Aug 3 Dublin
Today is going to be a nice day with only a few puffy clouds surrounded by blue skies. This was a pleasant change to the overcast and gray clouds we have experienced earlier in the week. We will be in Dublin overnight with a scheduled departure at 6 pm tomorrow evening.
We moored at Ocean Pier 33, about 2 miles from downtown. Although it was possible to walk into the city, most people took the free shuttle bus or a taxi that cost about 14-15 Euros. Each additional person added 1 euro to the taxi fare. One person would be about 13 euros, 2 people 14 euros and so on. Most taxis took credit cards, but not all, so ask first if that is important.
The shuttle busses were the double decker variety and ran about every 20 minutes. It took about 20 minutes to get to the dropoff spot in Merrion Square at the corner of Clare Street and Merrion Square West. As soon we got off the shuttle bus, we were greeted by salespeople for the various HOHO and other tourist offerings in the city that also picked up and dropped off nearby.
One tip about ship shuttle busses is to locate a hotel or other landmark near the drop off point that taxi drivers will recognize. That way if you want to return to the shuttle bus spot by taxi later you can ask them to take you to the O’Callaghan Davenport Hotel (In the case of Dublin) instead of hoping they know the shuttle bus spot or the exact corner of the rather large Merrion Square.
Our destination was a local yarn shop called The Constant Knitter, which was 1.2 miles away. Since it was a nice day, we decided to walk enjoying a leisurely stroll thru Dublin. Anymore it seems, large cities anywhere in the west are becoming more and more similar, as international brands are everywhere and local shops seem to be fewer and far between. Along the way we passed by the Dublin Library, the Exhibit for the Book of Kells and the Gaiety Theatre where we would see Riverdance later in the evening.
Our knitting group arranged for Kieran Foley, an accomplished local knitting pattern designer, to meet us at the yarn shop where he would be available to meet with members of our group. He brought many knitted samples of his patterns and shared his insight into his designs. Kieran’s designs are beautiful and we enjoyed the opportunity to meet with him face to face.
After our visit we stopped by a local Coffee Shop called “Two Pups Coffee” at the corner of Dean and Francis Street – Starbucks is everywhere but thankfully not EVERYWHERE – and enjoyed a leisurely cup of coffee along with some delicious pastries.
We purchased tickets to “Riverdance” at the Gaiety Theatre a couple of months before the cruise. Tickets were still available today and a few folks from our group got tickets. We arranged to meet them for dinner at the FK Buckley Steakhouse on Crow Street. The steakhouse is similar to a Ruth’s Chris in the USA as far as pricing went, but since we were so early we ordered the Early Bird Specials for 25 Euros. I had the Sirloin steak which was very good. Others in our group ordered the Beef Medallions which were inconsistent in their preparation – “medium” was more like “well” and others more like “rare” when they should have been “medium.” Service was prompt and we all had a good time chatting and getting to know each other a little better.
We all walked to the Gaiety Theatre, about a quarter mile away. Arriving about 45 minutes before show time, we popped into a nearby pub for a round of draft beers while waiting for the theater to open.
We have seen Riverdance once before when the National Tour came to San Diego a few years back, the show was performed on the huge stage at the San Diego Civic Center. The Gaiety is much smaller with everything closer and more intimate. I don’t think the show has changed since it was first introduced by Michael Flatley years ago. It remains a high energy, fast paced performance that is a lot of fun. During the first few dances, the performers have very serious looks on their faces, but as the show goes on the performers start to smile more and interact with each other as they dance. The final number is a reprise of the opening number is many ways, but the performers interaction with each other and the audience creates a wonderful and exciting end to a tremendous show. Highly recommended.
With the last shuttle bus to the ship leaving at 8pm, we knew we would need to find a taxi to get back to the ship. We walked to the street expecting to find a mass of people looking for cabs, but much to our pleasant surprise, there was no line at the taxi stand and we quickly found a cab to take us back to the ship.
Aug 4th Dublin – Continued……
It was nice to sleep in a bit the next morning before heading out to do a little yarn shopping. Around 1 pm we left the ship to find that there were only 2 shuttle busses running, instead of 3, so the time between busses could be up to 30 minutes instead of 20 minutes. Since there wasn’t a shuttle bus in sight, we decided to grab a waiting taxi and head back to downtown Dublin. The yarn shop “This is Knit”, located in the Powerscourt Townhouse Centre, a multi story shopping center, was our destination.
The shop is owned by Jacqui and Lisa, a mother daughter team and featured a nice selection of local Irish companies and independent dyers and designers. Judy enjoyed chatting with the owners and she picked up two hanks of Trinity 2-Ply merino/silk blend lace weight yarn by Townhouse Yarn. It’s a brand exclusive to This Is Knit, hand dyed by ‘Jenny’.
The adjacent street has been turned into a pedestrian mall, complete with street performers. There were a couple of musicians along with some people who dress in costume and then stand on a box inviting photographs and donations. We walked to the shuttle pick up spot and discovered that the line wrapped around the block – probably 3 busses worth of people. This was at 3:20 PM with an all aboard of 5:30, the last shuttle scheduled for 5 PM. There was a taxi stand nearby and we decided to take a cab rather than wait in line to get back to the ship.
Paul Adams, comedian, was on the main stage tonight. He has a quick wit and loves to engage the audience. Twenty minutes into the show the general alarm sounded followed by an announcement of a fire in the crew galley and that all crew members should go to their emergency stations. Paul Adams walked off the stage and the passengers were advised to take no action and continue about their business. Five minutes later the Captain announced that the fire was under control and 4 minutes after that the Captain announced that the fire was out. The Captain’s final announcement was 13 minutes after the first alarm when he informed us that the cause of the fire was an electrical malfunction in the deep fat fryer. Nothing was said about any injuries or lack of injuries to any crewmembers. Five minutes later, Paul Adams returned to the stage and resume his routine, finishing around 9 PM. We have seen Paul many times before on other ships and he always puts on a good show.This entry was posted in Uncategorized