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Dublin & Beyond

I arrived in Dublin Wednesday evening. Somehow the 1-hour flight from Heathrow made it in 30 minutes. How is that even possible? I'm staying at The Marker Hotel again. I stayed at The Marker when I first came to Dublin two years ago. Back then, it was their grand opening. This is one of the nicest hotels I've ever stayed in. Incredible service (more on that in a bit).

Thursday and Friday I was teaching a 2-day Tableau class at the Facebook office. Since I was last here, Facebook has moved into a new office right next to The Marker.

Facebook Dublin's new home
From the 5th floor looking down at the cafeteria
The rooftop has spectacular views of the entire city
Thursday evening, my good friend Ivan took me to a local eatery called Lolly & Cooks. We kind of had to go here since nothing else was open. All of the pubs stop serving food at like 5:30pm. It's strange!

We enjoyed a light meal of fish before taking on these amazing desserts. I went for the red velvet cake, while Ivan chose the Mississippi Mudpie cupcake.

I wanted to try ALL of them!
After dinner we met Ivan's team for a couple of drinks at The Ferryman, which is a pub just around the corner from the office.

He's single ladies!
The second day in the office was kind of tough. Training was going along pretty well until after lunch, when I had one of the worst seizures I've ever had. I was writing on a whiteboard and suddenly felt really, really dizzy. I managed to make it back to my seat; it was almost like I had vertigo. I'm well aware of when these are coming on, so I called a break in training so that I could see the seizure out. The class was so nice checking on me and asking if I needed anything. I'm planning to go see a doctor once I get back to London.

We did finish training, but that was basically the end of me for Friday. When these happen, they pretty much wipe me out. Plus, Ivan and I had big plans for Saturday.

I'm a HUGE fan of guided tours. I think they are by far the best way to see a city or country. Last time I was in Dublin, I missed my tour and had to do a different one. This time, I talked Ivan into going with me. We had to be up by 6am to catch the bus at 6:45am so we could get front row seats on the bus. We went on the Cliffs of Moher Tour Including Wild Atlantic Way and Galway City. It was incredible and having Ivan along made it even better, though he did find my tendency to talk to strangers a bit odd.

The first stop on the tour was the Cliffs of Moher, which are over 700' high.

We couldn't keep our eyes open because of the wind
From the Cliffs, you could see the town of Lahinch, which has some of the best surfing in the world
A lookout tower on the Cliffs
The pictures don't give you nearly the perspective of seeing the Cliffs in person 
The noise of the 50'+ waves hitting the Cliffs was breathtaking 
Looking back at the lookout tower from the southern trail
You can barely make out people on the trail on the Cliff's edge; that shows you how HUGE the Cliffs are
Leaving the Cliffs of Moher, we traveled along the Wild Atlantic Way, which is the road that runs down the western side of Ireland. The road is super narrow; fortunately our driver, Tony, did a great job navigating. I would have been a nervous wreck!

The second stop on our trip was to Doolin Cliffs. Our tour guide, Robby, referred to these as the "baby cliffs" since they are only about 100-200 feet high.

Looking south
Looking north
I could have listened to the waves crashing all day. They must have been 25' high and broke right against the cliffs.
The final stop on out tour was Galway City. Here, Robby gave us a 20 minute walking tour. These were also Ivan's old stomping grounds in college.

Galway was quite the busy town and is the home of the Claddagh ring 
A famous hanging took place here, when a father had to hang his son
St. Nicholas church is the oldest Norman church in Ireland
The King's Head is an 800 yr old building where the Irish would decapitate English kings
It was such a fantastic tour and I would highly recommend it to anyone with a day to spend in Ireland. We got back to Dublin around 8pm; a nice, quick 14 hour day.

Sunday was an active day for me. I actually slept in until 9am, which is unheard of for me. I threw on my trainers (that's what they call sneakers here) and went for a 10 mile run.

I saw this lighthouse on a map and just had to find it
I mentioned the great service at The Marker earlier. Get this. When I finished my run, I sat down in the lobby and one of the bellhops comes up to me and hands me a towel and bottle of water. I was stunned! And of course so appreciative. It turns out that he saw me leave for my run and was waiting for me to get back. It's little things like that which turn good hotels into great hotels.

After lunch I played 5v5 soccer with Ivan's Sunday group. It was a lot of fun, but my legs were super tired when we finished. Afterwards, I decided to spend some time in the jacuzzi at The Marker before meeting Ivan for dinner at Farmer Browns for a burger. I had the John Deere: a two patty 8oz Irish beef burger, topped with lettuce, Cashel blue cheese, French fried onions and aioli. Sweet potato fries on the side. Seriously, this was one of the best burgers I've ever had.

Monday and Wednesday are Tableau training days and Tuesday is St. Patrick's Day, which is a holiday in Ireland. I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet, though I know I'm going to try to go see the parade in the morning. 

Comments

  1. Andy, this is a terrific travelogue, though I now have you in my prayers re: the seizures. Stay well and safe, my firend! Hope to see you soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you're enjoying the posts Michael. It's a great way for me to remember everything years later. And thanks for the prayers. Unfortunately my doc in Atlanta won't renew the prescription that controls them. I'll be ok. :-)

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