Saturday, March 25, 2006

Quite hot

LampWe were up again at 8 a.m., but I lied in bed for a while because it was pissing down rain. At breakfast, a very large American woman insisted upon saying "Top o' the mornin'" to everyone who walked in.

Even with my dawdling, I was at the Museum of Archaeology and History some 15 minutes early. I wrapped up in the new coat my parents gave me for my birthday and fell asleep amid the sound of the rain.

The museum was not suggested by my guide book and turned out to be one of the highlights of my trip. I was particularly amused by the size of the weaponry used by early Celts around the time the Vikings invaded. The swords are no longer than my forearm, which suggests that they were used by rather tiny blokes. And, indeed, they were -- their skeletons fit into boxes that wouldn't hold most modern overhead luggage.

Then, on the next floor, there is a Viking skeleton, which is of a fellow who was as tall or taller than me. You can see, then, why the Vikings were so successful in Ireland. They conquered thanks to an abundance of reach. They probably never got within striking distance of the wee Irish blokes and their miniature swords. In a very gruesome way, a fight between a Viking and a 8th century Celt must have been rather funny to watch.

DaffodilsAfter staring at everything in the archeology museum, I went over to the Museum of Natural History. This was suggested by my guide book, which means, of course, that it was a disappointment. It was interesting only in the sense that it gave you an idea of what was interesting to Victorians -- case after case after case of dead taxidermied animals. To its credit, though, the animals didn't look threatening. As a boy, I used to be dragged to these sorts of "Let's look at dead animals" exhibits all the time and it seemed the taxidermist had gone out of his way to make every single animal look as if it was in mid-attack: menacing ducks, evil mongoose, flying death snakes, etc.

I stayed at the natural history museum only long enough for the rain to let up, found an Internet cafe, e-mailed Linus to set up the next evening, did a quick blog post and went to lunch. I ate lunch in O'Neill's, then set out to visit the General Post Office, which had been suggested by my guidebook. When I got there, I discovered... a post office. I learned later that it had been a major symbol of the Easter Rising of 1916, but my guidebook made no mention of this. It said only that it was a quality bit of architecture. It was at this point I decided my guide book was a waste of time.

I randomly chose a spot on the map and decided to make my way to the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity, also known as Christ Church. Admission was €5, but I managed to slip in for free, thanks to a group of very stupid French girls that were distracting the old fellow who was supposed to take my money. Has anyone else ever noticed that French people love to congregate in the most inconvenient places? They especially love standing in doorways. It's as if they have some sort of internal mechanism that drives them to do this.

I went back to the hotel at 4 p.m. for some tea and the child bride was there, eager to again take on the challenge of buying shoes. After hitting several stores, we both eventually bought shoes and then celebrated by eating at an Indian restaurant. Good Indian food cannot be found in Minnesota, so any trip to Ireland or the U.K. has to involve curry.

Statue An English couple sat next to us, and when the girl ordered chicken madras, the waiter said: "That's quite hot, OK?"
"What's 'quite hot?'" she asked.
"Well, hot. Quite hot."
"Hmm. Can you make it maybe not as quite hot?"
"It wouldn't be chicken madras then."
"OK. I'm fine with quite hot."

The time difference still wearing on us, the child bride and I went back to our hotel after dinner. We watched "Jeremiah Johnson" on RTE and went to bed.

More pictures of Dublin taken on March 24


Chris Cope said...

I only said that I could, for once, see why some people don't like the English. I still heart the English.

mo** said...

It's true, I find that people here tend to stop at the top of escalators, at the top of stairs, in doorways, it drives me nuts...