The Steampunk World

Being the continued explorations of a living steampunk.

The steampunk world is all around us, lying just out of sight, in a continuous thread of steampunk builders and culture that extends from the Victorian era to the present. You'll find no science fiction here: This is real life steampunk.

Friday, February 02, 2007

From Dublin To The West Midlands

Stayed in a manor house. Drank some funky cider. Checking out the windey alleys. Rode a bike around looking at graffiti. Hung out with one of the Dubliners in the bar where they got their start. Drank some smokey whiskey. Each day my hangover is met with a traditional Irish breakfast of congealed pig's blood, sheep kidney, and breakfast fish. Found a railbike in an old pub that is just like the one I'm restoring. All the buses are tallbuses here. Headed up into the mountains to visit an ancient monastery and did some gravestone rubbings. Don't see what all the fighting is about- Ireland seems like a red-headed England to me.

New Years in Dublin was a non-event. The only people in the pub who noticed midnight were Americans. You know, running into Americans in Europe was ghastly. No wonder everybody hates us. Note to Americans: Do NOT sing "No Nay Never" if the only words to it you know are "No Nay Never No More" again and again.

There was much more excitement about the last rugby game at the nearby stadium. P.S. Irish kids are little punkasses (literally screaming with laughter and falling down at the sight of my mustache), but I think American ones are too.

I visited the National Museum of Transport. I took the train to the end of the line and the walked up a country lane. Pretty soon I was passing through the outer wall of a castle. A sign said, "Private property- no tresspassing- except museum visitors". I kept walking. Half of the castle was falling down and the other half was occupied- I could see a dude in there reading in his study. I went around back where there were three huuuuge barns, each one packed to the brim with buses, trolleys, fire engines, and military equipment. You literally had to squeeze sideways to walk around in there. A woman was reading the paper in the ticket booth. She didn't notice me. I said, "good morning!" and she said, "Oh, I don't work here, I'm just reading the paper. Put your admission on the counter." It was awesome, but the government isn't really interested in supporting that kind of stuff. Basically they said old dudes come in and work on whatever bus was in service when they were young.

Stacee also dragged me to the National Gallery, and I really appreciate that she did. Got my culture on. I didn't see Bono there looking at a painting of himself like my sister did.

I was really having a great time with all the different forms of public transporation- double-decker bus, ferry, light rail, interurban rail. We parted ways with my family and took off across the Irish sea on a very large ferry (the kind that has bars and restaurants inside). It landed in Wales and we took a train along the misty Welsh coast down to Ross-on-Wye.


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