After reuniting with the rest of the class, the day started out early with the hop-on/hop-off bus tour. We saw some more of the sights from the top of a double-decker bus, heard more about the history of Dublin, and hopped off at the jail in Dublin, Kilmainham Gaol (photo above). It was a very similar feeling to being in the Cathedral — minus the inner-conflicts I have with the religious side of things — in the fact that it was haunting thinking about how much history has happened there. So many lives lost, so many lives changed (for the worst), so many people thinking that it was their last chance to live… incredibly eerie. I’m glad we went though, because it offered a different look at Dublin.
After the jail, we hopped back on the bus (and bumped into our guide from this morning), and started discussing what we might like for lunch. The consensus turned out to be very American — soup and sandwiches. Thankfully, our bus driver told us about this little gem called Brannigans Bar. We all got a cheese toasty (which is a grilled cheese) with this soup that resembled a cross of tomato soup and vegetable soup. After spending the morning in an icy-cold jail, it totally hit the spot. We also split two desserts between the five of us: an apple tart and a brownie, both with cream. Also amazing.
Hopped on the bus again, and took it back to Stephen’s Green (the closest stop to our hotel), which is right next to Grafton Street. I decided to start finishing up my shopping for friends and family, and ended up also getting myself a “Dublin Track & Field” sweatshirt.
After getting back to the hotel and seeing what everyone else was up to (which was a large mix of schoolwork and napping), I opted for the latter, and ended up crashing for about two hours. Groggily woke up, and got ready to head back out again for the Crusader’s Athletic Running Club practice that night.
Michael McGovern, the president of the club, gave me a ride to the stadium where practice was held on the back of his motorcycle. This probably should have weirded me out a little bit, or made me more nervous than it should have, but for some reason I knew I could trust the runners that I’ve met so far on this project. In a general kind of way, I’ve learned that once you start talking to Irish people, they are quite nice, but it’s breaking through that outer shell to start to get to know them that makes them come off as a little jaded, maybe. It was also pretty cool to see a side of Dublin that I hadn’t before. His wife was equally as nice, as she gave me a ride back to our hotel in her car.
I want to save as much as I can for my story, but being at the club’s practice was also pretty cool. Definitely one of those “super not touristy” things, but it was pretty inspiring watching all of these people push past their limits, and make themselves better runners together. I wasn’t allowed to run with them because I’ve caught a slight chest cold, but I’m planning on trying to run in the morning (we’ll see how that goes).
Came back to Camden Court to find that about half the class had gotten dessert in the lobby, and I joined in late to eat dinner (and a dessert nobody claimed the order for), which was another cheese toasty and tomato soup. For some reason, soup and sandwich in Dublin just makes me really happy.
I think the exhaustion from the trip is starting to wear on everyone, too. I didn’t hear a single soul planning on going out tonight, which seems a little weird since we have so few hours left, but I’m right there with them. I FaceTimed with my old roommate for a little bit, wrote up this post, and after it’s proofed and finalized, I’ll schedule it and fall asleep. After inhaling some liquids, of course.
It’s crazy to think that I need to start packing my bags again to fly back to the states. It’s been a pretty crazy month and a half for me, in the fact that there hasn’t really been a shred of normality for anything more than a week. Even after being “stationed” in Dublin for the largest chunk of time in there, nothing’s been normal about this trip. We never really settled in a routine, and I’m kind of excited to get back to that after landing in Chicago. I’ve found myself missing my co-workers at CARA and my colleagues on the Executive Board. I can’t wait to edit some webpages and help out with some newsletters in the CARA office, talk about ideas with my friends in the radio department, and work on initiatives and all of the new things we’ve implemented for Student Government. It’s going to be a crazy busy semester, and I’m so happy I’ve gotten the most amazing Prologue yet — and it’s still not over yet. Stay with us.