Day 5: The Dublin Zoo and Chicane

October 7, 2010 04:16 – 04:16

Today, we visited the Dublin Zoo. The thatched cottage shown here was built in the early 1800s, and was one of the first buildings built on the site for the zoo.

We stopped for lunch at the Meer Cat restaurant. Word of advice: don’t arrive at the zoo hungry for lunch. The Meer Cat has something they call a carvery, but there was nothing there to be carved. We’ve been to a number of carveries over in England—featuring giant roasts of beef, lamb, and fowl, along with Yorkshire pudding and the like. The Meer Cat “carvery” was nothing like that—about six or seven precooked entrees, none of which looked compelling. We both opted for the burger, which was a bunless mound of ground beef, which had been mixed with onions, and topped with a tomato and more onions. One of the optional sides was chips, which became immersed in gravy. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t have liked that, except for the fact that the chips were pretty bad. So, in the end, the gravy—which was quite tasty—was a welcome addition to the chips. Yes, I’m a tough food critic. But, then again, this was a zoo. Was that really beef? I guess we’ll never know.

After lunch, we split up to enjoy the zoo at our own separate paces. Here are some of the animals I saw along the way. Here, we have the mara. There were about eight or ten maras, and this was the most animated of the bunch. He actually blinked his eyes and twitched his nose as he was munching. Why didn’t I catch it on video? This is a video. J

I didn’t catch this fellow’s name.

This quote was on the fence of a petting area. Nice that the Irish know about folks like TJ.

Below, a couple of turtles are either having a rumble or a roll in the grass. I didn’t ask, and they didn’t tell.

Above is the waldrapp ibis—one of at least four I counted. And below we have a very lovely red panda. The capitalist pandas are living elsewhere, I guess.

Don’t you just want to cuddle this little guy?

Don’t chase the birds!!!

Here, a Humboldt’s penguin was having a nice time swimming. Sure wish I could swim that fast.

These were some of the strangest birds I’ve ever seen. Oh, wait. They’re plants. That would explain why they kept posing. Beautiful, though, aren’t they?

Swish that tail, Mr. Z!

Another tail swisher! If you have sweeping to do, oryx beat Orecks.

It’s kind of odd when a white rhino is running right towards you. Thank goodness for the ditch and the fence! Why aren’t rhinos dinosaurs? They sure look like dinosaurs to me, and rhinoceros could just as well be rhinosaurus. I’m just sayin’…

Below, a couple of birds enjoy a free ride on the rhino-mobile. I used to know what these birds are called. They’re very plentiful here, but we don’t have them back home. They’re like the Irish equivalent of crows.

I’m not sure what this chimpanzee was eating. It looked better than what I had for lunch.

A few seconds after the following picture was snapped, the guy with the teeth jumped one of the females. I won’t show those pictures. Not sure I want pictures of white crowned mangabeys humping in my blog.

But, immediately after that, one of the female’s entourage did an inspection. I wasn’t quite sure what protocol they were following.

“Ah. I think I see the problem!”

Below, the mommy teaches a little one about rock climbing.

Speaking of lunch! I’m hoping the black and white bird below is helping himself to a zoo resident’s lunch, and not to a zoo resident.

After the zoo, we headed to Tesco in Stillorgan to do some shopping and to look for an ice chest. Ice chests are very hard to find in Ireland and the U.K. for some reason. We didn’t find one. We next headed back to Eaton Square to put the groceries away. After internetting for an hour or so, we headed out for the evening’s entertainment.

We had reservations for dinner at The Lobster Pot. We parked the car on my square (Herbert Square), then headed through a light rain the half block to the restaurant. It was rather odd… the door was locked, and we had to knock and ring to get in. Once in, though, they were as friendly as could be. I counted at least three men who were serving. When we got there, they outnumbered us three to two—we were the first guests to arrive. While we were there, four other “parties” arrived. Three were individual elder gentlemen, and one was an elder couple. When Karen & I are the youngest ones in the restaurant, you know it’s an old crowd indeed.

We both opted for the early bird menu, both starting with their excellent fish chowder. For an entrée, Karen had the cod mornay, and I had the goujon of Dover sole. Both were good, but Karen won the “best dinner” award. The sole was fresh and prepared well, but was a bit boring. We opted for the 3 course, and chose desserts from the trolley. We both had this amazing layered chocolate cake—alternating layers of rich dark chocolate cake and chocolate mousse, served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a dollop of whipped cream. T’was delicious.

After dinner, over which we lingered a trifle too long, we made our way to Dundrum town center to the Mill Theatre. The problem was that traffic was still a bit too heavy, and we didn’t know exactly where the Mill would be in the mall. Wouldn’t you know… it was at the opposite end from where we parked. We managed to get there literally seconds before the play began—the opening scene beginning as my own seat sat. It was too dark to find our way down to our reserved seats, so we sat closer to the top. That worked out well, though, as the area above was less populated, allowing us to spread out a bit.

The Mill is a nice theatre, but last night it was a bit overheated—maybe 80 degrees in there by the time the play ended. The acting in the play was good, and the basic premise was good enough. The twists and turns and gun shots added to the suspense (although, I had already guessed that both of the major twists would occur).

We both found ourselves confused at the end, however, as we didn’t understand the motivation of the villain. (Although, technically, I’d have to say there were three villains… so, it was “Ray’s” motivation we didn’t understand). Ray was affecting a very strong accent that was hard for us to understand at a few points. Unfortunately, the biggest laughs came at his lines—and we couldn’t always make out what he said. He might’ve actually explained his motivation at the end, but if he did, it missed us both—something about diamonds, perhaps. I’ve posted a question on the Mill’s Facebook page… maybe someone can explain it to me without spoiling it for others who haven’t seen the play. Or, maybe I’ll have to find the script and read it, or email the playwright.

Today, we’re planning to head down to Kilkenny, which is about an hour and a half southwest of here. We might try the fish & chips at Leo Burdock’s before heading down, as we keep hearing that they’re the best.

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