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Dublin, Aug., 2007 © R. Craig Collins, 2000/2007

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Day 0, Wednesday, August 8, 2007
We got up early, and rolled out at 7:00, making our traditional stop at Shipley's Donuts. We were on the road by 7:30, only encountering minor traffic after turning off I-35 in Ft. Worth. We arrived at Air Park Express about 9:30, and were at Terminal E by 10:00

I tried checking in at the kiosk for Delta 6496 and Delta 112, but the system could not find the flight, so we got in line. We then heard that New York had a terrible storm that morning, and JKF was closed... the system had detected this and changed us to Delta flight 1108 to Atlanta, and then Delta Flight 158 to Dublin... leaving about 1:15 on a 737 and arriving in Dublin about 2 hours later than originally planned... much better than the alternative. The only problem was they could not assign seats, and we would have to fight for them at the gate. We wound up with seats 30E, 30F and 22 E, 22 F on the flight to Atlanta, and had an extra hour to kill, almost 3 in total. Part of that time was used in the comical adventure of me trying to call the cab company in Dublin to inform them about the change... Terminal E has very few phones, and they were not near gate 15, where we were. Things got worse by not knowing which digits were required on this side of the pond when calling, and the system not taking the credit card I had in my pocket (not authorized for Ireland... Susann had the other end of the terminal, I finally had to buy a calling card, and use that. The rest of the time was for eating Taco Bell and Manchurian Wok airport food.

When boarding, we dropped the kids off about 10 rows in front of where we were sitting, then settled in to our seats. In Atlanta, there was a bank of phones right by our seats, now that I didn't need them... so I stood at the Delta counter so I could be first to get seat assignments for flight 158 to Dublin, and finally we wound up with , seats 29C, 29D, 29E, and 32F. We had the middle section of the plane, and Gracie sat on the aisle about three rows behind us. The 767 did not have seat back entertainment systems, so we were stuck with Fracture which we didn't watch, and the Flying Scotsman, about cycling, which wasn't bad once you got past the brogue (burr, actually.) I won't even get into the chicken pesto meal for dinner, but the breakfast wasn't bad.

Day 1, Thursday, August 9, 9:20

We landed in Dublin, cleared customs, and were met by our driver Colin. A pleasant chap who reminded me of Mr. Clean with an Irish lilt. We got to the Charleville Lodge about 10:00, and hoisted our bags up the outside steps to the lobby on the 1st floor (in Europe, that is the floor above the ground floor) and the clerk, a nice enough woman cracked "God, your early..." But we knew the family room had not been booked the night before, and she checked on it, and gave us the key to room 15. So now we hauled the bags down a flight of stairs, through two doors, past room 11, finally to room 15. Thought the door knob was antique and quite useless, the old fashioned key worked fine and we got into the room.

Immediately upon entering we saw a desk, with a double bed just past against the left back wall. Then was a window, then the two twins on the right wall. Next to the door on the right was a closet, and the WC, with a shower. (See Photos, numbers 001-005) We unpacked, dropped off our key, pulled out the bus pass we had bought on line, and strolled across the street to the No. 10 bus stop. All the buildings were the same Victorian townhouse layout as the Charleville Lodge, the only difference was the state of the yards, and the color of the doors, but it was a nice, quiet neighborhood. The bus was along soon enough, and we rode down to O'Connell street; there were stops by Parnell Square, and by the Millennium Spire; we then searched for the Dublin Bus office. A nice lady in a shop pointed us down the block to the other side, and we exchanged our voucher for the Hop On-Hop Off tickets for the day. The tour queue was back down where we had been wandering, and we boarded the double decker bus. This bus was different that most double deckers... the top on the back half of the bus is not there, so you can ride in the open on nice days... Colin had told us this was the first day it hadn't rained for almost 60 days. But it was still cool, the range on the whole trip was 55° at night and 65° to 68° during the day, so we rode under cover on the upper deck having throwing caution to the wind, and having left our jackets at the hotel.

We rode down O'Connell, passing the General Post Office, site of the 1916 Easter uprising, crossed the River Liffey, and drove past Trinity College. We passed Oscar Wilde's statue, and swung around the National Museums, St. Stephen's Green, and Grafton street (think Rodeo Drive). We then went down Dame Street in Temple Bar (think 6th Street in Austin, the place to wander at night), and jumped off at Dublin Castle. (See Photos, starting with numbers 101-116)

There was a sand sculpture exhibit of all things in the upper yard, and we wandered past the Tower to the lower yard, and around to the park. There, we saw part of the medieval wall, and then went into the Chester Beatty Library, which houses Asian artifacts. There were many old books from all the major religions, and excellent descriptions of the differences.

We then stopped by the gift shop, and had lunch in the Castle café. Vegetable soup with black bread, ham and cheese toastie, and the girls European favorite, orange Fanta.

We then walked down to Christ Church, the oldest building in the city. We walked down the green space on the river side first, then around to the entrance on the other side. It was very similar to Canterbury. One surprise was the mummified cat that was chasing a now mummified rat, which was found during excavations. We went down to the crypt where they had a wonderful exhibit on their 'Treasures'. From there, we went across the street to the now decommissioned St. Michael's church, which houses Dvblina... a kid friendly look at medieval Dublin, and Viking influences. The girls did brass rubbings, among other things. We then took the bridge across the street back to Christ Church, and walked down to the next Hop On bus stop. From there we went past St. Patrick's, the Guinness storehouse, and Kilmainham Gaol. We though about jumping off there, but it was now 3:30, and the last bus would be by at 5:00, and that just wasn't enough time. So on to Phoenix Park and the zoo, then by Collins barracks, Jamison's smokestack tower, and back to O'Connell. (See Photos, starting with numbers 117-126)The stop was right by the Dublin Bus office, so we dropped in and exchanged the voucher for the trip to Malahide for the next day.

We were pooped, having been up since Wednesday morning, so we decided to run back to the hotel and chill for a bit. We noticed a TV was brought in... interesting that they don't keep it in there. We saw a shop near as we approached the Charleville Lodge, so we walked back towards Phibsborough and bought some cookies at the Perestroika Market... which carried a lot of east European and Russian products, and walked back to the hotel to freshen up.

After charging the batteries for a bit, it was back to the bus stop, and a ride to the spire on O'Connell. There are two famous brands of Fish 'n Chips in Dublin, Beschoff's and Burdock's. The Burdock's we knew about was a take away place, so we opted of the Beschoff's just down the street. (We would later come across two other Burdock's that had seating, but we'll have to save that for the next trip :) The mistake we made was ordering the Beschoff's special that day, smoked cod. The smoky flavor was not what we were used to, but the place was neat, with an upstairs dining room over O'Connell. We wandered down to Temple Bar, and then Grafton Street (open late on Thursdays), and finally across the Ha' Penny Bridge and back up to the bus 10 stop. We got back to the hotel about 8:00, and had our cookies, and crashed after a very long, but great day.

Day 2, Friday, August 10

We got up early enough to be down in the dining room, well go upstairs to the lobby, then down a back stair case to the dining room, when they opened at 7:45. The Charleville Lodge is more B & B than hotel, so breakfast was included, and we could have either a continental or full Irish breakfast, we we all tried. Coffee or tea, juice, eggs, canadian style bacon, sausages, toast, and pudding... both black and white varieties. Black pudding is similar to sausage except like haggis, has oatmeal in it. I'll let you read about the other less than appetizing ingredients, but we tried both kinds. Tiny bites were sufficient.

We caught the 9:10 bus down to Trinity College, and found that while the Book of Kells exhibition in the Old Library was open at 9:30, the Walking tours didn't start until 10:00, so we walked two blocks to the the decommissioned church of St. Andrew's, that was now the Dublin Visitor Center, and we checked out where we would be departing for our Saturday trip to Newgrange. We then headed back to Trinity, and had a great tour. (See Photos, starting with numbers 201-205) We heard about Queen Elizabeth I starting the College, and the wonderful Georgian and Neoclassical buildings in Parliament Square; we heard of the old open dining hall, and as we went under the Campanile into Library Square we saw the Rubrics, the oldest surviving part of the school. While in New Square we heard of Lecturer Ford. Evidently after a lecture, some unhappy students came to his quarters and started yelling. Ford, quite put out, pulled out a gun and shot at them. They of course returned to their quarters, and came back and shot at him. Ford died, but the courts let the students who shot him get away with it. New Square was fairly boring in design, resulting in the architect being fired, and a new Venetian style building being added in the 1850s to atone for the mistake. This was next to the 1969 new Library, which was refereed to as being of the 'brutalistic' style. Instead of firing this architect, he was retained and also did the other new buildings in the 1970s, in the 'Hanging Gardens of Babylon' style. Then we learned about the Old Library, which originally had no enclosed ground floor, just open colonnade to prevent moisture from getting to the books. After they figured out how to keep it dry, they enclosed it, and that is where the Book of Kells is displayed.

The Book of Kells and the slightly older but much smaller book of Durrow, are an illuminated texts of the four gospels of the Bible, done by Irish monks in 700-800 AD. There we also great displays about the illuminated books and even insights to the life of a monk, by reading a poem about a monk and his cat, as they both searched for enlightenment. After seeing four pages (the pages are turned each day, so people could see different sections if they return), we went up to the Long Hall, a Harry Potter version of a library... complete with huge books, sliding ladders, and dark wood and spiral staircases. The Harp that is the national symbol was there, too, as was a display on Irish involvement during WWI. We walked to the Post Office so Gracie could mail some post cards, and Susann and Diane did a little shopping at the Visitors Center across the street.

From the Post Office we walked toward the River, crossed at the Ha' Penny bridge, and walked up to the Epicurean Food Court. We saw a Burdock's there, some Indian, Mediterranean, mexican, but we finally settled on Pizza; the girls had Fanta again, and Susann had a Latte. Had to scramble for change for the pay WC... the only time we found ourselves in that position.

We had a little time to kill, so we stopped in Debinham's department store on Henry street. They were having a sale, so Gracie got two skirts that were in dress code for school, and we headed over to Dublin Bus, and boarded the bus to Malahide. (See Photos, starting with numbers 208-219) A real humorist named Damien was our driver. We passed Casino Morino, and St. Doulagh's in Kinsealy, built 800 year ago. We even saw a newly thatched roof, complete with decorations cut in the top run.

Then we came onto the grounds of Malahide Castle, started by the Norman Talbot's in 1176. We parked in the back, and walked past a ruined church before entering. They had wonderful recordings to guide us through, describing the wonderful oak panels and the fireplaces in the old tower portion, through to the Great and Small Drawing rooms, on to the bedrooms, and finally the Great hall, complete with a minstrel gallery and Puck's door. The last Lord Malahide, who died in 1973, was also a gardener, and the 200 acres were wonderful.

Back on to the bus, and off to the coast and Portmarnock, then to Howth, and then back to Dublin. As we passed the bird sanctuary, we heard the story of Contarf, in 1014, where Brian Boru's troops finally beat the Vikings, but fell to a rouge Viking after the battle. The new Irish Lords refused the Viking king's offer to execute the rouge, and instead offered to let the Viking join them. Of course, the peace was later broken when the Normans invaded in the 1190s, when Cromwell wiped whole cities out in the 1650s, and when William of Orange put down James II at the River Boyne in 1690, smothering Catholicism for 225 years.

We got back to O'Connell about 5:00, and it started raining. (See Photos, starting with numbers 220-224) But I had umbrellas in my backpack. After a bus ride to the Charleville Lodge, we set out to Phibsborough, and after deciding not to try Porterhouse's, we settled on Rocket Eddie's 50s style diner for fries, rings, and burgers. (It seems we always wind up at one burger joint when traveling, but at least it wasn't a McDonald's.) We stopped at the Tesco to buy cookies, and grabbed the bus back to the Spire in Central Dublin. We wandered Temple Bar and Henry street, and dropped a few coins at Dr. Quirky's Fun Time Emporium before getting some milk at a Spar convenience store, and headed back to Charleville about 9:00 for snacks, and to crash.

Below, the images are links a Dublin Map, an O'Connell area map, a Temple Bar map, and Phibsborough map.
(Charleville Lodge is right above the 'IN' in the word Dublin on the Dublin map.
Maps may appear small, but most browser will let you scale the the original size)
Dublin Map O'Connell area Grafton Street/Temple Bar

Day 3, Saturday, August 11

7:45 we were downstairs at the start of breakfast... though we asked them to not bring any pudding... and Diane opted for the continental breakfast. The 9:10 bus Friday had put us at Trinity right at 9:30, which was a little close for our 9:40 check in time at the Dublin Tourist Center, and we weren't sure of when a bus would arrive on the weekend schedule, so we headed to the bus stop a little earlier. We caught the 8:45 bus; of course there was less traffic, so we got to Trinity about 9:00, and were at the Tourist Center just after. (See Photos, starting with numbers 301-303) We spent the time having drinks in the café upstairs, and of course while hanging out at the Grayline desk we became aware that they were running behind waiting for someone inbound... so we didn't board at 9:40 after all; we finally boarded about 10:00, but didn't leave until 10:20 when they gave up on the inbound party. Nevi was our guide, and Mohammad was on his first run to Newgrange as the driver.

Normally the number 10 bus runs up O'Connell to Parnell Square, then zigzags around one way streets either passing the Abbey Church or the Black Church depending on if we are inbound or outbound, then passes St. Joseph's and Mater Hospital before getting to North Circular, where it crosses Phibsborough, then on Past St. Peter's to Charleville. That had also been the approximate route taken by Damien Friday to get to Kinsealy before heading to Malahide, but today, we seemed to be following the Hop On route as the Grayline bus instead followed Dame Street past Temple Bar, City Hall, Dublin Castle, and Christ Church. But then we quickly started seeing new sites as the bus went past St. Auddoin's and parts of the Medieval wall and crossing the River Liffey by Four Courts and heading north. (See Photos, 304)

I knew from my map reading running up to the trip that if we walked from our hotel to Phibsborough road and turned south, about a mile later and two or three street name changes, we would be on Church street by Four Courts, so we watch to see what was on this leg. We passed the King's Inn, were Solicitor's in training were educated, and found out that it takes 5 years after passing the bar before a solicitor can finish his apprenticeship, and become a barrister, and only barrister's can speak to a judge.

Shortly after crossing Phibsborough, we passed the Catholic cemetery Glendalough, with its high round tower. The tower was used by the night watchmen to spot grave robbers, looking to sell new cadavers to medical students. We also passed an old house that had an older, plainer thatch roof compared to the new roof we had seen earlier in the week. I suppose the older would have been more representative of what most would have looked like. (See Photos, 305)

We arrived at the Newgrange Visitor center about 11:30, and were told to meet up at 12:00, giving us some time to wander the exhibits, and see a movie on the site. At 12:00, we walked from the center across the River Boyne to the bus stop, where at 12:15 we were shuttled to Newgrange proper. Newgrange is a burial mound, build about 3200 BC, making it older than the pyramids. (See Photos, starting with numbers 306-332) Newgrange is called a passage tomb, and the passage runs due north and south, and a shaft of light shines down the passage on the Winter Equinox. While sticks probably were used earlier to mark when the shortest day of the year gave way to the coming of Spring, the mound was a major undertaking. Huge rocks were move miles, and the corbelled stones form a watertight dome in the center, with three recesses off to the sides. The passage was then covered with up to 10 feet of earth. The sides were surrounded with intricately carved rocks called curb stones, and the sides were lined with a quartz facade. The passage was tiny, but the domed room was large enough for about 20, and when they turned off the lights and put on a single light at the outside end to simulate the equinox, there was still room for everyone to back away and see the light in the middle of the room.

After seeing the inside, we had time to walk around the mound, seeing smaller burial chambers, and just enjoying the countryside, even though it was a gloomy, wet, gray day. We looked at clover, and saw sheep, as we waited for the bus back. We got there before the rest of the group, so we were first on the bus, first off the bus, first across the River, and first in line at the café in the Visitor Center. We had egg salad and chicken and cheese sandwiches, with cheese and onion crisps. We had brought water bottles, bananas, and cookies to finish the meal, and then bought souvenirs at the shop.

We got back to our tour bus about 2:15, and were were off to Monasterboice. On the way we heard of the Battle of the Boyne, and Cromwell's atrocities, and we passed Slane, where St. Patrick started his Easter bonfire. We also went past Slane Castle, where they were just starting to set up for one of their many concerts, this one was going to be the Rolling Stones. (See Photos, starting with numbers 332-333) We also passed the site where Pope John Paul had done a Mass, near enough to Northern Ireland for those that were interested.

Monasterboice is a 10th Century church and cementary that boasts some of the best Celtic crosses in the country. (See Photos, starting with numbers 334-350) A Celtic cross combines the circular symbol of the sun and a cross, and is carved with biblical stories on all the sides... sort of like illuminated texts and stained glass windows, and were used by the illiterate masses as a means of learning about the religion. Monasterboice also has a 100 foot tall circular tower. The tower would have been used to protect against the vikings, a watch tower, a church, and quarters... having four floors of living space, with the door 20 feet off the ground.

There were three crosses of note, the High Cross, the Tall Cross (25ft), and a third, smaller cross, which was next to a sun dial. The tall cross was between the ruined church and the tower, and was clearly visible above the church. Nevi pointed out many of the biblical stories, and noted how intricate the carving was, even though clearly the years were weathering parts of it.

We left and headed for the coast, and entered Dublin by harbor, taking the tunnel under to the lift bridge, then back to the docks, and followed the route of the Sea Stallion, which was a Norse Viking ship that was due in town Monday. A lot of the dock side is now the hot new building area, with the Point Theatre (home of the original Riverdance) being overshadowed by the huge new National Conference center. We also passed by the beautiful old Custom house and a diving bell, and old caissons used to set foundations for bridges.

At 5:00 we arrived at the Visitor's Center, and we headed north across the Ha' Penny bridge. We looked through bag shops, and walked past a fresh market off Henry street, and back through the Ilac shopping center. Susann had read about a traditional Irish pub that had Irish music starting early, so we headed up to Parnell street, and went past the huge new Parnell Center, weaving up Ryder's Row to Capel, then left on King Street. Just past Bow street we could see the Jamison distillery and Chimney tower on our left, and finally the Cobblestone Pub. We entered past the musicians, and found a table under a black light in the back. I ordered a Guinness, and we shared it listening to to music... well for a while, as the musicians went on break right after we got there. After finishing the brew around 6:00, we headed out just as some girls started tuning their fiddles. We walked back a couple of blocks, and caught the 83 bus up to Phibsborough. (I had printed route maps of the several lines I though we might need, so yes, I knew to catch the 83.)

In Phibsborough, we ate Kebob at Abrakebabra, while the girls shared chips and a chicken wrap. They were now also drinking Club orange, as they didn't have Fanta. Back onto the 10 bus, and we rode it down this time past Trinity to Kildare street. This is where Leinster House (Parliament) is, and the National Museum. The Natural History museum was the next block over, but we had heard a staircase has collapsed, and it was closed until they made sure the other stair cases were safe. We walked from here down to St. Stephen's Green, and over to Grafton street. There were horse drawn carriages everywhere, and the glass house Stephen's Green Center was right there, but was just closing. So we strolled up Grafton, occasionally stopping in a souvenir shop, or to watch the buskers. Some musicians, some living statues. Of those, my favorite was the clown orchestra conductor. We got some cookies and milk, crossed the O'Connell bridge, caught the 10 bus, and headed to our home base.

Day 4, Sunday, August 12

We came down for breakfast about 7:50, and afterward caught the 9:00 10 bus to Trinity. From there we walked in the rain to Aston Quay (pronounced Key), where we waited for the 69 bus that would take us to Kilmainham Gaol. What we hadn't counted on was the Sunday bus schedule, so we people watched until 10:10, when the bus service for that line started. We followed the Quays out to Collins Barracks, where he headed south, passing the Guinness brewery again, then east, right to the Gaol. (See Photos, starting with numbers 401-426)

The gaol (jail, is you prefer) was built in 1796 as a reform prison. They believed hard work, and no talking would turn prison from a criminal learning center to a place where people could actually improve, and return to society. There were stories of young children set to hard labor, for stealing a potato or a shawl to keep warm. Hard labor was taking boulders, and hitting them until they were gravel, which the prison system sold to make streets. During the potato famine, the gaol was actually the one place where people could eat three meals a day, and was incredibly over crowded. The old part of the gaol had hall ways with huge doors to closet sized cells, and were barred with large locks. During periods of over crowding, people actually slept on hay piled in the hallways. Further info the facility were three levels of hallways, with grating so you could see up to the next gallery, or down to the lower. In the chapel we learned of some of the leaders of the 1916 Easter uprising, including Plunkett and the Parnell brothers, Plunkett got married the night of his execution in the chapel, and it was these secret executions that inflamed the nation to press for freedom. While technically Ireland was about to gain independence in the mid 1910s, the war threw that process into limbo. In 1916, Republicans decided to put it back on the front burner. It failed miserably, and 16 were executed. There were name plates marking where many had been held. We then went in to the 1862 wing, a huge open gallery where one guard in theory could see all cells. It had a huge skylight at the top, and was actually quite the opposite of the cramped and gray halls we saw earlier. We were pointed to the cell of Grace Plunkett, the widow of the executed Republican. She was jailed in the early 1920s. Her cell still has the Madonna she painted while a resident.

The 1916 uprising lead to an offer from Britain: if you remain loyal to the king, and leave 6 counties under direct British rule (later Northern Ireland), they would get home rule. This lead to the Irish Civil war; 64 delegates, including Michael Collins, decided it was a good first step, while 57 delegates didn't want incremental steps... they wanted all or nothing. After the war, the Republic, less 6 northern counties arose, and the Gaol was closed.

We had toured some of the rock yards, but we ended the tour in the rock yard that served at the execution place of the 1916 republicans, by firing squad... 6 standing and 6 kneeling. O'Connell couldn't stand, so he was shot while in a seated position.

After the tour, we went through the museum and learned more about the Gaol, the fight for independence, and the reconstruction of the Gaol as a memorial. We had tea and scones in the Café, and left about 12:45. We walked down to the gate of the Old Kilmainham Hospital, now the Irish Museum of Modern Art, and around the block to the bus stop... we were told any bus at the stop would first go to the City Center, so we boarded the 78A bus and rode it to High Street, along the southern boundary of the Medieval city, to Dame street.

In the rain, we walked to St. George's street, and looked through the Market Arcade, a skylit shopping area open at two ends build in the 1800s. (See Photos, starting with numbers 427-432) From there, we went through Powerscourt Center... Lord Powerscourt's Town home which surrounded a small open square has now been enclosed, and had trendy shops and antiques. We bought some crisps, and began walking up Grafton street, now high and dry. We still had some time to kill, so we walked through Stephen's Green center. It was a great time, with the sun now out, and the glass walls and ceiling just streaming in light as we shopped.

At 2:10, we walked over to the National Museum, and went in. Much to our dismay, we found the Viking and Ancient Egypt exhibits upstairs were closed... probably related to the staircase scare at the History museum a block away, so we made due with the Stone age Ireland exhibits that include spear points on into bronze weapons, the Treasures exhibit, the Irish Gold Exhibit, and the Bog exhibit. We also watched a movie (once in French, and once in English) about the Treasures, which included cloak pins and the Tara Broach, parts of bossed crosses, ancient patens, and ancient clothing, preserved by the bogs. The bogs exhibit included people preserved in the bogs. The Irish Gold include silver ingots, gold jewelry, cloak buttons, and hair cuffs. All very neat, though we really wanted to see the Viking exhibit (we have seen numerous Egyptian exhibits in London and Paris, of course), but we could at least see the Viking ship and sail from the ground floor. About 4:15 we made one last trip to the Dublin Visitor Center a few blocks away, to finish up our souvenir shopping. Susann had earlier gotten a celtic designed necklace; Diane got stuffed sheep and a mug, while Gracie focused on flags, pencils, and St. Briget crosses to give as gifts. I found a dark green tie with dark blue tricolor flags and green shamrocks, and we finished up just as they closed at 5:00.

We walked up to O'Connell for what turned out to be the last time, past the Bank of Ireland, the statues of Molly Malloy and James Joyce, the O'Connell monument, the GPO, and the Spire. We boarded a 10 bus, drove past the Parnell monument, Parnell Square, past the Black Church, the enclosed flame monument at St. Joseph's, and past the Hospital. We got off at the Charleville, and after freshening up, rode back past St. Peter's to Phibsborough, where traffic was getting nasty. Croke Park, about a mile further down North Circular, was just letting out after a huge game. Dublin had won at Football the night before, so we figured it was Rugby tonight. Cars were crawling by, and a constant flow of people were walking by with their city colors on flags, on coats, on hats, etc. Aside from pizza and the unfortunate burger traditions for meals when we travel, we also usually have Chinese. We had seen the Good Luck restaurant several times, and stopped in for fried rice, wonton soup, spring rolls, and fruit in orange sauce for dessert.

We stopped at the Spar and picked up cookies and milk, and walked back to the hotel. We stopped to watch a cat by the path at the Charleville that lead to the side patio, and went in to enjoy our cookies in the sitting room. (See Photos, starting with numbers 434-end)

I read about the Lodge afterward, and we started packing, to get ready to return.

Charleville Lodge, 268-272 Rathdowne Terrace, North Circular Road, is
situated in the parish of Grangegorman (formed 1828 from parts of the
parishes of St. Michan's and St. Paul's).

The North Circular Road which
extends for three mils from the
Phoenix Part to Portland Row
was laid down in 1763.

Nos. 1-3 Rathdowne Terrace, renumbered 268-272 c. 1915, was build as part of a
terrace of six residences by Henry Hoban, 4 Cumberland Place, NCR, under a lease
granted on the 4th August 1891 by the Right Honorable Charles Stanley, Viscount
Monck (Earl of Thathdown~title extinct) of 78 Belgrave Road, London, and the
Honorable Henry Power Charles Stanley Monck of Charleville, Enniskerry, late
Captain in the Coldstream Guards. Viscount Monck was M.P. for Portsmouth
1852-57 and Governor General of Canada 1861-67.

John Dillon Nugent, elected Secretary of the Ancient
Order of Hibernians 1904 (Board Erin) and
elected member of the Northern Parliament 1920,
lived in No. 272 from 1917-40. The
offices of Grafton Publications
and Monument Press,
publishers of Model
Housekeeping (Irelands'
national women's magazine),
Maeve's Own (Ireland's
only girl's paper) and
The Irish Golfer's Blue Book
were located at No. 270
from 1941-1969.

On the 20th January 1994,
Anne and Val Stenson
welcomed their first guests
to Charleville Lodge.

Day 5, Monday, August 13

We got up EARLY, and were at the lobby at 5:45 when we saw Colin's taxi was already outside. (We had to book a taxi, instead of taking the bus, as bus service didn't begin until 7:00, and we had to be at the airport at least two hours before our 9:00 departure time.) While the booking service had allowed an hour to get to the airport, Colin somehow got us there just after 6:00. We passed the huge throngs at Aer Lingus, and found Delta on the far side, with only a short line. The reason we had been able to take this trip is we got lucky, and stumbled across the last four seats on this plane, and the price was lower than we had ever seen. But the four seats were not close together. They managed to get us two seats together on row that the the girls would use, and two seats on the very last row, one in seat C and one in seat E. They said perhaps who ever had seat D would trade (after a lot of horse trading later by other parties, that is what happened). We got through security quickly, and found a food court. Diane got a smoothie, and we used the remaining €1.80 to buy Kit Kats. We then had to wait in a huge line to get through US Customs, and then went on to the gate, which was decorated with tales of the Immigrants, and paid for by some famous Irish Americans.

Delta flight 165 to JFK, seats 42C (42D), 42F and 29F, 29G

We had another interesting meal after take off, and watched Shrek III (again) and Spider-man III. We had a nice pizza for a snack just before landing at JFK. As we didn't check any luggage, we shot through customs (I suppose that pre-screening in Dublin was of use, after all) and made it to gate 16 in record time. A time we didn't think even remotely possible when booking... we had the choice of a 1 hour layover, or a 5 hour layover, so we booked on the 4:30 flight. But there, at gate 16, was that earlier flight, not yet boarding. I stood in line, and yes, they had seats, so we traded in our boarding passes for 4 across on the little Embraer jet. They let everyone else on, then assigned us seats.

Delta Connection flight 6497 to DFW, seats 8A, 8B, 8C, and 8D

As we were the last on, and it was a small jet, there was no overhead space left. The girls got their soft bags under their seats, but as mine was a little more rigid, it wouldn't fit, so I gate checked it. Well, that, and I would have had no place for my feet. No entertainment systems on this flight, so it was all reading and puzzles on the flight home, arriving at a toasty 102° DFW. We called for a pickup to the parking lot, and got to the car within 30 minutes. One tire was low, but we had fix a flat in the back, and we were on the freeway in no time. But it was nearing rush hour in Ft. Worth, so we pulled off and had an early dinner at Joe's Crab Shack. After our coconut shrimp, we were back at home just after 7:00, about the same time our scheduled flight would have been just landing in DFW. So, we only flew on one plane that we had booked, and didn't sit in any seats we had chosen, but we got there and back, did all the things we had set out to do, and quite a few that we just stumbled across and enjoyed.

That made this another great vacation :)

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