Planes, Trains, and...Subways

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November 15th 2014
Published: November 15th 2014
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The last few days have been a whirlwind of activity.

Jason almost didn’t make the connection in Chicago. He ended up cutting in line at security (you have to go through again when you change from the domestic to the international terminal at ORD), and actually running to the gate even hearing his name announced on the loudspeakers. It was right out of the movies. He made it with mere minutes to spare.

Thursday was pouring rain in Dublin, but we still walked around town - determined to visit Dublin Castle. Because of the rain, I chose to leave my camera in the car, and Jason left his camera cord at home - so, the few pictures we have are from our phones. 😞 It was pretty neat though. We got to see a few sections that still exist from the medieval times, and got a tour of the inside of the rebuilt Georgian era 'castle.' This section of the building is still used today for events and all of the inaugurations of the Irish President.

Then we headed over to the Guinness Storehouse. That place is so gigantic - it occupies several blocks. I had no idea. I'd learned quite a bit about the brewing process during my guided tour of the Smithwick's Brewery in Kilkenny, so I wasn't super disappointed to find that the Guinness tour was self-guided. It was so huge anyway that I can imagine any guided tours there would just be obnoxious. The route ended on the 7th floor at the Gravity Bar; a circular bar surrounded by windows and a spectacular view of Dublin. Unfortunately, because of the rain and everyone's soggy wet clothes, the windows were fogged up so badly, you could only see wherever you were standing and had wiped away the fog.

After the Guinness tour, we checked in to our hotel (same place I was at last week) we took a short nap, then went out for dinner. Since I'd had a good experience the previous week with my Swiss friends on the other side of the river, we decided to head over there. We found a great little pub called O'Flaherty's at the Old Storehouse that served us delicious pasta, and we had a few pints while enjoying some local music. These two brothers that made up The Fellow Pilgrims were really great. They took requests from
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The Fellow Pilgrims
the audience and even guessed where most of us were from (different parts of the U.S. and some from Germany). We had a great time and even bought their cd, which includes some of their own original music and some classic covers.

Yesterday was spent almost entirely on travel. We're in London now!

After breakfast, we just dropped off the car and went to the airport. We were still pretty drained from trekking around Dublin most of the previous day in wet clothes, so we didn't mind sitting a while at the gate. We flew RyanAir, and had no issues besides a small delay. Although…we both thought it was odd that we had to actually walk outside and climb stairs to board the plane, and it was a giant plane, not a tiny one. Who knows?

After we landed in London Stansted, we had to get on a train to get into the city. That went off without a hitch. A 45 minute train ride later, we got off at Liverpool Street Station - and man, did that look like it was straight out of Harry Potter. There were more people than I'd ever seen in one place (besides maybe the state fair), and lugging around our bags was a huge inconvenience. My patience wore thin pretty quickly, but luckily, Jason took charge and got us sorted out. After learning there were no taxis at the actual taxi place, we rode the subway (my first time!) and then walked a few blocks to our adorable place. We have a little studio-apartment-like hotel room only a short walk from the subway station. After we checked in (this place is really quaint & has everything) and settled in a bit, we went out for dinner and enjoyed some Mediterranean fare only two blocks away.

Today and the next few days will bring many opportunities for sightseeing, including the London Eye, Big Ben, the Tower of London, Stonehenge, and more! I'm looking forward to actually staying in one place and being able to 'come home' each night.

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