(*I wrote this before we left but published it after we got home-- we are back in the US now! and- you'll notice my COMMENTS ARE BACK!!!! THANK YOU to my cousin PartnerInCrime for spending her Sunday afternoon being my IT help desk consultant!!! You are a brave woman, PIC.)
The faeries must have known we were leaving soon.
I wanted to make our last day in Ireland special for e-baby, since she's been such a good sport about doing all the things we've wanted to do, and we had only seen one (pretty crappy) playground this whole time. The "hop on-hop off" bus loop passes by our apartment and goes past the zoo, so I figured it would be a treat for her.
As we ate breakfast, we heard horse hooves outside the apartment and saw a few hairy ponies being led away. Figured they were getting ready to pull carriages around town for tourists. Later, we saw lots more. On our way out of the apartment, the manager told us it was the day of the horse market, held the first Sunday of each month. We went. It was crowded for many blocks with horses and handlers. I've never seen so many horses in one place, and not a single quarter horse, Palomino, Pinto, or any others that I'm accustomed to. Most of these were smaller, most were a stockier build, and all of them had long, shaggy, beautiful coats.
After the equine detour, we took the bus to the zoo, and along the way saw all the major landmarks of Dublin including the Guinness brewery, the Molly Malone statue, Dublin castle, Cristchurch and St Patrick's cathedrals, sites of many uprisings, hangings, imprisonments, rallies, etc. At our stop we took a long walk through Phoenix park and Granny, e-baby and I hit the zoo while my mom went to a gallery to locate a painting that some friends of hers wanted to get information about.
The zoo was, well, a zoo, but it was heaven for e-baby. She played in playgrounds and saw monkeys, rode on a wooden zebra, saw giraffes and rhinos, and ran around like a crazy nut. She was ready to go when it was time to go, tired as she was.
We headed back to the apartment for some R and R, had a quiet dinner at the Czech pub across the river, and now it's time to pack.
I plan to fill in all of these Ireland posts with photos soon.
I love it here and plan to come back.
We should have skipped Cork and just gone straight to Galway.
It would be worthwhile to return to western Ireland in the summertime. And stay for, like, a month.
We 4 ladies are so well-suited to travel together that I'm already thinking about our next trip together.
Dublin is a history buff's dream come true, but Galway is faerie territory.