Today was another travel day, so again, not many pictures. I got a nice send-off from Toni and Danny at Larkinley Lodge – seriously, guys, that is THE place to stay in Killarney. Wonderful rooms, great food, and the warmest, friendliest, most helpful hosts you could wish for. Danny even drove me to the train station this morning.
The train ride was suitably boring; the only thing of interest was, after scrambling to get my ticket and onto the connecting train in Dublin, there was a problem with that train’s signals1 and we all had to troop off that train and over to another train, which meant we were delayed about twenty or thirty minutes.
But I made it to Kilkenny and, after one2 wrong turn, I managed to find Butler House, where I’m staying.
After dropping my stuff off, I took the advice of Helen, the lady who checked me in, and wandered up to Kyteler’s Inn for dinner, where they had a music session going.
There’s a whole story behind Kyteler’s Inn, but I don’t want to ruin it for folks. I’m sure I’ll get a more detailed3 version of the tale on my walking tour tomorrow, and I’ll be sure to share it with you.
Tonight, I’m going to be taking the rest of the evening easy.
Or something. I don’t know. It coulda been signals. [↩]
So, I’ve made it to Belfast. I have to say, if you have the option of traveling business class, it’s pretty awesome. Bigger, more comfortable seat, better food, airport lounge, all that stuff. I really enjoyed it.
The plane got in to Dublin about a half-hour early. It was a little chilly this morning, but not too bad. I just put my rain jacket on to block the wind, and I was plenty warm enough. Irish customs was really fast and easy: “How long are you staying in Ireland? Business or pleasure?” and boom – I was through. Literally no more than ten seconds.
Once through, I made my way outside and caught the Airlink bus that runs from the airport through the city centre.
The bus ride in to Grafton Street was easy, as was getting my errands done there. The difference in stress levels this trip compared to the early days of last trip are amazing – just the little bit I know about the place from being here before makes everything easier and less frantic. And, of course, I ran into an old friend.
From there, once my phone was linked to the 3 network, I called up a walking path from Grafton Street to Connolly Station, where I was to catch the train north to Belfast. It was about a mile walk, but my luggage wasn’t too heavy at that point, so I decided to do it; if nothing else, it would let me stretch my legs after the long flight and also refamiliarize myself a little more with the city.
I made it to the station and got on a train, and then had to fight to keep from falling asleep. I nodded off a couple of times on the two-hour trip, but thankfully, a young lady got on and proceeded to carry on a telephone conversation in a loud, somewhat shrill voice that carried through the entire train car, and I didn’t have to worry about sleeping anymore.
Gerry greeted me, took my breakfast order for tomorrow1, and led me up to my room – the same one I’d had last time.
I saw Mary again this evening, and she helped me get a table at The Barking Dog, which restaurant I hadn’t been able to try last time. It was a bit of a walk, again, both there and back, but at least I’ll be good and tired when I go to bed tonight.
And now the post is done, the first day of my holiday is done, and I’m pretty much done. To bed. Tomorrow, I have tours!
I confessed to him that I’ve had dreams about his full Ulster breakfast since last time. [↩]
So, I not only made it to Chicago, I managed to navigate my way from the arrival terminal to the departure terminal1 with only one minor misstep, and that misstep was corrected within ten feet, so I call that a win. Now, I’m in the Business Class lounge that Aer Lingus shares with Air France, using the free wi-fi, having a snack, and charging my phone.
The view out the window is less than spectacular, but the quiet, the comfy chairs, and the free food more than make up for it. I’ve got about two and a half more hours here, so I think I’m going to sit back, relax, and get some reading done.
That’s from Terminal 2 to Terminal 5, for those of you playing along at home. [↩]