When we arrived at the hotel, the comfortable, well-placed Drury Court Hotel, our rooms were not quite ready yet - not surprising, given how early it was. So instead, we left our bags behind the counter, gathered cameras and city maps, and went out. Our first stop was the Queen of Tarts bakery cafe. Our concierge assured us that it was awesome, but that she doesn't go there often because, as she notes, she wouldn't fit through the door. Take a look at the scones picture in the album above and you'll completely agree. that place is dangerous in a wonderful, calorie-filled way. Luckily, this trip is designed to keep us moving - the whole city is walkable. After lunch/brunch, we went for a walk over to St. Patrick's Cathedral and took some pictures of the grounds and the exterior. It wasn't originally on my list, and I didn't want to do anything that our friend Jim might want to join us for - he got in late last night. We didn't go in, as jet lag was starting to kick in. Back at the hotel an hour of sleep, and then we headed across the river to the Jameson distillery for a tour and a complementary whiskey cocktail. Then back over the river to meet up with Jim, dinner at the Hairy Lemon pub across the street, and sweet, sweet sleep.
My first impressions of Dublin - a beautiful city, a mix of ancient and modern. Lots of tourists (we've heard a lot of French), and so far, the friendliest people overall. Our cab driver gave us pub recommendations, the concierge was very sweet, and everyone seems happy to answer questions or point you in the right direction. The city is remarkably compact, pretty clean, and I want to take pictures of everything in sight. I keep hearing about Ireland's reputation for bland food, but I have to say we haven't had a bad meal yet - all the classics are yummy, well-seasoned fare. And the tea is addictive.
Other things I noticed - it's a very political place. Irish sentiment about England, about their history, about politics in general is very much a part of general discussions - it's interesting what you overhear and the opinions that people offer up.
A crazy first day, but sleep will make it all better.