I am finally back in NYC. The traveling has stopped, although the running around has not and I fear it won’t until mid or the end of August. Major changes are only weeks and days away, but lets not get ahead of ourselves. I have stories to tell. Travel stories, friend stories, fun stories and some “you won’t believe what just happened to me!” stories too, so lets get to it shall we?
I left you when I was on my way out to Dublin, right? The trip there was good, a bit on the long side, but that’s expected when you cross the Atlantic on your way to Europe. I flew in through Manchester and of course, things have now changed and I needed a visa to get into England. My passport is not the electronic kind with the chip and they can’t scan it. Little did I know. 15 minutes in the immigration office, so they could grant me a 24 hour visa, and I was good to transit through England on my way to Ireland. It was a good thing it was quick too, or I would have missed my flight to Dublin.
Off I went to Dublin, on a bus, on a second bus and to the university. I was staying at DCU the university hosting the conference. DCU is in the outskirts of Dublin, only 15-20 minute bus ride to the city center area, but far away enough to be peaceful and quiet. A place in which people can actually think.
The conference was good. It was a small event, about 200 people or so and lasted only 1.5 days in total. My paper presentation went well. They liked my topic and I got some good questions and comments. The best part was getting to meet people who are writing and researching in my field, this is always a treat. I connected with some people in Australia, Ireland and the US. I made a few friends and even went out for drinks and food with the crowd of out-of-towners to a bar called Church Bar. It used to be church and now it’s a bar, very Irish if you ask me, to mix religion and booze.
The rest of my days in Ireland were spent primarily roaming Dublin. This is a small, cute city, very easy to walk and with a ton of little interesting things to check out. I went to Trinity College, were they keep the book of Kells.
I went to Grafton Street, St. Ann’s Church, St Stephen’s Green, Fitzwilliam Square, Merrion Square, Mansion House, the National Gallery, Leinster House and the National Library on my first day in Dublin.
That was all the South East part of Dublin. The following day I went to the South West part and visited St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Christ Chruch, Audoens Church, Dublin Castle and the Guinness Warehouse.
I then stopped by the open market and Powerscourt. These were two good shopping centers, different in style and right next to each other. I guess they wanted to make sure there was a little bit to offer everyone and every taste.
I then headed over to grab a drink and some food and to see if I could catch some of the game, it was the World Cup after all. I hung out in the streets and especially in the Temple Bar area. There was live street music everywhere, lots of people and tons and tons of bars. It’s just the Irish way.
On another day, I roamed the North side of Dublin, mainly by O’Connell and Henry streets. All very touristy and very colorful. On this part of the city, north from the Lifey you can find Church Bar, were I went with the conference people, the GPO building, lots of statues, shops, hotels, Ha’penny Bridge and the Millennium Spire.
I made a trip to the south of Ireland, south of Dublin, but this post is getting too long already. I’ll leave that for another Ireland post. More to come, promise.