Wednesday, December 23, 2015

10 FOR 10: Trip #9
London & Dublin

"My heart is quite calm now.
I will go back"
James Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ch. 2


TRIP #9: LONDON & DUBLIN
The second major trip that we had planned for our 10 FOR 10 was a trip to London to see Hamlet at the Barbican Theatre, attend an Arsenal football match, and then visit Dublin for a few days.  I traveled to Dublin a few years ago with my good friend AB, and I was keen for AC to come back with me.  (Rereading my travel notes from Dublin, I realize how new traveling the world was at the time!)  

AC and I first spent some time in London, and actually saw a few places we had not already done.  We started off at St. Paul's Cathedral, where we did the audio tour and learned quite a bit about its history.  We hiked to the top and marveled at the glorious view of the city.  It was a "typical" London day, overcast and chilly, but it created the perfect backdrop for the cityscape.


We also went to the Natural History Museum, visited with a number of friends who live locally, had lots of good food (including from the Rib Man in Brick Lane Market on Sunday) and took tea at Fortnum & Mason.  We went to the Tuesday night show of Hamlet, and it was done spectacularly.  Benedict Cumberbatch played the part perfectly, and the staging was beyond what I could have imagined.

The next morning we traveled to Dublin.  We visited many of the same spots I had before, like Trinity College to see the Book of Kells and the Long Library, as well as Kilmainham Gaol and St. Stephen's Green.


One thing we did that was sort-of new was we did a special tour at the Guinness Brewery, where we and about 12 other people got to go to a special, hidden bar area, and had a tour-guide/bartender who talked more specifically about the evolution of the beers that Guinness produces, and we were able to try a number of different ones.  They also taught us how to pour a Guinness from the tap appropriately, and gave us a certificate showing we had mastered the art of pouring.  It was really cool, and having already been on the regular tour myself, it was definitely a worthwhile upgrade.  AC, of course, loved it all.

After just a few days in Dublin, we traveled back to London to go to our football match.  We had different seats at a different angle than we had before, and it was a much clearer view than from the end.  We had such a great time just being there, and Arsenal won, which meant that upon exit of the stadium, everyone was cheery and singing.  It is such an awesome experience.


It is still a bit hard emotionally to be there and remember that for a brief bit London was to be our home (it is still our favorite home-away-from-home city).  Of course we cannot wait to go back again to London, maybe with SC the next time.


In case you missed the first post ...

WHAT IS THE 10 FOR 10?

In July 2015, AC and I celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary, and previously had been discussing what sort of big trip to take.  However, it occurred to me that we typically take some pretty big trips every year, sometimes as a tag-along when AC works, and sometimes just using all the points and miles he has amassed from his work travels.  I couldn't help but wonder if another trip would really be that special and different.  So, I came up with the idea that instead of just one more trip, we should take ten trips to celebrate our years together.  I told AC, and told him that it didn't have to be just him and me (because SC is also part of our lives, obviously), but that I wanted to take ten purposeful trips, that are focused on celebrating us (and our family) as much as we can.  I told him that they didn't all have to be long or complicated trips, though we had already talked about a few places that will be, and we can start in our tenth year (July 2014) and run through the end of 2015 so that we don't take too much time away from work.  Hopefully these ten trips make this a celebratory year, one that stands out for us as we look back (in another ten years).


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