Sunday, May 29, 2011


Specious [adj] (spi suhs)
  1. Seemingly true but really false
  2. Deceptively convincing or attractive:

I am in Dublin.  No, really - that's not specious statement.  I, Kristen of the Green Mountain State, am sitting on the tile floor of my room in the buzzing city of Dublin, Ireland.  A little worse for wear in the sleep department, I must admit, but generally whole and ready to take this city by storm!   

And “by storm,” I do mean at a steady, marathon pace that will leave my feet relatively intact. 

Wanting to keep my brain intact, as well, I’ve decided to rely on numbers to summarize my first days in Ireland.  So, without further ado…

Dublin (and travel so far) by the Numbers:

  • 21: the row I sat in during our 6-hour flight to Dublin Airport. 
  • 0: the percentage of joy in my heart when I found out that not only did we not have WiFi in the room, but that my iPhone couldn’t dial out OR receive data.  Here’s to purchasing an international call and data plan for nothing.  (Bitter, me? No…)
  • 10: minutes that we waited to see the Book of Kells at Trinity College.
  • 6: the number of faces that dropped when I ordered chicken liver pate at our first group dinner.  Note: It was delicious – particularly when you stacked the croute with liver and fig compote.
  • 8:  the number of times I thought we were driving on the wrong side of the road thus far and that we were surely going to die.  Or be wounded. Or simply have a heart attack.
  • 1: cups of tea I’ve sipped.  This unexpected cuppa was sipped this morning, with milk and sugar, before heading to the Loughcrew.  The poor waitress has a look of horror when our group descended on Caffrey’s – it was 10:30 AM the morning after the Barcelona v. Manchester United match and there were two dozen of us after all.
  • A LOT: The hills I’ve climbed today. After a trip to Loughcrew (a fantastic (and very windy) megalith burial site) and the Hills of Tara, I wouldn’t be exaggerating to say that we climbed 20 different hills – tall, short, steep, steeper, green, yellow, rocky, and covered in sheep poop.  These sites would have been nothing if it wasn’t for Kelly, our beloved guide (and archeologist and Champlain professor – she’s like Indiana Jones, people).   I never knew turf-encrusted tombs could be so…. alive.
  • 17: The age of the pipe player at O’Shea’s Merchant, a pub in town.  He quietly took our breath away and got out of feet tapping while we munched on fish and chips (and “mushy peas,” I kid you not).  Then men in the pub jumped on the bandwagon and sang a capella to the room.  The gentleman next to us (lovely and now educated where Vermont is in comparison [AKA not near Michigan]) egged them all on,  hand clasped around a bottomless pint of Guinness.  Only in local pubs.

What's up for tomorrow? Tomorrow: a walking tour of Dublin, visiting Champlain’s academic center, Irish Parliament, and an Irish House Party for a little craic (AKA entertainment – get your mind out of the gutter!).  Oh, and yogurt.  Can't forget that yogurt... (stay tuned for an entry on that little beauty of breakfast).
[Note: Internet connection is poor, so no images yet.]

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