D Vautier

In late March 2009 Cynthia and I were able to visit Dublin.  It was our first visit to the Emerald Isle.  In our visit to Ireland (pronounced r-land) there were several things we immediately became aware of:

1. If you ask three Irishmen where to get somewhere you get three different directions but they are all correct.

2. Dublin has 1000 bars and 600 churches.  At least the priorities are correct.

3. Dublin produces 3 million quarts of Guinness.  they export 1 million and keep the rest for themselves.  Smart.

4.  The first floor on a building is the ground floor, the second floor is the first floor.  So if your room is 301, it's on the forth floor.  I think it's this way all over Europe.

5.  Cynthia got me a coat.  It had a left-handed zipper.  I looked and all the coats had left-handed zippers.  Maybe this has something to do with the cars--left-handed cars, left-handed zippers.  



In Ireland (r-land) they do not use the English "WAY OUT" or the American "EXIT".  Instead they have a picture of this little green guy running to the exit.




There are absolutely no roads, streets, quays, lanes, and courts in Dublin that have the same street name for more than a few blocks.  The famous O'connell street becomes Westmoreland south of the bridge.  Even O'Connell don't get no respect.



On the north end of Grafton Street is a lovely bronze statue of Molly Malone.  The Molly song is a national anthem of Ireland, or Dublin anyway.


I got a picture of Cynthia arm in arm with sweet Molly.


In Dublin's Fair City
Where the girls are so pretty
I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone
As she wheel'd her wheel barrow
Through streets broad and narrow
Crying cockles and mussels alive, alive o!




Our Trip

We went to Dublin from Seattle on Air France. We flew to Paris CDG (Charles de Gaulle) airport.  The place is absolutely huge and architecturally unique.  I still do not know how we made our connection to Dublin with 45 minutes holdover. We frantically ran around catching busses and asking directions.  But the flight from Paris to Dublin was pleasant and got us there on time, sort of, because they could not find a ramp to unload the passengers.  The Irish are part of the European Union and use Euros for currency and drive on the left side of the road too (weird).  Nonetheless the people are immensely friendly.  The bar keepers are more than gracious, and the women are generally shapely and attractive and very pleasant.

The Irish make excellent lattes too.  You don't get all the bells and whistles as here, but you can order a small or large latte.  They only come with double shots, whole milk, and are very Irishly good.

We spent our three days in the Temple Bar area of Dublin.  In fact out hostel was two doors down from the famous bar itself.  We then took the Irish Ferries across the Irish Sea to Holyhead in Wales.  They had a terminal about the size of a bedroom and it was very cold.  The layover at Holyhead was 4 1/2 hours from 11:45 PM to 4:15 AM.  The train tracks were being repaired so we got to travel by bus to the quiet town of Llandudno, which is near Llanfarfechen on the way to ffordd.  the Welch ff and dd are pronounced very weird.  A lady with us on the train was giving us some Welch lessons.

When we got to the train all was better.  I lost our tickets so I had to bluff my way to Crowe.  The train switched at Crewe to London, and we took a second train to London Euston station, and lost our Welch speaking friend along the way.  It then became another case of racing over to Victoria station to catch our connection that would eventually take us to our friend in West Sussex.  Still we managed to get off at the wrong station.  Eventually we caught the next train and corrected the problem.  When we arrived at Billingshurst, we headed directly to the nearest pub (their pubs in England, bars in Ireland).

Meanwhile our friend was searching around for two lost Americans. 

After arriving in Billingshurst, England we finally got to relax a bit, staying in Thakeham, near Storington, near Billingshurst, for almost a week in fact, some days taking the bus into the small town of Storington where they had numerous shops, pharmacies, and grocery stores, and besides they all spoke funny English.  On other days, we went to London to visit a few shops and museums. On another occasion we made it down to Brighton on the southern Atlantic cost and got to visit George IV's famous Pavilion.

Cynthia and I again traveled back to Wales, with all its unrecognizable and unpronounceable town names.  This time we only had 30 minutes to wait in that wonderful little cold station house at Holyhead for the ferry.  We got a different ferry and the Irish Sea was rather choppy.  They said it was "moderate" seas, but if that was moderate, I would hate to have rough seas.  I never got sea sick but the journey did seriously effect my balance, and I was swaying around.

Back in Dublin we got to see some more things we had missed the first time, did some more shopping and drank some more great Irish lattes.  When we flew out to Paris there was a 13 hour layover, so we found a nice place near the airport for the night and got to sleep for 5 hours or so.  Next morning we boarded and got back to Seattle with a whole pack of memories.


Ireland has two languages; Irish and English. All official and government signs carry both languages.  All store signs, menus, and posters are only in English.  Kids are taught Irish in the schools, but few use it.  all business is in English.  The Irish speak better English that the English do.

If you want to see more pictures of Dublin click here.

If you want to look at some stuff we did in England, click here.