Monday, September 14, 2015

Domestic trials

I am absolute rubbish when it comes to European appliances.  I could NOT figure out how to get the soap tray to open on the washing machine in our Dublin airbnb rental.  It seemed to be stuck, but I didn't want to force it and break the thing.  So I consulted google, my instruction manual for life, and google presented me with youtube videos of people opening the soap trays on washers that were the exact make and model as mine.  And yet I still couldn't get the tray to open.  Do you want to know why?  BECAUSE IT WASN'T A WASHING MACHINE.  It was a dryer. The real washing machine, I mistook for the dryer.  In the end, we didn't use either because of scary European electricity, but there's a laundromat in one of the villages we're visiting.  Anyway, we hadn't accumulated much laundry after just one day in Dublin.

We are staying in a working class neighborhood in Dublin.  It's like a scene out of Coronation Street. It's a bit of a walk to the city center, but we like being able to escape from the tourist hustle and bustle.  Our house is very cozy and comfortable, with a flagged kitchen floor, a teeny wood stove in the living room, a couch squeezed under the stairs and a tiny, walled garden in back.

Sunday, our first full day in Dublin, we walked to Trinity College and saw the Book of Kells and the Old Library, which is gorgeous and has a really interesting display of children's literature, including first editions of The Hobbit and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.  Then we walked through Georgian Dublin and saw the buildings from which all those "Doors of Dublin" posters come from, and visited the National Gallery.  

It was raining steadily and Jon didn't have a rain coat.  Of course we knew it was likely to be rainy, but Jon never got around to buying a coat at home and we thought we would just buy one in Ireland. It will be easy, we said.  Ireland is sure to be full of men's raincoats, we said.  In the end, we devoted a fair chunk of Sunday to the search for a raincoat.  We started at a nice men's shop on Clare St, and then began a downward spiral to Marks and Spencer, Zara, and finally H&M, where we found something suitable that didn't cost buckets of Euros.  After that ordeal, we fortified ourselves at a pub and then walked through the Temple Bar and stopped at Tesco's for supplies for a dinner in.  Today (Monday) we're planning to take a train to Cork. There's lots more to see in Dublin, but we will be returning for a few days at the end of our trip.

I'm sorry about the lack of photos.  I'm having technical difficulties, but I'll probably do a photo post after we get home.


  1. No wonder you couldn't get the soap dish to open! I can't wait to see the photos!

  2. Your trip is to places I would love to visit and the little house you stayed in sounds charming.

  3. I sympathize with your having to deal with strange appliances. I flooded a laundromat in Belgium because I was not familiar with front-load washing machines.

    Enjoy your trip!

  4. I can only imagine how I'd be all thumbs with foreign appliances.
    I have a tough enough time with my new stove, for pete's sake.
    I've been to visit that Book of Kells and the rest of those lovely manuscripts--breathtaking.