My shiny little online spot to help y'all keep track of me while I galavant around London.

Friday, September 09, 2005


We left for Dublin on the Wednesday afternoon, after a crappy afternoon. I woke up early and headed to the library to finish my stupid paper (about the effects of internet search engines on journalism sourcing). At one point, I bought apple juice, which spilled in my bag... all over my passport. Anyways, Mel and Meru kept calling me on my cell (and I kept snapping at them to leave me alone) as to what time we should meet to head to the airport. The flight leaves at 5, we need to be there about 4, so I said lets leave by three. Oh, silly me. Of course, we leave late—hell, I only hand in my paper at 2pm, and still have to pack.

We miss the train by about a minute. Okay. Fine. So we hop on the tube, which I don't have a ticket for, but whatever. After changing at Canada Water, we finally made it to London Bridge. I was stressing, thinking we won’t make our plane. We’ve got about five minutes to catch our train to Gatwick, and we’re rushing to the platform… and Tony is behind us, at the ticket barrier. Apparently he tripped over it. Anyways, we make our train, with about ten seconds to spare… and it’s late. So we have to wait for it.

It’s 4:30 before we even get to the airport; we’ve missed check-in. But no worries. I should know better, really. Of course--and if you don't see where this is going you haven't heard enough of my travel stories--of course the flight was delayed. How silly of me to think it would leave on time.

After a bumpy hour flight, we land in Dublin. Going thru customs, I handed my soggy passport to the guy. He looks at me and rather kindly asks: "Put it thru the wash?" I say: "No, apple juice." He makes this face of utter disdain, and waves me thru. Guess he doesn't like apples.

Finally walking out to the main area, we walk out to see Kristian and Allison waiting with a sign. K&A are friends of Meru and Tony; I've hung out with them only a bit before, but I still got a hug from Allison, and after the day I'd had, it was much appreciated.

So we caught the bus (driven by a total asshole) to our hostel, which was nice and in a good location.

After settling in, we headed to an area of Dublin called Temple Bar, which is where—you guessed it—the bars are. We spend a lot of time—my perception of it is skewed as I was so hungry—looking for a suitable restaurant, and eventually settled on some Indian food.

After, we headed to a bar called Temple Bar (so that’s the bar’s name and the area’s name), where we drank Guinness and Smithwicks and sat and talked.

Then, Kevin Foster walked in. Given I know him from Calgary, this was a bit of a surprise. Sure, we knew he was in town for a conference, but he didn’t know which bar we were in. He just guessed. And got it right, first try. Pretty cool.

Tony, Kevin, Kristian and Meru

It was almost like a Gauntlet night, hanging out with old-schoolers, drinking beer. Good times.

The next day...

We didn’t have much time in Dublin the second day, only a few hours. There were many things I wanted to do, but one I had to do: the Guinness brewery.

Let me tell you this: it was way too expensive and wasn’t even the real brewery, just a tourist trap. But it was worth it. Basically just a museum dedicated to all things Guinness (or, perpetuating the myth that is Guinness), the best displays had to do with their advertising, which has always been stellar.

However cool the ad rooms were, the best part was the end. They give you a free pint, in their bar seven-floors up, in a round, window-walled room, looking out over the real factory and the city of Dublin. So there I sit, with fellow aficiandos, looking out over Dublin through glass inscribed with quotes from Irish books, watching the brewery steaming away, sipping the freshest, smoothest, bestest ever pint of Guinness I’ve ever had the blessing to imbibe. All this, at 11am. I love the Irish.

Mel with her pint!

K&A and Meru skipped out on Guinness and went for breakfast. Tony decided he wasn’t happy with the place and got his money back, which was pretty funny. I mean, he doesn’t even like Guinness…

After that, we went to Trinity College and checked out the book of Kells, which is a super old (circa 800ad) set of books. Very cool. Even better was the incredible library—oh man. First edition Newton’s and everything else you can imagine, stacked on massive wooden shelves, busts of famous scientists posed at the end of each. The smell! Old books and wood—oh people, I had a good day. Fresh Guinness and first editions, what more could a girl want? All before lunchtime. Let me say it again: I love the Irish.

Then, we rushed back to the hostel, grabbed our stuff, hopped a bus to the airport where we picked up our van… oh, if only it were so simple… that tale I'll save for another post...


My pics are at:

Krisitian's (much better) pics are here:


Blogger Nat said...

So, was South right and that if you go early, the American tourists leave behind their empty pints?



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