As I mentioned, I had attended a conference called Britain – Ireland Marketplace in London last week and it was simply a one-day event for me, but I am not flying to Europe only for one day. However, the meetings I had were for the most part very useful and have started doing some business with some of the people with whom I met. I even had told one of my clients that we would hold off on their plans, specifically to Scotland, as I had some potential meetings that would directly relate to their travels and this turned out to the case, or I believe they will. This is the point of my attending such events, as I am moving closer and closer to working more and more with the locals, as they can provide more unique experiences.
Don’t get me wrong; there is a time and place for the bigger companies, but my clients want to explore beyond the surface, and I believe most people want, so having the smaller, local experiences, those that are not the usual suspects is important to my business to reflect my client’s desires. Some of the meetings I believe will be fruitful in that regard, some were re-connecting opportunities and some, well, we will simply have to see. In the end, my attendance was worth it, but the business end of this trip was not all that has happened. As I mentioned, I have come to Dublin and for the record, today and tomorrow, before I fly back to London, just to overnight to fly back to the states in advance of Rosa’s arrival, I still have time here, so more to share as this week progresses, in next week’s musings.
That evening, I was afforded the Ghostbus tour took place, which was Upper O’Connell Street, only about a 15-minute walk away, and made it with plenty of time. I would recommend it overall. The gentleman that was the storyteller was entertaining and we made several stops along the way. This was good as we say at the top of the double-decker bus, and it was full, I believe 40 people. The bad side is that there really was not much air circulating and the blinds were closed, so it was a bit stuffy. In the end, an interesting history of Dublin was presented and yes, I would recommend it. There was a nice family from the north on board, as well, and for the record, they also offer a kid’s version, so if you want to do it as a family and you have kids that might be a bit skittish about laying down in a coffin, perhaps that is the option for you. After the tour, I made my way back to the hotel for the night, also not having really gotten over jetlag.
A couple of days ago, I had a very full day, which included something I really had been looking forward to and it, was literally right next door to my hotel. It is called the EPIC Museum and its focus is on, what else, but Irish history, but really the Irish Diaspora and what, where, when, who and of course, why of the Irish experience. It is laid out in such a way to give the person exploring, a opportunity to understand why the Irish moved on from Ireland and how and where they moved too, as well as the contributions made by the Irish. It is touted as the number one museum visited several years in a row, and yes, it is absolutely worth the visit which self-guided takes about 90 minutes depending on your pace. Normally for me, I go through a museum and say I have done it, but this one, I was drawn in and spent more time than I thought, but history is fascinating for me, and so this was to be experienced, and so I did.
The other place that I explored was the Jeanie Johnston, in this case a working replica of a ship that brought people to Canada and America and returned with lumber from Canada back to Ireland. Its location on the river Liffey was literally across from my hotel. The bus stop where I had been dropped off, the day before. Full disclosure that my colleagues afforded me these visits and the cost to get in, but I would have paid, as both were worthwhile. The guide was animated and told a very good story and as you know, the guide can make or break a tour, and in none of the cases the past few days had I been disappointed. The experiences, both guided and self-guided, were excellent and highly recommended.
After a short break and re-charge back at the hotel; remember both of these experiences were literally out my hotel door, I decided to take a stroll to the area called Temple Bar, which is quite well known for it music scene and honestly, it had become even more popular and touristy. Yes, I had been to Dublin before, in fact, the first time was back in 2001, but that is a story for another time. I am a rocker, so I had to check out the Irish Rock and Roll Museum and it was a fun experience. Lots of memorabilia and lots of history shared by the guide and yes, I paid for this experience. If you have a love of rock music, are a U2 fan or a fan of Thin Lizzy, and others, this hour-long tour is worth it. I enjoy both bands, and simply the music connections across the board, so for me, making this stop was worth it. Afterwards, well, you know me, if there is a Hard Rock to be had, I will be there. Yes, I had been to this one before, some years before the pandemic, but is was fun to return, ate good food and had the iPad, to pick songs for the evening. In the end, the stroll back to the hotel and was ready for yesterday.
I believe I mentioned I had been afforded a Hop On Hop Off pass, and it was and is good for 48 hours, so knowing I had two full days left, it was time to make use of it. I also was afforded a ticket to one of the Whiskey Distilleries and also Guinness, why not. Both are on the route of the DoDublin Hop On Hop Off, so yes, I did just that. I also stopped at the Little Museum of Dublin, which is definitely worth popping into and in between stops on the bus and the rain that fell yesterday, I had a Brazen Red and Fish n Chips and the Brazen Head, Ireland’s oldest pub, yes a bit touristy, but strategically located between the distillery and Guinness and even with using the Hop On Hop Off, I still managed to walk about 5 miles yesterday, so it was a good day, and a tiring day. In the end, I am glad I did both. The tour at Teeling was good and the tour was self-guided. I believe I had been there years earlier and it was actually guided. In the end, up to the Gravity Bar for a, what else, a Guinness and on a clear day, a nice view of the city, but as I mentioned, it had been raining all day.
As I finish this post for today, and it has been a long one, I have several places on the agenda including the second day using the Hop On Hop Off. No rain, but freezing temps which are unusual for Ireland, but I am fine with that. Heck, I lived in Minnesota for 35 years. I will survive, but my goal is to get inside Christ Church and St. Patricks, but also spend some time at the National Gallery where there is a Caravaggio for Rosa. Also, as I was walking back to my hotel last night, I popped into one of the hotels as they offered a dinner show and it looked interesting, so tonight, after all of my running around, I will be enjoying an evening of Irish Stew, song and dance. We will see. Tomorrow, I leave Dublin, but not before making my way to the GPO Museum (General Post Office) which is where the 1916 uprising took place and excited to share that experience with you next week.
As always, I hope you have enjoyed my offerings each week and appreciate that you have read my blog posts and look forward to continuing with sharing. Still looking for suggestions for a new name for the blog title. So, I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas for a new name and more than happy to entertain them or in the end, it will stay the same; we shall see. As always, thank you so much for your support of Rosa’s and my little world as we get closer to merging our worlds together. Rosa and I truly appreciate it. Stay safe, healthy, and most importantly happy, and as always, your shared comments and thoughts are most welcome!!!
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Weathering the Storm with the Wandering Puffin