Saturday, June 20, 2009

France Trip Day One - Dublin, Ireland

Molly Malone, Grafton Road, Dublin

If you're flying Aer Lingus to Paris, and you've never been to Dublin, how can you not take a one day layover? Can't. So, Rich, Mary and yours truly checked into the gorgeous Merrion Hotel in the heart of Central Dublin, and walked our jet-lagged butts all around the town. We saw Trinity College, including the Book of Kells and the Long Room Library; the General Post Office, site of the uprising of 1916, birthplace of the Irish Republic; the Dublin City Gallery, home to Francis Bacon's studio, relocated in its entirety from Paris, where he worked virtually uninterrupted, for thirty years; the Sinn Fein bookstore; Gallaghers Boxty House, where we partook of the traditional boxty (sort of a crepe filled with many choices of meats and seafoods) and jars of stout; another bookstore where I found several of Colm Toibin's other novels (besides the current bestselling Brooklyn); and a walk by Stephen's Green on the way back to the hotel. We napped, then met up again at 9pm to dine at Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, where I had an incredible meal... Moncuit Blanc de Blancs with a few hors d'ouvres; Leroy Bourgogne Blanc '02 with lobster ravioli; Comte Lafon Volnay 1er cru Champans '02 with loin of lamb; a wonderful selection of cheese and a glass of Simon Bize Bourgogne Rouge '07; assorted desserts, then back to the hotel bar for a shot of Redbreast 12 year old Irish Whisky and a half-pint of Guinness. The dinner was spectacular - no wonder the restaurant has two Michelin stars! Dublin is about the size of Baltimore, with a more concentrated central district that makes seeing lots of sights and experiencing lots of local flavor so easy. Considering it's only 6+ hours from Dulles, and only an hour and a half from Paris, it makes for a great stopover. I'll be back! Tomorrow we catch the flight to Paris, the TGV to Lyon and the train to Beaune. Bon Nuits.


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