Taking Flight

August 5, 2015 - Dublin, Ireland

Our airport transfer was booked for 7am and I confirmed that last night so we had no chance of breakfast this morning and little chance to sleep late. We checked out of the hotel and settled our added costs for our meals at the restaurants then took a seat to wait for our driver.


We had hardly settled down when he arrived and we were soon whisked off, this time in a bit more comfort in a Toyota sedan. At the airport terminal we were greeted by a young man who directed us to a 'mobile check-in' where our bags were weighed, boarding passes issued and we were assured that our bags would be taken to the conveyor and would be on board before us. We were then directed toward passport control where that prediction appeared certain. A longish queue outside outside the door turned in to a densely packed snake where we waited our turn, shuffling along in fits and starts to eventually have our passports, and selves, scrutinised by an unsmiling and unspeaking young man in a white robe and head covering. At least the slow pace of the passport control meant that there was no queue at the security check and we were through there quickly. So after check-in at T3 we then followed the signs and passageways back to our departure gate ... at T1.

Typically for the present day the capacity of aeroplanes far surpasses the capacity of gate lounges so we pressed ourselves into a minute space between a Canadian family and a man whose body language suggested he should be allowed sole possession of several square metres. When we squeezed in he made a token gesture of rearranging his bag with his foot but not of his lounging posture.

Our flight took us up the Persian Gulf and then took a dog-leg to the north to pass over Northern Iraq rather than closer to Baghdad. Perhaps not good for the nerves but certainly a pleasure for the geologist looking out the window at the structurally deformed rocks. We watched some movies and kept ourselves entertained for the 9 hours of the flight before landing in Dublin at about 2:30pm. After the usual shuffling queue at passport control we were free to collect our luggage and head out into the Eurozone. We found an autoteller to collect some Euro for fares and food, changed into clothing more suitable to 15º instead of 40ºC went out to look for transport to the city. A bus advertising a fast, punctual service with friendly and helpful drivers was due soon and for €7 each we had two tickets (after two visits to the man selling tickets, an Irishman?) we were ready to roll when the bus arrived promptly at the advertised 3:55pm and the unspeaking and unsmiling driver (not exactly surly but ... ) helpfully opened the luggage doors and stood aside.

On board the coach we found a comfortable a seat toward the back and were quickly delivered into the city centre and found our way into Temple Street and finally to our hotel, the Ripley Court Hotel, which turned out to be almost under the railway bridge for the Wexford and South Coast line. The hotel was chosen for proximity to the station so we were anxious about the comfort. From the lift we followed one corridor past several rooms and a set of fire-doors to a junction, around a corner and past more rooms to another corner and then another set of fire-doors to yet another corridor disappearing to vanishing point somewhere in the distance. Luckily our room wasn't too far down that hallway. The room was a reasonable size twin room although the bathroom was a bit squeezy. It was a bit stuffy and with little chance of air circulation even with the window open as far as possible, the beds felt a little small for us but the major niggle was the bathroom. The shower over the bath is expected but it managed to shower the floor and toilet seat as well so a bit annoying.

After re-organising our packing as we no longer have to worry about airport security requirements, we dressed for a walk back to O'Connell Street to find a place to eat. I had a picture in my mind of a Guinness and, in fact, of a place we ate when we were here before. We did look here and there as we walked up the street but nothing took our fancy until we reached the Gresham Hotel and Toddy's Bar. The food did not disappoint and nor did the Guinness.

When we left the pub at 8:30pm we had been up for long enough to head straight back to our accommodation. Well not quite directly back but rather to complete a circuit of the block to have a look at access to Connolly Station and the means of printing or collecting tickets. Of course it rained as we strolled through some rather depressed looking areas suggestive of Public Housing but had cleared again before we arrived back at the corner of Talbot Street and Amiens Road so we crossed over to the station and confirmed where and how we would get our tickets for tomorrow's trip.


A city of Pubs
Statue of James Joyce
Flower baskets and bicycles
The Ripley Court Hotel


Judy Crewe:
August 6, 2015
I stayed at the Gresham and enjoyed their food too. They also have very long corridors to rooms. Is it an Irish hotel thing?
Judy x
August 7, 2015
a bit of a temperature change from 40 to 15 and of course from desert to green Ireland.
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