After sleeping on the plane from Lisbon, getting to our hotel, and going to bed at 3 or 3:30, I woke up before Tami and got in a quick shower. Breakfast was, well, let’s describe the hotel first, okay? We stayed at the Castle Hotel, which is in a very convenient location. It isn’t in a castle, but it’s close to one. The hotel consists of nine houses which have been connected to create a hotel, breakfast area, and basement restaurant. As a result of combining all those houses, the elevators (lifts,) while they work perfectly well, don’t exactly get you to the level on which you’ll find your room. You do have the option, in each house I suppose, of taking the stairway, but with loaded baggage at three in the morning, that wasn’t all that attractive. The breakfast area, which also had a door directly onto the street, I suppose should anyone want to drop in and buy some food, was, from our room, down two flights of stairs, 180 degrees to the left, down eight stairs, across a landing, up eight stairs, and across a sort of parlor. There was a buffet with servers behind it, where you could get all sorts of delicious food. And they had toast (hot toast if you can believe it,) a complete Irish selection (as I said, skip the puddings,) sausages, bacon (ham,) and some really tasty little croissants. By about ten, we were ready to head out into Dublin once again.
A week earlier we had walked past the EPIC Irish History Centre. My family history includes one James McDaniel, who, the story goes, came to Tiffin, Ohio from Ireland in 1848. A not unreasonable thing, given conditions in Ireland at that time. But that’s as far as I’ve gotten with that branch of the family, and I wanted to see if I could use this place to get further. As it happens, most of the building is devoted to the Irish Emigration Museum. If that sounds dull, let me assure you that we spent at least three hours going through the various exhibits, and were surprised to learn how long we’d been at it. I learned many things about Irish history, which is mine, to a large extent (I know, I look German.) The relations between England, then Britain, and Ireland were not the Brit’s finest hours, to say the least. The number of people in the world with Irish ancestry is staggering. The extent of Irish influence beyond Ireland is even more so. Take US Presidents. This picture of a plaque from inside the museum tells the story.
For another example, consider this guy:
Some of the exhibits brought tears to my eyes. It’s no wonder Irish people tend to be creative, because life has, in many cases, been pretty difficult for so many of them.
Inside the gift shop (much smaller than the one in Lisbon’s airport) is the Irish Family History Centre. We bought access to their research facilities, and by golly, I did learn something about old James McDaniel. Namely, that he was born in (drum roll) Pennsylvania! I’ve done further research since I got home, but at this time, that’s all I can say. What I really want is to find James’s father. I have half a dozen candidates, gleaned from the 1830 census. I’ll get him, by gosh!
By the time we left the afternoon was moving on, and we hadn’t had lunch. I believe that this is the day that we ate in a place on Temple Bar. Touristy, pricey, and probably obligatory. The Irish duet playing did manage to play some of my favorite Irish tunes. Erin go Bragh! We tried to get tickets to Avengers: Infinity War, but they were all sold out. So much for our plan to see it a day before the North American release. (We saw it the next evening.) The next day was, in fact, a big one. We bought tickets on an actual tour bus to Kilkenny and points South. It made for a great day, and you’ll learn all about it in my next post!
To your health!
That is, Sláinte!