Blog2010 ≫ Our trip to Dublin (part two)

We started the day at the Hugh Lane gallery1, really handy for our hotel and they have The Eve Of St Agness, an excellent and famous Harry Clarke window. We've been before but good to check in again. They also have an exhibition based on the studio of Francis Bacon. Every single thing he left there has been catalogued, mostly a lot of ripped up books and things. It's recreated (unless I have got it wrong and they discovered this studio within the gallery itself) and set out in such a way you can step into it and see closeup angles of things you're actually being kept well back from..

Lunch at Botticelli2 (3 Temple Bar), went for the Early Bird menu again (lots of places do this and call it the same thing) and it was tasty. Forty euros though which is a bit much for a light lunch.

Shopped for presents for the boy in the afternoon and had coffee in Bewleys'3. We had both been independently years ago but thought it had closed down for some reason. It's not, it's still there and they still have a "Harry Clarke room" and some stained glass4. Not that you would recognise them as his work, quite different to the normal sort of thing.

Collapsed into our first pub after shopping, Shebeen Chic5, also on South St Georges Street, proper scruffy shanty town style of bar, but comfy chairs. We were there early, it was very quiet.

Really really bad curry for dinner that night. I can hear you scoffing already, why go to Dublin and have a curry? Am I meant to only eat curry if I go to India or something? I like curry I don't have it very often, it just fits a night out like this. Plus "traditional irish" doesn't have a lot of crossover with vegan. Not really sure what trad irish food is, I'm guessing steaks and chops and stew. The only time I would ever go to an Irish restaurant is if the only other choice was a German restaurant. International cosmpololitan city, Dublin you must be able to do better than South Asia Indian Tandoori Restaurant (proprietor Banaras Khan6), 3 Temple Lane, Temple Bar. We knew it would not be great, but we'd already passed three other Indian restaurants as they were empty, thinking this one with people in will hopefully be the best. It looked like a grimy cafe, but that's OK. They served other people before us, brought our mains having forgotten our popadoms and drinks, and the food when it did arrive was grim. Looked like tinned vegetables in gravy, each dish looking and tasting much the same. It was truly disgusting. I don't think it's wise to try and not pay in a foreign town, but I did tell them the food was not good during the meal, and did not tip at the end. That's still FIFTY EUROS (nearly fifty pounds to us) that I could have spent elsewhere. I feel a bit sorry for the waiter, he seemed to be quite shamefaced when he realised we knew the place was awful. Don't go to this place, though you probably would not anyway if you can take advantage of the other cuisines the town has to offer.

I should be able to write more about the bits I enjoyed rather than the bits I did not shouldn't I? What's wrong with me?

We went to Quays bar, which had a bit of rapey air, just a few bad elements I think. We looked in some other pubs, some recommended by the guidebook but I think the guidebook we bought was having us on, or perhaps sponsored by some below par looking boozers. So back to the Porterhouse again for more music. A band this time, less jazz guitar but a lot more fiddly diddle whistle playing. Well Irish.

Walked back through the city looking for chips and failing, nothing really meeting my peculiar drunken spec. Could only find convenience stores doing microwaved ready meal type things. I think, bit hazy by this time of night.

Another night in the hotel, no breakfast, taxi to the airport and a Starbucks. Then home. Before booking I had hoped the meet and greet parking job would involve a man waiting for us at arrivals with a sign, but no. We phoned when we'd cleared immigration and they'd set out to meet us. Immigration was a weird one, we queued at the normal passport desks, but because we'd arrived from the Republic of Ireland they would not see our passports, not allowed to ask for them or something, we had to go to another gate where we could pass through with only our boarding cards. Now who keeps their boarding cards safe after they've got off the plane? Not me, we had a bit of a panic that we would be sent back to Dublin again, despite having passports because of some WEIRD rule. Found our boarding passes in the end, they were only things printed off the internet anyway, way lax security. If you are an illegal alien and want to come to England, probably getting to Ireland first is not that easy.

Is that how I'm going to end my writeup of the Dublin? Looks like it.

I just found five euros in my pocket, while fishing through receipts and things that I'm using to remind me where we went. Anyone watching (I was at work - ON LUNCH - when I wrote this bit) probably thinks I'm fiddling my expenses.

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Paul Clarke's weblog - I live in A small town. Married to Clare + father to two, I am a full-stack web engineer, + I do mostly js / nodejs, some ruby, python, php ect ect. I like pubbing, running, eating, home-automation + other diy jiggery-pokery, history, tree stuff, TV, squirrels, pirates, lego, + TIME TRAVEL.