My dear friends and fellow bloggers, I am back.
During the 11 months of my absence, I was offered a job in Dublin and successfully relocated to the Irish capital.
As it turned out, starting a new life, leaving everything behind, wasn’t all that easy.
The day of my arrival, it was pissing rain. My temporary apartment in the north suburb of Dublin was shady with dead bees lining up the windowsill. There was no shampoo, no soap, not even a sheet of toilet paper to begin with. The walls were paper-thin and every five minute of so, a train passes by outside of the dark bedroom window, making loud noises.
Standing in the living room, exhausted from the long flight, I picked up the phone and called my friend. I told her that I wasn’t sure that I’d made the right decision – back in the States, I had a comfortable job, a light-filled apartment, a car that could take me anywhere and most importantly, a network of friends that I miss terribly. As wise as she always is, my friend told me to trust my decision, get sleep and things would get better.
Get better they did. The next day I was transfered to a different apartment – cleaner and quieter. I bought a leap card, took the bus into town, saw the Spire, walked through Trinity College and loittered about the bustling Temple Bar area. Dublin seemed like a city with culture and a long history to explore.
Soon I cleared immigration and received my PPS number. My new job was interesting, and people in the office were nice and helpful. Things began to settle.
On weekends I started to explore. I went to the village of Howth. Did the cliff walk with a group of girls from the UK I met off the bus stop. Among them was Diana, who is now my best friend in Dublin.
It was early autumn and the emerald coastline was adorn with heather bushes.
After the walk, we had the award-winning chowder at the Brass Monkey.
Having tried the New England Clam Chowder and the Pike Place Market Chowder, I am happy to report that this is the best chowder I have ever had.
The soup or rather stew was smooth and creamy laiden with large chunks of fish, sea scallops, mussels and crab pieces, fresh off the boat.
The following weekend Diana and I went to Ticknock. We walked the Fairy Castle Loop
with a beautiful view of Dublin from the summit.
There were abundance of wild blackberries to nibble
a hiker/biker friendly cafe
serving hot food and delicious treats along the way
And the highest pub in Ireland awaits at the end of the trail.
This description of the Weather Forecasting Stone cracks me up.
Yet another weekend we found ourselves lost in Tallaght, trying to get to the Dublin Mountain Way. Fortunately a young Irish driver offered us a ride back to the right path.
We saw horses, sheep and cows.
Signs that remind us that this is very much a farming community.
Back in the city, I started to explore new restaurants.
The Pig’s Ear is modern Irish cooking with seasonal ingredients.
Their bread is fantastic and the duck is cooked to perfection. Coming from Seattle, The 2 Course €23.95 / 3 Course €28.95 lunch & early evening menu is a steal.
And speaking of bread, Bread 41 is my favorite bakery for morning pastries.
Meryl Rothstein from Bon Appétit ate at the organic bakery three times in her two day jaunt in Dublin and wrote an article about it.
Judging by the large number of Italians in the city, Italian food is thriving in Dublin. This little restaurant located in a basement of Bachelor’s Walk serves delicious pasta and specialty daily dishes, with character.
The server reminds me of soup nazi in the episode of Seinfield. Don’t expect him going out of his way to impress you. But if you are there for the food, this is the place you don’t want to miss.
Osteria Lucio is my go-to pizza places in town.
Diego works miracles in the kitchen. As my Italian friend puts it, their dough is gentle to the stomach.
I have so much to share. But I’d better stop before this post gets too long.
Weather in Dublin could be harsh especially when the storm rolls in with rain and 45km/hour wind gust.
Each year Met Éireann and the UK Met Office decide on a list of storm names. So far in 2020, we’ve had Brendan, Ciara and Dennis, not to mention the passer-bys such as Storm Jorge this past weekend.
But when the sky clears up
there is nowhere in the world I would rather be.
More to come…