Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Day 12 - Dublin (again!)

Wednesday, June 8th

Today is our last day of vacation - we fly home tomorrow morning. I'm writing this on Wednesday night, after a full day of airplane and bus travel. It will be light on words, I suspect.

I was a total dumb butt last night. I knew our flight was at 9:40, so I got off the phone quickly with Dusty and the girls so we could go to sleep. But then I looked at the boarding pass and saw that the flight didn't leave until 11:05. Cool! We didn't have to leave so early! We flew out of London Gatwick airport, which was about an hour and 15 minutes away in a confusing walk/subway/commuter train combination. This gal is from Iowa, remember? We don't do complicated public transit routes. We drive past cornfields and pigs.

Anyway... (hmmm, maybe not so short on words, after all?) I figured I must have been confused about the start time, decided we could leave an hour later than planned and we went to bed. Got up, mapped out our route and trekked across London with our suitcases and backpacks. At one point I realized that our flight did in fact leave at 9:40, that the 11:05 boarding pass I was looking at was from the flight TO London. This is the danger of having a super complicated trip that contains six airplane rides. Yikes.

We couldn't do anything about it, though, so we just prayed that the trains weren't late. Turned out to be just fine - we were one of the last passengers to arrive at the gate, but there was a slight delay due to fog in London, so we made it. Whew!

We got into Dublin, dropped our stuff off at the hotel, and then took a bus into the city center. We walked around for a bit and took in the sights. Such a colorful city!

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We got onto a bus tour just to be able to see as much of Dublin as possible. We had spent some time here touring the Guinness factory and going to the oldest pub in Dublin when we were here last week, but wanted to get a view of the city and thought this would be the easiest way for our travel weary bodies and minds to handle it.

Turned out to be an entertaining few hours. Our tour guide was Barry the Bard. It's hard to see him in this photo because this nice family from Ohio who sat in front of us was in the way. But Barry did his tour guide spiel seasoned with his own Irish folk songs, some of which he wrote himself. It was a good tour!

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I took these photos from the bus:

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Finn's Hotel is famous for something related to James Joyce, but I can't remember what. I know there's a collection of short stories by Joyce named Finn's Hotel.

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This is an old train station and I just love the way it looks. The architecture feels like a mixture of gothic and mid century modern or something:

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Dublin has an eclectic and modern area too:

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Train yards fascinate me for some reason:

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Ireland won their independence from England in 1922, but on Easter weekend in 1916, The Easter Rising was the beginning of the effort that would ultimately win them their freedom. There were signs like this up all over Dublin:

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This beautiful bridge is called the Liffey Bridge, or the Ha'Penny Bridge. It was built of cast iron in 1816. Before the Ha'penny Bridge was built there were seven ferries, operated by a William Walsh, across the Liffey River. The ferries were in a poor condition and Walsh was told that he had to either fix them or build a bridge. He chose to build a bridge and was granted the right to extract a ha'penny toll from anyone crossing it for 100 years.

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This is the last Dublin photo I took because frankly, I was tired of taking photos. :) We did not have enough time to explore Dublin properly, so that has to be done on a future trip someday.

We are both road weary and ready to be home, but are so very thankful to have the means to travel and experience the world like this. It has been a fabulous trip, and spending one-on-one time with Jake was even better than seeing these amazing sights of the world. If you made it this far through our travels, thanks for following along!

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