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Adorable Chick

UK & IRELAND diary : Day 15 - 25th April 2017

Dublin, the capital city of Ireland lies on the east coast, overlooking the Irish Sea. The word "Dublin" actually means "Black Pool". In ancient times, "Dubh Linn" was a lake that facilitated trade for the VIKINGS. The Vikings were seafarers, known for their tyranny, hailing from erstwhile southern Scandinavia. They pirated , conquered and finally settled in various parts of Europe. Ireland was one such area.

The modern Dublin City is rich in Historic buildings, monuments, parks, museums and of course PUBS. The city also hosts a zoo. The Phoenix park here, is the largest in Europe and second largest in the world. The O'Connell Bridge, standing on top of River Liffey in central Dublin, is the only bridge in the world that is equal in length and width.

We reached Dublin City, through IRISH FERRIES, from Holyhead in England. The ferry reached us to Dublin port in 3 hours. It was cheap, easy and convenient. We had booked ourselves in a lovely Airbnb accommodation , in Clonskeagh (pronounced Clons key) for 6 nights. Our Itinerary was simple
Day 1: Reach Dublin, evening around Clonskeagh area. Day 2 : Dublin VIKING SPLASH TOURS and city walk. Day 3 : Wild Rover Tours covering Western Ireland. Day 4 : Wild Rover Tours covering Southern Ireland. Day 5: Wild Rover Tours covering Northern Ireland Day 6 : Blanchardstown - Stay over at Cousin's place. The description of day 2 is covered here. For other Stories read Cliffs of Moher , Wicklow and Belfast. Unfortunately many of my Dublin photographs got corrupted , due to which I have explained our trip with whatever is available. Hoping to visit the City someday, to gather more information and have some more fun.

That morning, around 8:30 am, we boarded a local bus from a stop that was at a 3min walking distance from our accommodation. We got to Stephen Green stop in 10 minutes. We had booked online tickets, in advance, on the VIKING SPLASH TOURS. While considering various options of city sight-seeing in the best possible way, we came across this tour. The tour promised a circle around the city, both on land and water, on the same vehicle. That seemed fun. We therefore opted for it. The tour vehicle approached as scheduled. The yellow, open vehicle, was more like a truck. There were two hosts and one driver. They soon helped us with our Viking headgear or helmet.

Tidy Desk

This was the fun part. The entire group wore the horns. We were also helped with floaters, as the vehicle would be getting into the water during the tour, hence the name SPLASH tours. We were instructed to ROAR loudly, like the actual VIKINGS, at passers by. The one hour tour, that began at 9:30 am, was more fun than informative. We could hardly catch glimpses of the important building or sites. We shouted, screamed and ROARED like vikings , at every possible opportunity. The citizens seemed to be well aware of the tour and happily waved at us. A few serious passers by, who were targeted, jumped off their track at our VIKING SCREAMS. The tyres of the vehicle soon turned into inflated floaters on the banks of the water body. We then splashed our way into the water, and zoomed around, trying to follow the commentary by the guide, amidst the screams. Overall , it was fun tour. I would have preferred a walking tour instead, to gather more information on the city. Anyways, no regrets, it was one of a kind experience.

The tour truck dropped us back at the point of start, right opposite the "ST. STEPHEN'S GREEN" park. We decided to look around and also relax. The sun shone bright. The Landscaping of the park looked exotic. A rectangular shaped park, with a water body in the centre, flooded with greenery all around. There were plenty of benches, a couple of fountains and a variety of birds. It was a cool atmosphere. The localities were in plenty, enjoying the day. We walked around the park and settled down in one of the benches. We had by then decided to have our lunch right there. The relaxation was much required as it was our 15th day of travel without a break. As luck would have it, the skies suddenly turned dark. It began to pour.

As we looked for immediate shelter, we heard mild noises of falling stones. It was indeed 'hail stones'. Wow, the sudden change of weather, took us by complete surprise. We ran under the huge bandstand in the park, just like 100 others, while being equally excited about the hail storm. It got crowded under there, but the warmth was much required to keep a check on the biting cold. In five minutes time, it began to snow. We were really amazed. The rain suddenly stopped by then. We ditched the shelter and played in the snow fall. The entire episode was over in half an hour. The sun shone, yet again, as bright as ever. The place was all dry in a short while. No one could have said, it rained minutes ago. Unbelievable !!

We got back to the benches, in a will to have lunch. There came the hungry birds, attacking our food from all sides. They wouldn't leave us in peace, even when we fed them to the brim.