Do you remember me telling you that the people of Ireland are some of the nicest people in the world? I meant it! Our Wicklow tour guide, Ed, actually thanked Matt for what he does for the country. HIS country. Ireland! How sweet was that?!? He said that he believes that what American soldiers do for their own country actually benefits the whole world. That’s what we believe, too, or we wouldn’t live this military life that, while exciting, has some pretty steep sacrifices at times.
As we meandered back toward the city we eagerly glanced into every field looking for the new lambs. Ed knew which fields usually had lambs first and the very last field we came to was full of the sweet little things. (Of course, if you know me at all, they were sweet because we were not out there getting up close and personal.) Back in Dublin Ed asked where we wanted to be dropped off: at the hotel or in the city. Since we hadn’t had dinner and our hotel was a 10 minute walk from the main hub of activity, we had him drop us off at the top of Grafton Street.
I’m not much of a shopper and this street was a shopper’s delight. So, after spending the whole day in the “unspoilt” natural beauty of Ireland, the noise of Grafton Street was like nails scratching on a chalk board. It was like coming out of a massage and walking directly into a disco bar. Like having a piece of perfect cheesecake only to chase it down with root beer. (I love cheesecake. I hate root beer.) Suffice it to say, after walking the street down and back, I was good. We did stop in two stores, the Disney Store and another one where I finally found some PJs I was looking for. Who knew it would be so hard to find cotton PJ pants! I actually bought a hole PJ set for 13€… a price I was thrilled to see!
I took this picture of a street musician playing the traditional bagpipes of Ireland. They’re called Uilleann pipes and we were warned that these guys are a bit crazy. The musicians who had taken us on our musical pub crawl had gone into elaborate and dramatic detail on the difficulty of this instrument. They said that the skill is one that is passed down from father to son. At a very young age the son will get a cheap set and over his life will be given nicer and nicer parts until, by the time he’s an adult his instrument is worth about 10,000 €. It takes incredible skill to master this instrument as there are two bags, one under each arm, finger holes to play, a hole on the bottom of the handle part to tap on leg. They said that it is best to never approach a Uilleann player while he’s playing a song to make a request. Just don’t do it. Because I was warned so clearly not to disturb Uilleann players I was a bit afraid to take this guy’s picture so when I noticed the ONE I got was blurry and way orange I decided to just go with it and move on. I let the guy play and walked away.
We were watching for a place to eat that would catch our eyes but the only things we were seeing were fast food type things. I was just not really interested in eating Burger King or “wok and whatever” so, when we got to the Tourist Information building we stopped in and asked where to go to eat fish & chips. Without hesitation the guy said we could only eat fish & chips at Burdocks. Locals only eat it there… best in the world. Open for 100 years.
He gave us directions (left, and then left again, to Christ Church Cathedral, down a little alley, green front). 5-10 minute walk. Easy enough.
Why we didn’t pull out our map and go to the cathedral and then look for it, I’ll never know. I’ll blame it on the long day. We did what he said. Left and left again. 20 minutes later we were not there. I walked into a small convenience store and immediately noticed a 20-something girl working with 6-7 young boys all hanging out, flirting with her. I said, “Hi,” and she said, “You’re lost…” I asked her what gave it away and she said, “That look on your face that says, “I’m lost.”
I said that we were in search of a place to eat fish & chips and had gotten directions to a place but were obviously off the path. She said, “Oh, the only place we eat fish & chips is Burdocks. You have to go there. Let me write the directions down for you. You’re only about a 20 minute walk from there.”
She proceeded to describe the way and write it down for me. All those boys were also helping. “Just go down to my school and turn left.” “You know, that place has been open 100 years.” “Man, I want to go to Burdocks.” They were simply adorable and reminded me of my boys. I asked them their ages: 11, 10, 10, 9, 8, 7, 7. Something like that. They were just a bunch of my kind of peeps!
She wished us a good night and sent us on our way, still surrounded by a gaggle of boys. See? Nicest people!
(As it turned out, all the solid surfaces around Burdock’s are rounded so I couldn’t rest my camera on anything to get a single clear shot. It was such a delicious meal that I don’t even mind adding a blurry picture!)
Oh, this picture makes me want to go back!!!
If you plan to go to Dublin and you even remotely like this kind of food, eat here on Day 1. You may decide you want to eat there every day for either lunch or dinner. We LOVED this place.