It never rains in Dublin. That’s been my experience, anyway. It’s almost always sunny and warm, and as such I’ve sought refuge from big hard sun in Grogan’s pub. I am seated at the bar, with a pint of Smithwick’s red, listening to the publican talk about the World Cup, and other tourists ordering drinks, while the regulars sit quietly off to the side.

I think yesterday I had understated just how much I prefer Dublin to Belfast. The city exudes confidence and hospitality, whereas its northern cousin seems anxious and almost hostile to those who don’t belong. At any rate, that is neither here nor there now. Here is Dublin, and now is a sunny Sunday afternoon.

Since arriving – I’m going to skip over this morning – I’ve had an excellent sandwich, coffee and cannoli at a great little Italian bakery about 10 minutes walk from my hotel; I’ve walked around Trinity University, and peaked at the Book of Kells through the heads and shoulders of German, American and Chinese tour groups, and strolled around St. Stephen’s Green (appropriately on my brother Stephen’s birthday). I am having a relaxing penultimate night in Ireland.

Tomorrow I plan to tour the Jameson distillery and visit Clontarf Castle (where the High King Brian Boru fought the Vikings, or something). I’m not sure what else. I’m sure a pub or two will be involved. An early night, aince I have a morning flight on Tuesday.

Home is very much on my mind. I’ll save reflecting back the past few weeks till I’m back.

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