We had scheduled a train excursion to Waterford and a couple of other spots in the Irish countryside, but it was cancelled for lack of other participants (apparently we were the only people who’d signed up), so we spent most of the day walking around Dublin.
The area around our hotel is fairly posh, but a few block away, things changed. While the amount of retailing remained astonishing, the quality of goods on display–and seemingly all being offered at 50-60% off–was somewhere between poor and shoddy. While we had remarked on a lack of diversity around the hotel, there was much more in the poorer precincts, leading us to form an impression that ‘people of color’ are probably disproportionately poorer here, as at home.
We walked through and around Trinity College, where students could be identified by their traditional black robes (now polyester–I wonder what they used to be). The campus is very old and impressive, but there is a lot of deferred maintenance visible.
We were struck by what appears to be a really first-rate public transportation system. Buses, rail, taxis are everywhere. And we were jealous of the impressive bike-share program; the distinctive blue bikes can be checked out through a kiosk, which unlocks the bike from it’s stand. No attendant needed. From casual observation, the program seemed very popular–we saw lots of folks checking them out and returning them.
People are not as thin as in Vilnius, but still far, far from as obese as we are in Indiana.
Tomorrow is a long travel day–we need to leave our hotel at four in the morning, and then it is air and rail with several changes until we reach Berlin.