Perspective makes an adventure.
The train to Galway.
Before I begin with the events of yesterday I have to put my thoughts of the moment down. We are heading west across the mid country of Ireland at the moment. The tracks mostly have been covered by hedges that block us from view of the populated areas. Every now and then though, the hedges clear away and some amazing monument is seen. It makes my heart leap to see these buildings as we go along. I find myself uninterested in the modern areas so much that at times I get restless and impatient. And then I see one, a church or a ruin or an old old government type building that once again makes me realize I'm really in Ireland.
Yesterday we passed my finally stress test; we were able to bring our bags on Ryan Air no problem! It was really my last major concern. On the flight in to Dublin Casey used his mad social skills to help us meet an American girl that is teaching and getting her PHD in Dublin. Erin was her name and she gave us several tips on how to get into the main section of Dublin. When we exited the airport (Irish customs were much nicer) we were a little hesitant of where to go. "Oi lads" was the first thing we heard. Now, I feel like I'm pretty good with accents, but this Irish guy that was asking where we wanted to get tickets to was going just a bit fast. (I know you're speaking English dude but I'm sorry for the blank stare!) Finally I figured him out and we got on the bus. Lo and behold Erin was already on the bus and gave us several more tips. It was a good thing because we landed with no idea where we were going to eat or even stay the night! No mom, not scary, AWESOME!
Dublin: anyone that knows me, knows that castles and ruins are my obsession. It's the thing that I've been dreaming about and the one thing that I'm more excited about than anything. When we arrived in Dublin I had to check my perspective or I was going to lose a whole day to disappointment. Dublin is amazing all on it's own but I was impatient for castles! Dublin is pretty modern but very full of personality. So instead of hopping on the train to head to the west, we went to the local information center to see what Dublin might have to offer. To my surprise I heard a girl next to me say "That's sweet!" Americans! I said hi and struck up a conversation with Jessica and Heather from Houston. They were just getting ready to head and see the old stuff that I wasn't even aware of! Boo ya! Castle time. We went up to see Dublin Castle, Christchurch, and St. Patrick's Cathedral. These were built before the 1200s! I have pics on my camera but need to find some place to get them on a computer. We then headed to a pub for lunch, served by the epitome of what you might picture and Irish barman to be. The day was spent with these two cool girls taking pictures and laughing. Later in the evening we finally assuaged my growing need to find a place to stay and went hostel hunting. Johnny Flaherty popped his head out and offered us a place to stay with Internet for 10 Euro each. Killer deal! The only catch was that we had to stay in the same room with a couple from Poland. Yeah mom this was a bit more weird but wasn't going to stop us! Johnny was a fun guy with the perfect Irish accent. He told me what my name was in Gaelic. I can't remember it exactly but it sounded a bit like Shteven de Warge. There was more in the middle but he told me that Ward was a northern Ireland name and was associated with the bards that would travel from town to town singing and telling stories. He said my name would have meant Stephen the Bard. Cool I know I'm grinning as I write this. He also said that McElroy was a northern name and popular near Belfast. After joking around with Johnny and meeting Ola and Voitek from Poland, Jessica, Casey, Heather and I went out for more site seeing. We stopped at a pizza shop that offered "Pizza slice and Can of Drink 4 Euro." After my mushroom and bacon slice and my "can of drink" it was dark enough for the lights of Dublin to come out. Gorgeous city at night! My favorite picture was of a court building that is along the river. Again, I'll post pics when I get to a computer. We said goodnight to our knew friends after a long day of walking and went to the hostel for the night. Perspective altered = great day in Dublin.
PS it's hard for me to take pictures. What types of videos and pictures does everyone want to see? Of us? Of buildings? It's hard to remember, so little audience participation might help!