What’s this? A blog entry the same day as the events therein?? That’s right, folks.
The night in the hostel went pretty well, though most of our roommates were up quite early. I ended up getting out of bed at eight to go downstairs and work on internet stuff (and drink water–I was really dehydrated). We were hoping to take a tour outside of Dublin today. I’d made inquiries about a month ago, and been in contact with a fellow from Over the Top Tours up until about two weeks back. I emailed him earlier in the trip with Mary Cate’s phone number, since I’d left my phone in Reading. Anyway. Everything’s clearer in hindsight, and I should have called yesterday or the day before to confirm and figure out how to meet up with the tour. But I didn’t. In the last email I had from the dude, it sounded like he was going to contact me. So the combined him not answering my emails and me being paranoid of phone conversations (especially with someone with another accent) meant this morning, after unsuccessfully hinting at the front desk to call for me, I emailed him one last time. I didn’t hear back in time, so that got scratched off the day plan.
This was kind of disappointing, but in the long run I think it worked out okay. We had breakfast at the hostel and then went to Trinity College. Mary Cate went to see the Book of Kells and library. I opted to save money and chill outside (which I took as a chance to work on plans and make lists).
At one point, I was sitting on a bench with my eyes closed and face upturned to the sky, just resting, when an old man came over to me. “I doubt we’ll see any sun today!” he remarked. Then he sat down and asked me if I knew email. It turned out he had a relatively new phone and was trying to figure out how to do email on it. So then I taught an old Irish guy how to use his email feature. It was rather amusing. The fellow was quite sweet. About midway through, Mary Cate came out. I finished the lesson, and the man exchanged some pleasantries with us, as well as some political jokes (my dad wouldn’t have liked them). He was apparently from northern Ireland, and was afraid to ask someone Irish for help because he thought they’d be impatient with him. I guess a girl sitting on a bench with her eyes closed on a partially cloudy day is an indication of a patient person? Either way, it was an interesting experience.
Mary Cate and I grabbed sandwiches in Starbucks on our way to Sandemans New Dublin free city tour. One of our roommates had highly recommended it, and it looked interesting. It really exceeded my expectations. We had a feisty, hilarious young woman as our guide, who took us throughout the city telling stories and legends and history. I saw a lot more of Dublin than last time, and appreciated it a heck of a lot more. It’s not as much of a cookie cutter, tourist trap city–there are real gleams of personality, they’re just rather hard to get to. I learned a lot more about Irish history, the Irish in general and Dublin in particular. And I had quite a lot of laughs. Highly recommend this tour for anyone who has the time to see a different (and more awesome) side of Dublin. Oh, also there was a guy from GA in the group who knew several of the Berry kids who are studying abroad in Glasgow at the moment.
The tour ended with an offer for a cheap[ish] meal at a pub. Mary Cate and I decided to join in (after the fiasco of trying to find food last night). It was pretty good, and we socialized with a Canadian. After that, we popped into a touristy shop (I just bought two really cheap shirts–partially because I’ve run out of clean clothing), then came back to the hostel.