Dublin.
     Before heading back to the apartment for a night of games, Lauren and I stopped by the Saturday market in Meeting House Square. This is where I tasted my first cronut – but more on that later. Then two of us decided to split an Irish breakfast roll! I would never say no something that contains the words Irish and breakfast, which are two of my favorite kinds of food.

     Then a bunch of friends from the University College Dublin intern program and from Lauren's church family came over and we played games for 6 hours, including the uproarious Fishbowl. 

     (For those of you who have never played this hilarious game, it consists of two teams playing three rounds: #1 is when each person on the team tries to get their teammates to guess as many words as possible that have been written out on little bits of paper put in a bowl, #2 is the same, except that they can only use one word, and #3 is the same again, except that you can't say anything and have to act it out.)

     We had a few rather hilarious conversations, and one of my favorite remarks of the night was from Eoin. It is too amusing not to share, so I'll quote it for you. He told us he thought it would be a good idea to carry eleven tea bags in his pocket because, "You never know when you're going to meet eleven people on the street and have a tea party." 😂 (Now, in my opinion, that's being prepared!)

     Once Lauren and I had the apartment pretty much to ourselves, we had dinner and began catching her up on Downton Abbey – she hadn't seen season 4 yet. It was quite a lovely way to end the day!

© Anna Morton 2017

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