BRAD     |     EMILLIE

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Free Dublin Tour


For her latest trip, Claire brought a friend along with her... and left for Galway almost immediately upon her arrival. (She and her friend were volunteering as support workers with the Galway Cycle, as they are both friends with this year's organizing team. Brad was interested in cycling... but he was taking a weekend course at the Ryan Academy.)

Never fear, she was back in time for her birthday! But that left her friend only one day with which to see Dublin... what to do? what... to... do...? (Enter stage left... the Free Dublin Tour!) And it comes highly recommended. It's a three hour tour... for which the tour guide is only paid in tips. And our tour guide (aside: apparently an NUIM alumni) worked hard to earn his tips. I think the mother company makes their money by subtly recommending hostels, pubs and eating establishments. It's not a thick sell in the least, but you do take a coffee break at a pub (thousands of coffee shops in Dublin... so I imagine the pub pays for the privilege), then finish at a different pub (with a 10% off discount for those on the tour!)

I learned... so much and everything was covered... from the pop-y (Courtney Love attend Trinity!) to the historical (the statue of Justice at Dublin castle was a statement from the British... Justice is not blind, she has her back to the people, and is holding up a sword. Naturally the British wouldn't have wanted the Irish to think that Justice was defending them!). I could go on... regardless it is now on my HIGHLY RECOMMENDED list for anyone traveling to any major European city.

Now to deal with some other pertinent items:

1. The results of the Irish banking stress tests are to be revealed tomorrow. They have the potential to change everything around here. Unfortunately the news today is predicting poor results. So the questions is... how many billions of euros are Irish going to give up to the banks and investors before they start to balk. Hopefully Enda Kenny knows the answer to THAT question... regardless tomorrow will be an interesting and potentially bleak day.

2. I had quite a bit of advice around Claire's cheesecake, and ended up using this recipe; which basically involved making a sweet souffle where cheese was the main component. It was really, really tasty. But it wasn't cheesecake. I guess I'll have to give it another shot next year!

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