First Impressions

There were a lot of low clouds today. This made me a little sad. I flew into London at night and, while that was kind of cool to see1, it didn’t give me much of an idea of the city. And flying out, everything was hidden by clouds, so I didn’t get to see much of London.

And there was so little time between when we dropped below the clouds and when we landed at Dublin, I saw very little. I did see some of the coast, and an island that looked like something out of a travel brochure, and maybe2 even some whales. Then we were down and the airport looked pretty much like all the other airports3.

The bus from the airport drove through the centre of the city to get me to my hotel. There was a football match today – Dublin v. Kerry, I believe – and there were a large number of people out in team colours, and a few streets closed, and so on. It felt like home during a sports event.

And then the bus driver called the O’Connell Street stop, and I looked around. Before I realized it, we were driving past the GPO, then over the Liffey, and past Trinity College, and it all started to feel real.

I actually made it here.

It’s a beautiful city, with an amazing mix of buildings. There is a lot of greenery – trees, hedges, etc. There are some strange things, though: it’s tough to find a street sign, it took me a little while to figure out the crosswalks, cars traveling in both directions parallel park on the same side of the street, stuff like that.

Ariel House, where I am staying, is wonderful. It is charming, with attentive staff, nice rooms, soft beds, and free wireless. The plumbing is a bit temperamental, and I don’t seem to be able to have my usual scalding, torrential showers, but that’s a small price to pay.

This evening, I went out to find a pharmacy to buy some toiletries – toothpaste, deodorant, stuff like that. The pace I went was closed, this being Sunday and all, but I walked across the street to Roly’s Bistro, which restaurant had been recommended to me by the concierge at Ariel House. It was a little fancier place than I had expected4, and the food wound up being a little more expensive than I had planned, but wow, was it amazing. A tremendous treat for my first night in Ireland.

I will post some pictures tomorrow, when I take the Dublin bus tour. See you then.

  1. Towns, villages, and cities lit up, looking like the the lakes you see flying over Northern Ontario, but with light instead of water. []
  2. Only maybe, because I only saw them for a second, and I was sitting over a wing which narrowed my view, and because I was so very, very tired. []
  3. Much smaller than Heathrow, of course, []
  4. Said expectation based on nothing at all. []

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