Kongo returns to blogging after flying all day and all night from Los Angeles to arrive in Ireland just as the sun climbed up from the Celtic Sea. A jolly, very large Irish taxi driver who spoke with marbles in his mouth while eating breakfast (Inside taxi sticker: Absolutely no food or drink allowed in taxi!) and navigating morning traffic deposited the monkey and Mrs. Kongo at their hotel in The Liberties area of City Centre. After a two hour wait for the room to be ready, some fish and chips for Mrs. Kongo and a power nap for the simian, the traveling pair set off for a walk about and headed for the Temple Bar area and the actual, Temple Bar.
Founded in 1840, the Temple Bar is one of the most famous pubs in Ireland, or the world for that matter. It boasts more types of whiskeys, beers, and pub sandwiches than any other spot in the Emerald Isle and has pretty much non-stop live Irish music. The pub is loud, crowded, and touristy but, hey, that’s kind of the point. After checking it out, Kongo headed for a nearby pub that was a bit quieter and had an available table to sample his first Guinness of the trip.
Temple Bar, by the way, is named after a man named Temple who lived on the bank of the River Liffey and owned property there. As the river empties into Dublin Bay not so far away, at low tides a sand bar was exposed. For Kongo, it’s easy to get sand bars and bar-bars confused, especially since there are so many bar-bars in the area. About 800 years ago Vikings sailed up the river and did what Vikings do and also founded one of the largest Viking settlements.. Today this ancient area of Dublin is known as Dublinia and it’s just an arrow shot away from Temple Bar.
Mrs. Kongo wandered through ancient alleys, undoubtedly stepping on Viking graves, as we quickly lost ourselves in the confusing warren of cobblestone streets and footpaths. The “lost ourselves” part is not a literary euphemism about cultural immersion. We were lost. Talk of Amsterdam, another place Mrs. Kongo got lost, may have come up. Then there were arguments about which way the iPhone maps with newly installed eSim technology were actually pointing. “Are we on the blue line?” became Mrs. Kongo’s constant refrain every time we turned a corner.
Fortunately, this hapless pair of monkeys weren’t the only ones lost. Check out the shoes on the groom of this happy couple wandering through Dublinia on a late Tuesday afternoon. The bride is actually wearing sneakers too, modestly covered by her dress.
The monkeys are in Dublin for a few days before boarding a smallish cruise ship on Friday that will take them on a 10-day voyage to the Scilly Islands (I know you know where that is), coastal France and Spain, and eventually winding up in Lisbon for more opportunities to get lost. The cruise is a birthday celebration for Mrs. Kongo and our first passport punching expedition since COVID.
Follow along for the next several days to see how Kongo and his better half make out. Oh, and just to set the record completely straight, it was Kongo who got the pair lost in Amsterdam, not Mrs. Kongo.
Travel safe. Have fun.