Unfortunately.. There is not much to say of our first day in Dublin. The last full night of sleep we had being in Boston, and the marathon of short naps we have endured as sleep since then, has transformed us into walking zombies. We have unwittingly become devoid of emotion, unimpressed with life in general, and seemingly incapable of cognitive thought.
Suffice it to say, (after almost not making it through customs in Dublin) we slept long and hard all the way through our first day in Dublin.
We arrived at the airport in Keflavik at 4:30AM. Stood (in several lines) for what felt like hours, before just making our flight at 6:50AM. We arrived in Dublin at 9:30AM local time. We spent the next several hours at the airport arguing while we arranged our accommodation. We left for our hostel at about noon. We checked in, got settled, and then proceeded to sleep on bottom bunks adjacent to one another in a twenty-bunk-bed-filled-room from about 2:00pm to 10:30pm. Woke up. Went out and ate some fish n’ chips at nearby hot spot. Then went back to sleep until about 8:50 the next morning.
I awoke to sounds of city traffic and heavy snoring to find myself in the bottom bunk of a dormitory under an open window. Immediately to my left and also in the bottom of his bunk is the source of the (probably alcohol induced) snoring, he is a fully dressed full grown man (shoes and all) about my age who is currently sleeping on top of his covers. Mouth wide open like a fly trap. Adorable.
Immediately to my right is the familiar face of my cousin, Caroline, who has also just woken up. I turn over and peer out the window. I am a floor or two above a busy (not New York City busy, but busy) street. There is an old and beautiful stone church oddly situated between new and old store fronts.
Where am I?
I am in Dublin. That’s right. And it is…
I have no idea what day it is, (actually even as I write this I have no idea what day it is) but I do know that, at least for today, I don’t have any obligations so it doesn’t really matter.
Our hostel is awesome. It’s pretty huge. It serves breakfast, and it houses the most eclectic mix of people I’ve ever encountered. Ever. The old, the young, families, and students of every nationality. The common area is alive with a mix of languages I recognize and many I don’t.
Caroline wants to go on a free tour of the cities cultural and historical landmarks advertised on a chalk board in the hostel.
…She also wants to go to the national wax museum.
She has been picking through brochures.
She has picked up a lot.
I, on the other hand, am not at all interested in the wax museum. I would also rather find the historical structures and what not organically and not with the crew of loud-misbehaving-children and fanny-pack-wearing-hard-of-hearing-old-folks that make up the tour group she has proposed in my head.
As Caroline showers, I take a walk around Dublin. Our hostel seems to be in the center of it all. I walk across bridges, past store fronts and pubs, almost get hit by a double decker bus when looking the wrong way while crossing the street (he rightfully honks his horn and curses me from behind the wheel), and I forget again that I am in Dublin.
The streets feel both foreign and familiar to me at the same time. It is not a city that I feel I know, but the feeling is the same as when I first visit a city in my home country that I have never been to. I do not feel like a foreigner in the larger sense, but more like that of a girl from the South of the States visiting a city in the North of the States.
… I do not know how to perfectly put it into words better than this. It is a feeling and not a fact after all…
I return to the hostel realizing that I will not be able to discover Dublin’s history by myself, at least not in a day. So I meet the rest of our tour group with Caroline in the lobby, who are not at all what I had imagined, and went on a wonderful three hour walking tour to Dublin castle, several famous universities and political museums, gardens, churches, and learned so much political and cultural history that it was actually overwhelming.
After the tour we joined our tour guides for a traditional Irish lunch of Guinness and beef stew, and bacon and cabbage at a local pub.
It ’twas delicious.
After this Caroline hung out at the hostel as I ran about trying to get my card to work in an ATM. After buying international minutes on Skype and learning that my issues have been all user related so far (oops), we headed for a pub recommended by one of the tour guides that Caroline also wanted to visit as a scene from the film P.S. I Love You was filmed there. We had a lovely local beer there before leaving for the more touristy Temple Bar area near our hostel.
We grabbed a pint at one of the more roudy pubs on the cobblestone street, and then grabbed another at the actual Temple Bar which the district was named after. There we met two nice young chaps about our age (one Irish, and one Venezuelan). It was nice to have someone to chat with again, but knowing we had another long day of travel ahead of us we retired semi-early.
And that my friends is all.
You know, until next time that is…