Ireland Trip: Day 1
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Mental note: In the future, do not eat two large bowls of a high-fiber breakfast cereal the morning of a long flight, it does not make for a comfortable trip.
I left drizzly, grey New York City to arrive in sunny, balmy Dublin! Who would’ve thunk it? The first thing you notice upon entering the city is the never ending series of cranes that dot the skyline as you approach, a reflection of the incredible economic boom the country has experienced over the past decade.
As most people point out, Dublin is an extremely walkable city, with most of the main sights within about 20 minutes of each other by foot (it helps that many streets are pedestrian-only). I kept thinking how sleepy a town Dublin is as I wandered around, then I looked at the clock and realized I was sightseeing at 7:30 in the morning. This would also account for the lack of traffic, open stores and daylight.
Since I couldn’t check-in until 2, I spent the morning fitting in some of the outdoor sights while the weather was cooperating, including St. Patrick’s Cathedral and corresponding park (supposedly the sight of a well that the Saint himself used to baptize newly converted Christians, but now boarded up and unmarked due to the British a few years back — a fact given to me by an Irishman that approached me as I was filming), St. Stephen’s Green and Grafton Street.
Given the fact that I caught maybe a half-hour of sleep on the plane, I kind of felt like Al Pacino’s character at the end of “Insomnia” where everything around him appears to be moving in slow motion and his motor skills have been reduced to the level of a drunk elephant. I’m pretty sure that during the rest of the day I took some video, and I’m pretty sure I found myself trying to revive myself at a tea shop where I sat amongst about 10 old ladies out for afternoon tea.
Tomorrow (Thursday) will be a busy day. I’m going to try to catch a 1916 Easter Rising walking tour in the morning, followed by a visit to the Guinness Storehouse, a stop at the Jameson Distillery, an interview with a representative from the Dublin Tourism Office for my video (should be interesting following the previous two stops), and finally a night out in the famed city nightlife. Now back to the hostel to catch 12 or so hours of much-needed sleep in preparation . . .