Thursday, August 2, 2012

Dublin and That F&#$%#$ Molly Malone

... and for your information, F&#$%#$ translates into fishing. What else did you think it meant?

Although, I must say that if I heard one more thing about f&#$%#$ Molly Malone, I was about to throw a frozen stick of butter at whoever said it. For those of you who don't know who Molly Malone is, join the club. I'll address that later.

Laurie and I arrived in Dublin far too early and without much coffee in our systems. But the fun doesn't wait for you to drink a latte. As soon as we boarded the bus to the hotel, the monuments started coming. First on our list? The Ryan Air global headquarters. If you know anything about me, it's that I love Ryan Air. I love Ryan Air so so so so so much. I love how they try to convince me to buy smokeless cigarettes while I'm trying to nap. I love how they pretend like the in-flight soda services is free but it's totally not. I love how the pilots can't seem to land a plane for the life of them, even though they are the flipping pilot! One thing I do genuinely like about Ryan Air, however, is the fact that they sell lottery scratchcards to benefit children in need. Think of the children!

Okay, RyanAir aside... we got to our hotel (The Anchor House B&B... our room was colossal) about five hours too early for check-in, so we naturally decided to go check out Dublin. Cut to a bus tour of the city, which we had to do again the next day because Laurie and I couldn't stay awake for the first go. That, folks, marks the first mention of Molly Malone, who happens to exist only in an Irish folk song:

In Dublin's fair city,
Where the girls are so pretty
I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone,
As she wheeled her wheel-barrow
Through streets broad and narrow,
Crying "Cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh!"

Molly Malone herself... if you ask me, she should be selling melons, not seafood.

Picture courtesy of LittleShamrocks.
The Molly Malone statue is one of the most famous landmarks in Dublin, and the official meeting point for all day tour bus trips. This chick is seriously packing. She needs to put down her wheel barrow and strap those babies back! No wonder she had a song written about her. By the end of our four-day stay in Dublin, I'd had quite enough of old Molly girl, although I highly appreciate how the Dubliners affectionately refer to her as "the tart with the cart." I hope to be thought of so fondly someday (but, let's face it, I don't have Molly's ample assets, and therefore would probably not be folk song worthy).

Other great landmarks in Dublin include the Millennium Spire on O'Connell Street, which is this huge spike thing that's something like 400 feet tall and looks like something Vlad the Impaler would lust after. Then there's a  bunch of statues dedicated to a bunch of people in the Easter Uprising, which all the tour guides mentioned but never really explained. I should probably catch up on my Irish history.

The food in Dublin is also quite good... I tried cabbage and bacon, fish and chips, some kind of stew, several Irish breakfasts. The Irish breakfast is seriously good: toast, fried eggs, bacon, sausage, black pudding, white pudding, and baked beans. It's almost as good as a Scottish breakfast, which is virtually the same thing but a bit smaller and more manageable to fit into one's stomach. So yummy. And while I'm sure the beer was equally as fantastic as the beer in London, I spent most of my time in Ireland drinking ginger ale after catching  a bit of a bug somewhere between the two countries.

On the third day, we went on a day trip into the west to the Cliffs of Moher, which are these beautiful cliffs in County Clare that have been named a UNESCO heritage site. There is cliff after cliff after cliff, all plunging into the Atlantic Ocean. On the day we were there, it was cloudy and misty (I have never seen such low clouds), which only upped the majestic character of the cliffs. There was even a crumbling, stone lighthouse. I felt like I was standing in the beginning paragraph of a gothic novel:

The clouds were low that day, ever so low. Along the ragged coastline, the rock edge plunged into the sea, which growled against the nipping wind. Freezing rain battered my skin and coat as I made my way toward the only light source in the night, the stone lighthouse perched so precariously on the cliff's edge. Somewhere in the distance, a thin vein of light illuminated the sky, followed by a violent crack that reverberated in the very ground beneath my feet. My breath caught in my throat, the freezing air paralyzed my lungs, only to force puffs of slivery-blue clouds as the cold seeped into my very bones. It was the sort of place that would never leave me, that would always bring about a cold ache in my bones when i thought of it. I didn't know it then, or maybe I did. Who knows. Who knows anything anymore?

Better yet, I later learned (even though i had a sneaking suspicion during the tour) that the cliffs were where a bit of the Princess Bride was filmed (No more rhymes now, I mean it! Anybody want a peanut?)

We spent our fourth and final day lounging about Dublin, taking a few jaunts, starting with St. Patrick's Cathedral and finishing with the Jameson's Distillery (a natural progression, considering the "organ fund" at St. Patrick's was housed in a beer keg).

The inside of St. Patrick's

This actually isn't St. Patrick's... it's Christ's Church, but it looks pretty damn cool regardless.

And so our last night in Dublin came to a close, but not without seeing Rock of Ages for the second time. Yes, I know. If you are anything like my mother, who I love very dearly, you will be saying, "Well, if you love Ireland so much, why in the world did you see the same movie twice in four days?!"

To which I shall reply, traveling is tiring. It's hard. It's exhausting.

But it is so, so totally worth it.

Most of the time, I take in the sights--I run around town at a furious pace, trying to get my little eyes on everything I can find.

But sometimes--sometimes you just need to take in a movie.

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