We Came for the Cider and Chowder

  • Day 21, Voyage of the Vikings 2019
  • Monday, Aug. 19, Dublin, Ireland

On a trip to Ireland a few years ago, my sister Elaine and her young adult son Zan enjoyed seafood chowder and a pint of Irish cider nearly every day for lunch or dinner. So that’s what the three sisters (as we are becoming known on the ship) did today – sat down in the Temple Bar Square neighborhood of Dublin to have seafood chowder and cider.

Well, I sampled their chowder but had a huge pot of steamed mussels. But we all enjoyed the cider as well as the guitar duo singing Irish ballads. We intended to have a leisurely day, but by the end of the day we had walked miles and were tired.

The Zuiderdam docked in a busy container port area, so we took the shuttle ($20 roundtrip) into the heart of the city. We wandered through the shops, browsing in a few that sported better quality clothes and Irish products. When you are from Texas, the Irish woolens are fun to look at although not very practical.

I did enjoy looking at the Waterford crystal, but I never see my virtually discontinued pattern. What I did see were Waterford’s new line of gin balloon glasses. Apparently these balloon glasses are a thing now for gin drinks, replacing the standard highball glasses.

How have I – the queen of G&Ts – missed this?

A set of four costs 250 euros (about $275), and the store would ship them and anything else I wanted to buy home for another 30 euros. I summoned my willpower – reminding myself that I packed away my crystal a few years ago and haven’t missed it since – and left empty-handed. But I’ll perhaps look for some less expensive balloon gin goblets to prove my hipness back at home

Near Trinity College we split up for a while and I spent an hour sketching on the college campus. It was packed with tourists and, I presume, some students but lacked places to sit, so I didn’t get as far sketching as I wanted. Next it was off to our Irish lunch.

My afternoon sketching session by the river was brought to a quick halt by rain, but after I put away my sketchbook and got out my umbrella, the rain turned to sprinkles and then stopped. By 4 p.m. I had found Oscar Wilde’s memorial in Merrion Square Park and then took the shuttle back to the ship.

We have one more port tomorrow – Belfast, Northern Ireland – and then back across the North Atlantic, where we will stop again in Iceland, Greenland and Canada along the way.