Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Venus and Mars: Valentines Weekend in Dublin, 2003

Valentine's Weekend 2003 was the one. After a week of work on a transatlantic project that still looms in office legend, I was off for the usual extra day or two in Dublin. But this time, after much persuasion and the fortunate alignment of a three day US holiday weekend near the traditional day for romance, I had convinced my husband to join me.

For me, it would be my fourth visit. For him, the first time travelling outside the United States. For both of us, the last time visiting this place in the pure, heedless state of tourism: knowing no-one and no-one knowing us.

As the advance scout, I had already discovered the Georgian on Baggot Street. The Harcourt Hotel, of my first visit, is fondly remembered for several reasons -- one of them being its appearance in Patrick McCabe's The Dead School and therefore part of the personal Horslips walking tour for me -- but it was one long trek to and from anything. And though closer to the action, the Comfort Inn on Talbot Street was an experiment not repeated. So the Georgian, where you go outside to get back inside, where a double set of Winchester Mystery House stairs misleads you every time, and where suspiciously rounded humps in the carpet seem to shift location during the night, won out in the end.

And in 2003, registering at the front-desk with a man in tow, I was rewarded with a vast, top floor suite and a high wide-mattressed bed fitted out in soft white linen and down-filled duvet. And a shower of unimaginably warm and ceaseless water. That first afternoon, I lost one of my earrings in the bedding.

It was a shame, actually, that we had so much sightseeing planned for the weekend.

The next day we followed the advice of the taxi-driver and set off to find the Church with the relics of Saint Valentine. Apparently, we were told, they'd bless our wedding rings for us at the place.

Me: Remember that church?
Husband: I remember we got into that bad argument there.
Me: Yeah. I was remembering that too. What were we fighting about?
Husband: Can't remember. Remember the museum?
Me: Which one? The Art Gallery or History museum?
Husband: I was thinking of the Dead Animal Zoo.
Me: Remember the guys at the Cobblestone?
Husband: And that dinner after the march?
Me: Remember the march?
Husband: That was like four percent of the population there.
Me: We found that other place...not as good as Cobblestone. What was that?
Husband: We went to Trinity too. Remember?
Me: We did a lot!
Husband: You could write some of that up.
Me: I'd have to do it over a few days. That's a lot to write up.
Husband: Use pictures too.

So, yeah. Three years ago, we went to Dublin and saw some sights. It might be something I could write about over the next few posts. Not as exciting as some. But there'll be pictures.


Aaron Fleming said...

Ah! The Duke and I attempted to get into that cafe place in the top picture. Sadly they were closing at the time, although I do think it was around 11pm anyway.

Miss Templeton said...

I haven't been inside since it was reorganized last year under new ownership. But the Harry Clarke stained-glass windows are worth the effort.

Say--there's some very cool illustrations at that link!

I hope it is understood that my little travelogue will not reach the heights of eloquence or the depths of human degradation that graced the Duke's own blog last summer.

As hinted by the preliminary table of contents in our dialogue, my husband and I barely kept our heads above the shallows of Viking Splash Tours and 10 Euro Literary Pub Crawls.

Brownie said...

Greetings Miss T - just had a big catch-up on your posts.
Loved all your pics of beautiful Ireland thank you.
Re JamPact: back in 1965 the ex-Mr Brownie had a mod band named CampAct. This was considered very risque at the time. ha.
They did Sam n Dave, Solomon Burke stuff.