Today was a lazier day, in that we got up at 8 to shower and make our way down to Temple Bar Square to find CK's most excellent co-worker and family for brunch. Dublin in general was slow to wake up today. After last night's Gay Pride -and- Saturday Night partying, I'm really not surprised that most of the people we saw on the streets were tourists, and many of those tourists were either incredibly clean-cut older folks, or middle-aged Asian couples.
We got to Temple Bar a bit early, so had a moment to people watch and enjoy the morning before J. found us. He took us around the corner to Gertrude’s, which was fine for breakfast in the generic meat-and-toast Irish way. The chatting was wonderful, as the D. family is a great bunch. The kids are really smart and conversational, and I got sucked into a debate with the girl about whether Harry Potter movies were getting too scary (she's something like 10 years old). The boy kept telling me English/Scottish/Irish jokes, which of course pushed me back into my childhood Frenchman/Mexican/Texan jokes, but his included the "spit it out!" beer joke, and I'm not sure he'd understand the "Remember the Alamo!" one. Brunch took us into early afternoon.
We wandered through the little streets between Dame and the Quay on our way west back towards Christ Church Cathedral. On the way, we saw a metal sculpture display of Transformers, Aliens, and other famous metalesque monsters. On one wall of a building across from the metal display was a huge artist's rendition of a starscape. I took a couple of photos, but the sunlight was such that there may be too much shadow to discern the inscriptions in the concrete.
Dublinia (spelled Dvlinia) and Viking World was the planned stop for the day. We paid our admission and went into the museum. This was another repeat for CK and me, so honestly I wasn't expecting anything fabulous, but I was wrong on two counts. Overall, we discovered that the display had been upgraded since last time. Up on the third floor, the architecture section was open, and had a computer-generated illustration of where the medieval walls of the city stand (sit) under the modern one, and where you can still find pieces of them. And the biggest treat waited for us in the room on Viking living and livelihoods: Chris Grant, Silversmith and Viking reenactor. He is an amateur blacksmith, silversmith, and second-guy-on-the-right for a friend of his who does professional reenacting for movies and television. Chris was a great conversationalist, freely sharing information about methods and authenticity for Vikings in the Middle Ages, trading blacksmithing stories with CK, and generally pouring out his knowledge to and for us. We probably spent a half an hour talking with him about everything from braiding silver wire to how hard it is to find an anvil in Ireland. It was a wonderful treat to talk to him, especially for CK.
What with the long brunch then the long chat with Chris in Viking World, we did not leave the museum until almost 3 PM. I had declared earlier that I really wanted to eat the next meal at the Queen of Tarts restaurant. So we did. CK's lunch tart (quiche) was the best of the three, and FE won for the best dessert with the apple and blackberry crumble. By the time we had licked the last crumbs of off our plates, I was ready for a warm flat rock rather than a death march across town to get to the Natural History museum, so we went back to the hotel for some quiet time reading and suchlike. I proved myself correct about being ready to be horizontal by promptly passing out flat for three hours. We slithered out of the hotel in search of Indian food for CK. We had a very late dinner at Jaipur - recommended in the Dublin Guide - which certainly made his day.
The rest of the evening has been spent reading and planning the wandering jaunt southward towards the Castle tomorrow. Using Chris's intelligence about blacksmiths, we've got a start on a few places to poke our noses for CK, and one of them is on the way to the Castle. We also found a possible real crafts area to browse, so speed is not going to be on our list of adjectives for the drive.
Also, starting tomorrow, internet access will be spotty at best and quite probably non-existent for large chunks of the rest of the week.