Dublin, Ireland

So a bit of crazy-awesome before I even got here.

MASSIVE storm moved through Belgium last night, thunder, lightening, heavy rains and winds.  Everything was delayed or diverted, including the plane that would become my flight to Dublin.  It was meant to fly to Brussels, but was diverted to Amsterdam (a train ride away), before being held there.  So a 9:50 departure became a 12:30 departure, and u became tired.
The flight was Aer Lingus, and it came to me that I actually knew an Aer Lingus flight attendant, nice guy named Roberto that I met last March while hiking Ciudad Perdida.  I had sent him a Facebook message earlier in the day to see if he would be in Dublin to catch a beer, but didn’t hear anything back.  Probably. Working.
Well, and I’m sure you can tell where this story is going, I step onto the plane and there’s Roberto, being awesome as ever, big smiles for everybody!  We do a quick shake and hug, chat at my seat for a bit over tea and a kit kat, and promise we’ll check in later when he’s back from Chicago.  I’ll be in Limerick at that point, so we’ll see what adventures unfold.
Could have figured out how to get to the hostel by bus, but was frigging tired, so a comfy cab ride later and it was bed time.

Had a traditional Irish breakfast at the hostel today, consisting of eggs, beans, various sausage, bacon, unknown meat, a hash brown and toast, and maybe some other things I didn’t remember.  Then, off to Dublin.

So confession about the Irish leg of this trip in general.  Ireland is on Daina and my’s collective “To Visit” list, so this trip isn’t going to be about tourism in the way that other trips would be.  I plan on seeing some things, but mostly I plan on seeing people.  My Fraternity brother Hummel is doing his Masters out here, and my friends Kev and Kathy, who I taught with in Seoul, moved back here a while back.  Throw in Roberto possibly coming to Limerick to hang out, and this one is more about the people than the places.  It’s mostly about visiting them, having fun and seeing some things, but not worrying about seeing it all.

So today’s trip to Dublin was more like scanning a bunch of profiles on a dating app and swiping right on a bunch of them, but with the dates coming a lot later in the future.

For instance, walked past the Four Courts, down O’Connell Street, over to the Customs house, but didn’t pop into any museums or displays I saw along the way.

Visited Trinity College today, home to the Book of Kells, one of the most important books in Ireland’s history.  Looked at the campus, did not go in the line to see the book.

Did go into St. Patrick’s Cathedral, because it’s St. Patrick.  Can’t not say hello.  Beautiful choir inside.

Walked through the Guinness Storehouse, did not go in for the tour, and for those of your who are screaming “sacrilege!”, I had Irish Guinness in Cork a few years back, and I don’t know if actually tasted different, or if my brain just said it did.  Did try an O’Hara’s stout and an 8 Stout at the Generator as well, and those were both better than Guinness.

Took a look around the grounds of Dublin Castle, did not go in to see the inside or the rest of the grounds.

Checked out all the storefronts and life at Temple Bar, didn’t go into any of the bars to drink (which I’d want to do with somebody anyway, since I’m not putting “drink at this bar” on the top of a “to do” list at this stage of my life).

Heck, my hostel, The Generator, is in a beautifully refurbished part of town with includes the Jameson Distillery.  Right around the corner.  Minutes away.  Did not go in.

Part of it, honestly, is saving some dollars.  The other part is trying to get a “sense” of the city in the few hours I had, not wanting to miss some smaller experiences to get one complete experience, since none of the complete ones outrank seeing most of Dublin.

So, overall, this is a very surface-level view I got today.  Not unlike when I was working on the Jewel of the Seas in Northern Europe, where we’d be in the cities for a few different times, and the first time I visited, I basically window-shopped the sights.

Have a feeling I’ll be back in Dublin, so not too worried.  It definitely needs a few days to properly see, and I’ll want to dive in at a later date.

So, very promising city, lame post.  Happens sometimes.  Next few should be more fun, though.

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