After spending two days in what seemed like an infirmary for sick travelers, some of us managed to make it to see the Eiffel Tower shine red, yellow and black for solidarity with Belgium after the attack on their country.
This morning I'm sure all the occupants of our apartment building heard the two weak adults, one baby crying with eyes oozing pus and two almost normally functioning adults carry out our excessive luggage. With our taxi on time as well as our flight, I could sit back and enjoy the wonderful exhilaration of take-off and the sun shining brightly over the blanket of white clouds. Au revoir, Paris!
We were on our way to Dublin for the day. Anne, Tom, Catherine and I left poor sick Bob in the hotel for a short tour of this Irish city. We took a taxi to the city center and when we mentioned to our driver that we were from Wisconsin, he said we were famous because of the movie he saw on Netflix about Avery. We had a great time laughing and listening to his take on American politics. After exiting the cab we walked down O'Connell Street and looked up at the 398 foot stainless steel spire that was erected to replace Nelson's Pillar that had been bombed in 1966 by former IRA members. We couldn't resist Starbucks or stopping in at Irish shops along the way. We didn't buy too much but with exactly less than no space in our luggage, anything is too much.
Then we walked past St. Patrick's Cathedral, founded in 1191, which is the largest cathedral in Ireland and an imposing and beautiful bishop-less cathedral. We also visited the courtyard of Dublin Castle which was ordered to be built by King John of England in 1204. It no longer looks like a castle but more like a palace since it had mostly been rebuilt.
Walking down the streets there was evidence everywhere of the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising when the Irish rose up against the British in the hope of gaining their independence.
An especially calm and beautiful walk was through St. Stephen's Green. It is an absolutely lovely park where pigeons fly at you in droves and swans swim serenely in the pond. The colorful spring bulbs were all in bloom and we heard tourists speaking many different languages as they walked along the paths.
We headed to the Temple Bar area which is the area's nighttime hangout and had bangers and mash and Irish stew at the Porterhouse Temple Bar where Tom ordered one of their craft beers, an oyster stout. He didn't want to leave Dublin without having a Guinness on tap so we headed to the Temple Bar. Then we found a taxi in a queue and had another fun and wonderful conversation about American politics with our driver. The Irish people that we met were all incredibly hospitable, lively and very fun. But tomorrow will be the end of our journey.
It took us all day to refrain from saying "Bonjour, Madame" when entering stores. Soon we'll no longer have to think twice about it and our French trip will be but a memory. But even though there were lots of bumps on those cobblestoned streets, traveling and time spent together with friends and family is always worth it.