17 September: A seven in the morning Jet Blue flight was practically empty and had more than average seat room. But it meant an eight-hour wait at JFK (saving us $200 per person), and the Aer Lingus (Comes from the Gaelic for Air Flight and sounds slightly vulgar.) flight was packed and the seat space was the smallest we have had yet.
18 September: With a tail wind that reached 162 mph, we arrived at 4:15, an hour early, but we were picked up and taken to The Ashling Hotel which, despite the very early check-in, gave us their only empty room. We napped for four hours. Alie’s sister, Michelle, insisted on taking the floor.
There are between six and a half and seven million people in Ireland. The number fluctuates with the arrival and departure of workers from Eastern Europe. With the economy down, the number is probably on the low side now. Nearly half live in the Dublin area.
Dublin is an old town but on a quite livable scale with the tallest building only 13 stories. Our hotel had 8 floors.
Continuing our family vacation tradition, the sky was overcast with occasional light rain. But our almanac had already told us nearly half the days in Ireland have rain, so we were prepared.
Still tired from our flight, after lunch we walked to the National Museum where we were fortunate to see a “curator’s selection” of representative pieces from all parts of the museum including a marvelous 12th century wooden statue of a saint, the one point when I really regretted that photographs were prohibited. We then looked at an exhibit of Irish silver before pausing for “afternoon tea,” not because of the tradition, but because we need a break.
Leaving the museum, we walked through the beautiful “Peoples Garden,” part of the huge Phoenix Park. The fall plantings were beautiful, and there were children and dogs playing creating an idyllic scene.
After walking through an old train station, we took Alie’s chair back to the hotel and found a pub, the Nancy Hands, for dinner. A traditional Irish pub with wood panelling and big old bars was not hard to find — there were five within a half
block of the hotel!