Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Barcelona: Day 69 : Goodbye Dublin .

It's hard waking up knowing that it's the last time you'll see a place -- especially for a very long time. I have no idea when I'll even be able to come back to Dublin, or Ireland at all. And to some extent, it's almost hard to enjoy your last day there because you know that come the afternoon, you'll be on a plane back to a normal existence (though in this case, living in Barcelona is hardly normal).

There were a few things about today that made it a whole large curveball in general. The first was that today was Halloween, and people were dressed up all over the place doing random things, not necessarily going to parties for Halloween, as it was the morning. The second thing is that today was the Dublin Marathon, which apparently a huge deal where thousands participate and roads are closed on and off all day.

Ahhhh yes, and this is where the terrible (well, maybe not terrible, but certainly confusing) Dublin bus system comes in. Routes were rerouted, changed, or eliminated altogether. The plan for today was going to be to get on a bus and head to an old jail, called Kilmainham Gaol, about 3 kilometers outside City Centre. Unfortunately, the bus that we were going to take to get there was not running. After considering trying to walk and get there, we decided instead that we would just poke around some places. The one other thing that was planned for the day was to visit the National Library of Ireland, which turned out to be closed, since it was a bank holiday for Halloween and All Saints Day.

So there we were -- final day in Dublin, and all plans had quickly been shut down. What to do? Well, the Dublin Marathon was going on -- so we caught glimpses of blockades and fences and a few running packs here and there. It officially started at 10, and we were near Trinity College at that point and saw them start off. We decided to just go back to Grafton Street and see it during the day. In addition, St. Stephen's Green is at the South end, so we decided to go and walk through that as well.

The day was forecasted for rain, and it was cloudy, as per the usual, but unusually warm and not too bad out at all. We got to meander around the Green, and see the ducks and swans and seagulls. It really is a gorgeous little piece of Heaven in the centre of the city. It was really nice to get to visit. After that, we just went and got some coffee and got a chance to walk around the Temple Bar area, and over by Trinity College as well. Unfortunately we couldn't go in the campus, and in addition the whole thing is walled off by concrete walls that are easily a half meter thick, and then wrought iron fence all the way around. No big deal though; it was pleasant, even though it was drizzling and showering on and off as well.

We made our way around various places, poking into shops here and there, just taking our last day all in. We walked down O'Connell Street, and up even further North, where we stumbled upon the Garden of Rememberance -- which is almost carved out of the ground, making it a neat little thing to walk down into. We almost went to the Dublin Literary Writers' Museum, but in the end decided to just go look around a few more shops, grab lunch, and then head back to the hostel to get our bags we had stored in lockers in the morning. We ended up eating at a place called Eddie Rocket's; picture a Johnny Rocket's, except the European version. It was delicious and inexpensive, and a nice way to end our Dublin experience.
view from O'Connell Bridge up the River Liffey, last day
Garden of Rememberance

the reading room at Isaac's Hostel
We spent our last hour or so in the reading room downstairs at Isaac's, and then got our backs and bundled up for the walk up O'Connell Street to catch our AirCoach back to Dublin Airport. Everything went without a hitch, and we ended up being the only ones on the bus -- even though it was raining pretty hardly, there was something beautiful about it all. The days had flown, and already we were going back to HQ in Barcelona. I was surely going to miss Dublin and Ireland very much; I loved everything about it -- even the weather.

There's no easy way to wrap this up, except to say that I'm sure one day I'll be back, one day I'll be able to visit Dublin again and hopefully other cities in Ireland, and perhaps one day, down the road, I'll be able to call it my home.

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