Day Thirty-Two

Coming to Dublin was probably the greatest last minute decision I could have made.

We landed at 10pm, and the sun was still setting, leaving everything an eerie twilight grey. All the signs in the airport were in English. Not just the directional ones, but the adverts too. It felt like heaven.

I caught a bus to my hostel, and checked in. There were two entrances into the dorms from the lobby, and I’m sure the receptionist told me to take the right one, but by the end of the unpleasantries I went straight through.

The hostel is a maze.

I’m sure they do it so you have to sleep in the hall at one point and save them running water costs. I have no idea what happened but I knew I had to be on the second floor, she was adamant about that, but I was to be in room 29 and each floor seemed to only be going up in 6-10s. I was following the “Rooms 20-29” plaques through mazes of halls and stairs and more stairs. Eventually, I started going downstairs again until I came across a tiny little cubby like area at the bottom of a staircase, with no plaques and a door that read “fire door”. Now, it doesn’t say “FIRE EXIT” but I still stood there confused, trying to figure out if I had followed the plaques wrong. I head back up the stairs, double check the sign that sent me down here, and head down again.

I push through the door, with no where else to go, and discover room 29 on the other side. Random, random layout in this building. I push through, collapse on my bed, and fall asleep.

I’m up the next morning to head to Murray’s Bar for the live screening of All Blacks v Samoa. I ask for tea and they don’t ask which fruity-green cocktail I want, just bring out a steaming mug of good, black tea. Dublin, I love you. A decent eggs bene and some rugby to start the morning, and I’m off.

I make my way to the Jameson’s factory on Bow street, and buy a ticket for their tour. 

While I wait for the 12 o’clock start, I ponder their gift store. I’ve bought next to nothing while I’ve been here, and spent far less (I think) than anticipated. I wonder about getting dad a scarf, because he’s metro like that – and it’s his birthday, but mum advises while he likes Jameson’s, it isn’t his favourite. The tour is called up, and we head in.

We learn about the history of the brand, the process in making the liquor, and eventually a comparative taste test. The taste test results in the whole group having 3 shots before 1pm in the afternoon, and a complimentary drink is still on offer with the purchase of our ticket.

I sit at the bar and order their mixed version, instead of straight, and watch it get made as nearly a 50/50 while my body screams woah tiger we still have to walk back to the hostel. I take a nervous sip and it tastes amazing, not a single shiver of hard liquor reaction runs down my spine. An Australian joins me, I hear his accent and he hears mine and we’re fast friends, chatting over our drinks so we don’t appear alone at a bar. He splits off to meet up with his girlfriend arriving that day, and I decide to buy the scarf for myself. I’m incredibly happy.

I walk around, in a general opposite way I got here from the hostel kind of circle so I can look at new things, and stumble across a church.

The church turns out to be the only church from the Medieval era still in use today, in Dublin. It’s free entry, so I wander around, and the receptionist tells me a little bit of history but advises the cards around the building will be more interesting than her prattling on, and to watch out for the lucky stone around the corner.

It’s such a small, old place, so I touch the stone. Shop owners used to believe that the success of their business greatly hindered on them touching the stone once a day. Previously, I haven’t touched any of the “lucky” emblems around. The statues on the bridge in Prague being swarmed with people every minute, I just hate to think what’s been left on them, and if they’re ever cleaned. Maybe I’ll blame currently being sick on touching the thing, not very lucky, huh!

I wander around a little more, and round a corner to Dublinia, history of the vikings museum. You can see its very kid friendly from the get go, looking very interactive, but what the hell. Viking history is different to all the other history I’ve been looking at lately and interactive is fun.

The first floor is a concise Viking history, including a table with the Viking Runes laid out next to the English alphabet so you can spell out your name. Mostly using phonetics as not every letter has a direct translation. The floor ends talking about Valhalla and Ragnarok, and what it means for the Vikings. You exit into this pitch black room which occasionally lights up with lightning-esque flashes to reveal this terrifying wall.

We head up and learn about the settlements and Kings after the Viking rulers. It’s here that history starts to get a little too recent for me and I mostly just enjoy the interactive experience. The top floor was items on loan from the National museum and another interactive experience on archeology. It was great fun. I definitely felt 12.

The exit to the museum was through a bridge which has beautiful stained glass windows, and led into another church. I ventured outside to look at it from there.

From here, dinner time at BoBo’s Burgers, and bed.

The next morning was Lions v Maori All Blacks, which I again got up for. We lost, never really having much possesion or promising runs, but 2 South-Africans about Dad-age sat down and saw me watching the game so we chatted like old friends.

I wandered around again, settling down for lunch in an adorable Tram Cafe. I message Rimal about being homesick, just wanting to skip the end and come home, about wanting more than 2 days off before I go back to work haha. Rimal calls me, immediately, bless, and chats to me for maybe an hour and eventually settles me down about the notion of going home, and I setup a countdown timer to help me along.

I head into the Leprachaun Museum, advertised as a history lesson on Irish Folklore. It was pretty much terrible, a good way to kill an hour for me who was just looking for something to do, but I wouldn’t recommend it, to anyone.

My time slot changed while I was waiting as I was the only one who booked in, so the receptionist graciously moved me to 20 minutes later which was fine by me, and she wrote me a voucher for a free gift from the gift shop at the end of the tour for being so obliging. The gift turned out to be a rainbow lead coloured pencil. I laughed and went on my way.

From the museum, I made the long way home. Roommates recommend Sweet Miss Sue’s for dinner (or SMS) for some good fish and chips (and tartar sauce and mushy peas, my first time) yum! and the manager turned out to be from NZ having lived in Ireland for 14 years. It was awesome, but I started getting the sniffles, and my ear hadn’t unblocked from the airplane ride into Dublin, so I headed home and went to sleep.

Today, my sniffly nose has turned into a full on snot-demon, and my sinuses are clogging my ears and throat too. I went out purely in search of flu medicine, tissues, and vitamin water, had a TERRIBLE hot chocolate and cinnamon-bread-labelled-as-banana-bread and an okay lemon muffin from Insomnia (coffee chain).  2 of my 3 roommates didn’t come home from a concert last night, and at 5pm in the afternoon still haven’t been home all day. I wonder if they’re dead.

I managed to liase with a friend of Elanor’s who is hooking me up with a place to stay in Amsterdam (that place is SO expensive) and explained my homesick dilemma to her, and how I’d love to just go straight there from Dublin rather than through Belgium as previously planned, and she’s a-ok with that.

So I booked my flight to Amsterdam and settled down with some chips, updated my blog, and am now settling down to read some more. I love my kindle.

Regards,

Alex

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