|Our stay in Dublin was all about catching up with family and friends. Although we were tired and weary from over thirteen weeks on the road, we couldn't miss the opportunity of catching up with folks we hadn't seen for years.
First stop was my uncle's in Blackrock. We arrived late afternoon, as planned, got unpacked and settled in. Rather than cook, we wandered up the road to The Mill House for a quiet dinner. After that, it was early to bed for a good nights sleep. We were pretty tired after all the driving of the last few days.
The following afternoon, my sister Barbara had organised a family get-together at her place in Rathfarnham. We headed off after watching Cork see off Dublin in an All-Ireland Hurling semi-final. It was a good match and a good result. Everyone was in good spirits and it was a very relaxing afternoon/evening.
That evening we had to move (again). Mick was having his roof replaced so we upped stumps and moved out to the other sister in Dun Laoghaire (pronounced Dun Leary!!). The nieces were both in London so there was plenty of room for us, even if it did mean packing and unpacking one more time. Anyway, Dun Laoghaire is a great location and Anne's place is ideally located near the train line, shops and the pier for those after dinner strolls.
The next week was a collection of lunches and dinners with friends we hadn't seen for some time, seven years in most cases. It was great to catch up and see how we had all progressed over the intervening years. Kids had grown up, got jobs, left home and got married. Anyway, it was a lot of fun and great to catch up with everyone.
In between eating (and drinking!) we did a little sightseeing and shopping. We stopped in at Dublin Castle but all tours for the rest of the day were fully booked so we'll have to wait to our next visit to see inside! We wandered through Trinity College, strolled up O'Connell and Henry Streets and generally just acted like tourists.
On our last evening, we had arranged a family meal at a nice Indian restaurant in Glasthule near Anne's. Fergus & Helena came up from Wexford so we were all together which was great. The meal was pretty good too.
As our flight didn't leave until 9.00pm, we took a quick trip down to Glendalough ("the valley of the two lakes") on the last day. It is a very scenic spot and, for a change, the weather was kind to us as we strolled around the lakes and took in the old monastic settlement.
After a late lunch at a local restaurant we took a quick detour to Ballinaclash to inspect Anne's holiday cottage (nicknamed "the pod"). After a quick tour we headed back to Dublin. Fergus dropped us off at the airport around six and we started the long journey home. It was a bugger of a flight. Eight hours to Abu Dhabi, three hour layover, then fourteen hours to Sydney. It was going to be a 30+ hour journey (from the time we left Anne's) but hey, we were finally heading home.
Take care and keep on having fun.
Brian & Katherine