May 15 – Tea for One

After a looong sleep, unfortunately Perry’s still feeling unwell, so it was up to me to take on this morning’s tour solo. As a precaution, I wore a mask, just in case I was coming down with anything, in order to protect my fellow passengers and crew.

Today’s little tour was the Vintage Dublin Afternoon Tea. In the morning. Makes perfect sense. On board, already waiting was a selection of little cakes and sandwiches, lovely! And just to ad to the quaint factor the bus was decorated with little garlands of flowers. We were introduced to our bus, her name is Pauline, and she was born in 1961 as a London Routemaster bus, now living her best life here in Dublin.

Of course tea was on the menu, and I had to choose Irish Breakfast. The journey got off to very slow start due to someone parking right on the very edge of a corner meaning there was no chance the bus would be able to turn left. Eventually, they moved and we were able to proceed. I have to give full credit to all the bus drivers we’ve encountered so far – manoeuvring these big lumps of metal through the tiniest gaps, threading through bollards and traffic lights, it really is impressive. We drove past some lovely old buildings, past the massive Guinness factory – and this is where I learnt something I didn’t know. Which country drinks the most Guinness? It’s not Ireland, Australia, USA or even the UK. Nope, it’s actually Nigeria!

We drove into Phoenix Gardens, a massive park, any by massive I mean twice the size of Central Park in New York. It’s also home to the president, and to the United States Ambassador to Ireland.

It was soon time to enjoy a freshly heated scone that was delivered to my table, accompanied with clotted cream and jam, as we trundled through Georgian Dublin, which was of course quite beautiful with its Georgian terraces and their massive windows – if you’d like to live in one of those terraces, to going rate is around 5 or 6 million euro. We learnt a little about the rich-suburb trait of everybody trying hard just to out-do everyone else – even the number of steps leading up to your front door was a status symbol as more steps meant more cost. Go figure. As with Volendam, Vaucluse, and every other posh place in the world, always to see the super-rich making such sensible use of their extra dollars :-/

Having finished my scone, the tour concluded and I was able to get a few more pictures on the way back to the hotel. Also, they gave me the leftovers to take back to Perry which was nice.

Much of the afternoon was spent quietly in the hotel, doing a bit of admin like moving tomorrow’s tour to Thursday just in case, and booking a bus to get us from Dublin to Dublin Port when we leave on Friday. I picked up some snacks and painkillers, and also took a few pictures of the surrounding area including a pub Oscar Wilde worked at when he was young.

There are interesting bits of Victorian-era infrastructure popping up all over the place. I guess back then it was more “I don’t care how it will look, it has to go here, and here is where it will go”. Nowadays can you imagine the outcry? Some of these things I guess were a massive blot on the landscape, but over time are now more often though of as ‘charming’. I wonder who’s more right?

Anyway, I stopped pondering infrastructure for long enough to have a good laugh at this ad I saw on Facebook, which managed to use “scorcher’ and “21 degrees” in the same sentence 🙂

On that slightly hilarious note, it’s time to call it a day. No plans set for tomorrow, so it can be another day of recovery if needed.

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