Dublin to Galway

Trip Start Sep 06, 2004
Trip End Nov 23, 2004

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Thursday, September 9, 2004

Well, here I am in Galway! What's happened since my last post? Well, I wandered around Dublin with Katherine from Regina, had lunch at a celiac-friendly cafe (just chili on rice), bought a mobile phone (it's free to receive calls but remember the time difference, 7 hours from Edmonton and 5 from Toronto), bought a phone card (I'll phone on the weekend), and wore myself out! On my way back to the hostel, I sneezed and a nearby worker said "God Bless."

Back at the hostel, I read my guidebook for a bit and then fell asleep...on someone else's bunk bed (luckily it hadn't been assigned to anyone), with my purse and camera in plain sight. Luckily everyone in the room was honest, we had all left our luggage out rather than locking it up in the luggage room, and the only person who came in while I was asleep was a Hungarian woman named Esther (spelling?) who was on her way to Galway to go hiking (good sign!). Also met an English girl named Sarah who's looking for a bartending job in Dublin. I had an energy bar for supper and went back to sleep.

The traffic was noisy all night (!) so I didn't sleep well. Half a block down the street from the hostel there's a big church (Christchurch Cathedral) that plays a little tune every quarter-hour and bongs on the hour, but often you can't hear it because of the traffic. Have I ranted about how chaotic everything seems? Dublin is very busy and seems hurried. The sidewalks are narrow and busy. (There are just 4 million people in Ireland, 1 million of whom live in Dublin, and half of Dubliners are under 26!) Pedestrians don't move aside, jaywalking is rampant, and all the traffic is really squished in (besides being on the left side--even the traffic circles go the wrong way). I've taken to following other people across the road so I know when to cross (figuring that the buses won't run over old ladies). It was just too much for my brain (possibly I'm still jet-lagged) so I was glad to get away. I'll go back and look around more when Ireland in general is more familiar.

Other impressions....Sorry, Mom, I didn't get down to the water except for walking over the River Liffey a couple of times. I took a few pictures and will add them here when I have more. All the buildings are connected (no wasted space between them), mostly grey stone although the doors are colourful (e.g. red or blue). All the sidewalks are tiles instead of cement. There's no red hand for the walk lights, just different coloured walking people (green, yellow, red). Some of the crosswalks count down to the end of the red light rather than the end of the green light as in Edmonton.

This morning I woke up really groggy, had a shower which didn't really help (ziploc bags are really handy for bringing important documents like passports into the shower), and ate breakfast (4 slices of toast with jam) with Tiffany and Sarah. I took the city bus to the bus station to meet Katherine. Something different here is that although you need exact change for the bus, if you don't have it, you get a voucher for the difference that you can take in to the head office and get reimbursed. Since fares vary (I paid 1€ for a 85c fare) this can add up...the transit people make a lot of money from vouchers that people don't bother to get reimbursed!

I'll have to tell you later about the rest of today, because I'm out of time!
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