In a case of history repeating itself, I found myself in Dublin again with Mary Keany six years after our first visit. Some things have changed - by all accounts, the Celtic Tiger is dead, or at best, meekly limping along, and some of the city's swagger is gone; everywhere there was talk about how bad things there were, whereas before there was endless optimism. Other things have not - it is still terribly expensive (especially with the diminished pound) and the people (and their accents) are just as lovely. Fortunately, this trip was scheduled to visit my friend Matt who's over from Seattle for work, so at least we escaped the hotel fleecing. I really enjoyed the city this time, saw a lot more of its charm and can say that I am now officially a fan.
The trip was subdued - nothing touristy at all, just dining, drinking and lounging - so I won't say much. But I will take a moment for a well-deserved plug for Siam Thai. Mary and I found it by chance in 2006 and it was so good we went back the next night. So this trip is was the only definite plan on the itinerary and it was amazing - the best Thai food I've had outside of Thailand. I would go back to Dublin if only to eat there again.
Some pics from our weekend:
Gaelic on top.
Thank goodness for these signs letting us know to walk on the left - I was going to try and jump over barriers!
Is it just me, or is this sports bar window dressing a wee bit camp?
Enda Kenny greeting the shoppers boosting the Irish economy.
Saw a great drag act at PantiBar (great name, eh?). This was the famous duet "Time to Say Good-Bye" by Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli.
But Gatwick M&S welcomed me back to London gloriously!