Thank you for having accessible toilets that I never had to pay for. Thank you for not letting your dogs poo on the streets. Thank you for calling me 'love' and hiring only the friendliest bus drivers. Thank you for having gentle rain. Hope to see you again one day!
Don't throw things at Queen E-II when she visits this week.
|St. Patrick's Cathedral|
On Friday, we piddled around for the most part, checked into our hostel, and toured Dublin on foot. It reminded me a lot of Brussels, lots of brick and brownstone town houses, easy city-layout, not very touristy, so there were no obnoxious street vendors, and lots of double decker buses (not in Brussels, though). The food in Dublin ended up being much, much better than I could have hoped (sorry, I've eaten at lots of Highland Games with traditional Celtic fare, and it's blander than your grandma's trip to Martha's Vineyard). We ate fish 'n' chips in Dublin's oldest fish 'n' chips shop, delicious Victorian sponge cake, and my ultimate favorite, a massive, thick, Guiness 'n' beef (the Irish don't believe in ampersands) stew with soda bread. OM NOM NOM. (In Gaelic, nomma nomma omm).
Back in Dublin, we saw the National Gallery (got my Vermeer fix), ate too much (bliss), the Dublin Writer's Museum (in case you didn't see it while you were in Dublin, James Joyce wrote about it. Occasionally.) where C.S. Lewis was painfully absent (not Irish enough for you, Dublin?), lots of neat gardens, and your general European city sights, like churches, the castle, etc. Unfortunately did not get to see Trinity College, as it was closed for the Queen's upcoming visit. Sigh.
Finished reading The Poisonwood Bible on the trip. Excellent book. We landed in Tours to take the train back to Angers, and planned our trip to give us a few hours in Tours before making it back in time for translation class. After being in Tours, I came to a realization: if you have ever been in a French city, I can tell you exactly what it looked like, even without being there myself. See below:
Didn't look like that? Okay. See below:
Cities that fit this rubric: Angers, Paris (Louvre used to be the castle, remember?), Tours, Nantes, Nice, etc. Saumur, too, probably. It's at least handy, because when we got to Tours, we really wanted to see the castle, and I knew that if we could head towards the easily visible huge cathedral (gorgeous, too, PS), we'd end up by the river (we did) and the castle would be nearby (it was). So there you have it, you'll never get lost in France again.
Next week marks my last week at CIDEF before exams, and Sunday marks my parents arrival. HOORAY! Then, I'll be having one last grand adventure before readventuring in the beautiful, hot, summertime South (of the States, not France). Hopefully everything goes well, especially studying. Ick. One of my Chinese roommates was nice enough to come warn me not to get sick, because Clopinette's sleeping on my bed. Apparently, Clopinette was in the other girl's room, and sneezed a lot, and now the other girl is sick, too. I didn't laugh, but I wanted to. I knew that if I laughed at their cat-human transmissible cold, France's gypsy magic would strike me with an even worse cold.
See the whole batch of photos via my Facebook. The album is labeled, surprisingly enough, "Dublin."
PS: Michelle from Texas, who will be arriving in Angers May 20, let me know if you'd like to get a coffee sometime! Or at least a croissant. I'm always down for a croissant.