more beer and sightseeing in dublin & off to belfast

Our last day in Dublin before we headed out to parts north, west and south was a full one. While Bridget had her third day of busking on Grafton Street, I headed out for a leisurely day – first for a coffee and some down time in St Stephens Green, where the grass is green and the water is clear.

Then a stroll down the east side of St Stephens Green for a look at all the colorful door fronts and then off to the National Library to do a bit of research on the famine years in Ireland. An astounding building and much to look at, I barely got started on my research. I suspect I will be spending many hours here upon my return to Dublin in a few weeks.

From books to beer – Bridget and I headed over to the Guinness Storehouse on foot – a fair hike, by Dublin standards, but we arrived with just enough time to tour the six-floor “museum” and reach the top floor for a panoramic view of the city and a pint of Guinness (ah, so smooth) before it closed down for the evening.

We met up with Natasha from Brooklyn, who was enjoying her final evening in Ireland before heading back to the States. She’d been to Scotland and around Ireland on a three-week tour, and was most definitely sad to have to say goodbye. What better way to bid farewell than head over to Temple Bar and a stop at the Porter House for a pint and supper. They have a huge selection of beers from around the world, but sadly, between the three of us, we could only make a small dent. Ah well, there are always other days and other pints. I loved the mural across from the bathrooms – not a great shot, but I just have to include it here.

One final shot: next door to our hostel is the Mad Art Museum, which was hosting a gallery opening of Polaroid photos on our first night in town. I loved the bicycle outside – it put a smile on my face every time I passed by.

Leaving Dublin on Tuesday morning, we headed up to the airport and rented a car and were on the road shortly after lunchtime. Our planned route took us meandering around the countryside and ocean’s edge on Ireland and Northern Ireland’s eastern coast – through towns with names like Duleek, Drogheda, Dundalk, Warrenpoint, Roscrevor, Castlewellan and Kilcoo, before heading on into East Belfast, where we are the welcome guests of Van fan and fellow couchsurfer, Maurice Kinkead. We’ll be here for a few days, enough time to explore the city a bit and do a bit of busking. Photos and descriptions to follow next time.

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