A brief restoration of body and spirit in our hotel, allowed us to jump up ready to go. We hustled down to have the hotel call us a cab to take us downtown. We were staying on the outskirts in a lovely old hotel called Sandymount, which the Loughran family has owned since 1955. It is the largest family run hotel in Dublin. They seemed to have collected a few adjacent Victorian homes and joined them into the main building, creating interesting hallways to meander through. We had an hour to get to our meeting spot outside Trinity College. Our time was dwindling down to half, when the clerk announced that an accident prevented the taxi from collecting us.
With a brief explanation and map on how to get to the nearby DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit), we briskly headed off toward the Aviva Stadium. A quick left and we found the station. A helpful traveler assisted us with the foreign ticket machine and off we went to the wrong side of the platform… Zipping back down and around, we made the next train with a vague thought of where to get off. We jumped off at the station, but were trapped behind the turnstiles. Several sympathetic Darters walked us through and up to the street. Off we ran with hoards of young people, presumably headed to town and hopefully the college. We let their tide carry us down the thoroughfare. Unbelievably, we landed at the meet up corner, proud and breathless, one minute past our rendezvous time.
Our guide, Aonghus, walked us to a wonderful tavern for the last night’s meal. There we shared lots of stories, impressions and spirits. Conservation of resources and culture were topics resonating around the table. One of our hotels was equipped to only turn on the room lights with the key card and conversely turned them all off as you left the room. Many of the toilets and bathrooms we encountered, were equipped to conserve water, which provided lots of puzzling over their individual operation. Trooping around with our bus mates provided helpful tips for the accommodations. The nationalistic pride of culture, history and language was refreshing. The suffering that the people endured over the centuries was not. Though, it did not seem to dampen the spirit of the people that we encountered, both on and off of the tour.
This was my second trip to Ireland, but hopefully not my last. A previously unknown fact that was revealed by a recent Ancestry.com DNA test, declared that I was 39 percent Irish and enhanced my experience. As we drove around the country side, I wondered where my ancestors had lived and died on that lovely green island.