In my family I am renown for planning, admittedly it can end up to be too much. I tend to overcompensate for those who tend to not plan at all. But over the years I have learned that cramming as much as you can humanly stand into one trip can be daunting. It runs you down and you return home more exhausted than ever. Yes I am guilty of all this. Although I have to give myself a pat on the back as I start the planning process for Venice and Paris this coming summer. I have limited myself to three day trips the entire 13 days we are there and have left plenty of room for spontaneity.
On the other hand, I completely ignored my own advice when my sister had arrived to Dublin after TBEX. We had 5 days. So what did I do? Plan them all to hell.
Five days. Three day trips. And multiple pubs, pints and castles later we were inevitably exhausted. The most relaxing day during our trip was the four hours we spent in Howth. Only a 30 or so minute train ride from the centre of Dublin sits this seaside town. It’s very small and quaint with great hiking, lots of boats and there was even an open air market. But the reason I dragged my sister out of bed at 11 am, as she recuperated from the previous day’s 13 hour excursion from 6 am to 7 pm, was for seafood.
For a couple of Euro we had arrived in Howth very hungry and I with a bit of a cold coming on. The rain had started to drizzle that odd way rain does in Ireland. It starts as a fine mist that drenches and chills you through your clothes. Your hair and makeup dissipate like distant hills in an ocean mist. Then the rain starts to pour from the sky which is my que to take my favourite cover, at a pub. Luckily everything in Howth is in walking distance. We followed the one road from the station to the end of the town. We ducked into one restaurant that smelled like the inside of a fish tank. Not an ideal place to consume seafood if you ask me. We nauseatingly stepped back out into the rain and continued on our way. Finally, we found an inviting hideaway with a red façade called King Sitric written in white over the grey Georgian door.
The small cafe held a small dinning room to the right of the entrance with approximately 8-10 tables. To my right was an inviting bar with white beach wood and a view of the harbour. Immediately I ordered an oyster shot hoping it would quell my burning throat. Fight fire with fire I think I’ve heard it said – although it might have been on an episode of Game of Thrones…
Not so practical when it comes to a sore throat.
My sister and I finally had a moment to stop with only one day left in Ireland. We talked about where we had been these past few days both in history and within our heads. How mind blowing it was to have stood in the places we did where so much brutal history had taken place. I had been already forming potential blog posts in my head while my sister was more with heavy eyes looked at me pleading for our last day to be one of rest. A whirlwind of castles, ruins and history we had literally felt as though we physically and mentally traveled through space and time. And Howth was where it all stopped for a brief afternoon over oysters, buttered crab claws, white wine and the healing oyster shot.
In a way I felt guilty for cluttering up her time in Ireland but when I asked her, Do you regret anything we’ve done? Is there anything you’d have rather not seen? She shakes her head and replies, Only the Wicklow Gap. Aye, I concur in my best Irish accent. She smirks reluctantly and all is forgiven.
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