Waking around 6.30am, I had enjoyed about six solid hours of sleep. I had set my alarm for 7.45 to get up and get the day started, and as I was wide awake and well rested, I decided to catch up on my blog writing. It took a little longer than expected and I didn’t finish until around nine.
I have been fascinated by the hot water systems in the showers of Ireland, and I think I passed on my first shower altogether on my first trip in 2012 because the process was so baffling to me. This is basically what the showers look like:
When you go into the bathroom, you pull a chord dangling from the ceiling, much like the old chain flush of toilets. This turns on the electric shower system, and the water starts to flow. The dial lets you adjust the temperature.
My hosts had already left for work, so I had the flat all to myself. I set about making boiled eggs for my breakfast, which took longer than expected. I was facing yet another electric challenge; the water from the kettle was not boiling in the pot on the stove. I adjusted the dial to make sure it wasn’t off; at home I’ve made the mistake of turning the knob so high it is actually off. Nope, it was on, but nothing was happening. The red light on the hotplate was not illuminated. Long story short, there was a wall switch that turned on power to the stove. I’d already finished my cup of tea by the time I started cooking the eggs.
After breakfast I decided to go to the National Leprechaun and Fairy Museum, and booked my tour ticket online. It was not far from where I was staying. I arrived at the Museum early, and so went around the corner to the Tram Cafe. Here I enjoyed a delicious slice of chocolate Guinness cake and a chai tea latte.
When it was time I returned to the museum for my tour. Our tour guide began by giving us a brief overview of the leprechauns and other Irish fairy folk, including the fairy folk and the banshee. Here are a few facts about the leprechaun that you may not know:
- Leprechauns originally wore RED, and adopted the green attire through commercialism.
- There are female leprechauns as well!
- The leprechauns make clothes; the fairies are very sociable and love to dance, and wear out their shoes quickly. The leprechauns make new shoes for the fairies to dance in.
- The leprechauns are tricksters, but if you ask them a question they must give you an honest answer.
After the introduction, we continued along a narrow tunnel which grew smaller as we went along, intended to make us grow into giants. The next corridor replicated the volcanic basalt columns of Giant’s Causeway. Next was the giant’s house, a room full of oversized furniture which we could climb on and take photos.
I fell off the chair in the third picture. Attempting to climb up onto it, I tried to launch my upper body onto the cushion, but without being able to grip I slid back and tumbled to the ground, hitting my backside on the lower bar on the way down. The group gave a collective shrill gasp, and a feeling of total embarrassment overwhelmed me as I gathered myself. I could feel the bruise of where my bum had hit the chair, and thought that was going to be a nasty bruise later. I made a second attempt to climb onto the blasted chair, and made it up safely this time.
In the next room was a three-dimensional map of Ireland, showing the ancient lands of the celts and the fair folk. While we watched the light display, we listened to an audio commentary about how the origins of the fairies.
We were then led deep underground beneath a fairy hill. The fairies were originally a super race much similar in appearance to humans living in Ireland, until the Celts arrived and conquered. The fair folk lost the battle against the Celts and agreed to take the underground whilst the Celts kept the land above. In order to adapt to their new dwellings under the earth the fairies became smaller in size, and also weaker in power.
The fairies love humans but like to keep their space. It is understood here in Ireland that we the humans keep to our earthly plane and leave the fairies to their world, and that is how the fairies like it.
There’s a story about a leprechaun who gave away the location of his pot of gold, but his tormentor had no shovel. He marked the tree under which the gold was buried with a red sock, but when he returned every tree had a red sock. At least he never had to replace his sock draw. Then there’s the rainbow, a colourful line of draped fabric that you have to burst through to get to the pot of gold, which seems to be standing in the middle of a large stony presentation spot rather than buried under a tree.
We ended the tour in the gift shop, but before I could look for souvenirs the tour guide had me fill out an incident report for my fall. After having a look around the shop I returned to the front office of the museum, interested in booking the Darkland night tour. The tour guide came back to the front office while I was talking to the man at the front desk, and humorously referred to me as ‘the lady who fell’.
The Darkland tour was only run on Friday and Saturday nights. It was Tuesday, and I was leaving for Galway in two days. I would be returning to Dublin at the end of my trip, and thought perhaps I could squeeze in the tour then.
After leaving the museum, I found myself in one of the many souvenir shops, and decided to make a few purchases for friends and family. I had planned to scout out a garda (police) station as part of the location research I was conducting for my book research. I decided to return to the flat to drop off my purchases first. By this time it was approaching 5pm and the sun was beginning ti fade. I gathered the energy to go back out, and once I started walking again I felt myself get a second wind of energy. I found my way to the Garda Station on Store Street, the largest garda station in Ireland. I suspected my taking pictures of a police building might appear odd to some, and was aware there were surveillance cameras in the area. I tried to look as casual as possible as I snapped pictures from different angles and even took some of some police cars. I wanted to visit another station nearby, but it was getting later so I decided to leave it until tomorrow.
I stopped by Aldi again on my way back to the flat and picked up a microwavable meal of sweet and sour chicken and rice, however my hosts were ordering pizza and invited me to join them. I topped of my second day in Dublin talking and laughing with my hosts over pizza and wine, and they were also able to give me insights into some of the subjects I was writing about in my book, including how abandoned mothers were treated in the Catholic community, and also the dodgy areas amidst the city’s nightlife.
Tomorrow I plan to visit the Dublin Writer’s Museum, and scout out the garda station on Pearse Street. But for now I have come to the end of yet another day here in Dublin town, and it is time for a shower and then to bed.