Here are our Dublin photos from yesterday:
I think that sleeping in the airport was the correct decision. We may not have slept well, but it was hard enough to get through the mobs of people inside the actual airport… I can’t imagine what it would have been like to try to get through the city. Security was crazy. I’ve never seen an airport so congested. The crazy part is that they all knew it was going to be busy. I got emails about carry-on restrictions, arriving even earlier, and there were constant announcements about going straight to security rather than getting something to eat at one of the restaurants outside. And still, the airport was grossly understaffed. There were 3 security lines that were operational for the hundreds of people there at 4 AM. We couldn’t sleep any later than that, so we figured we might as well go on through.
I had the horrifying realization this morning that I had left our train tickets at home. It’s cheaper to buy in advance, so I had gone online a few weeks ago and gotten our seats from Liverpool to Brighton. It wasn’t that I had forgotten them when I was packing. It had simply never occurred to me to pack them. I didn’t even think about it.
For everything that I (still) hate about the Dublin Airport, I do appreciate the free wifi. I’m surprised how few other airports offer this service. I looked up what the trainline’s policy was about lost tickets and they apparently accept no responsibility and they give no re-issues or refunds. Major bummer, because trains in England have been privatized and are not cheap.
Kathleen and I had breakfast at 6:00. There are only 4 restaurants in the Dublin Airport, and only one that serves breakfast. I have no idea why it wasn’t open earlier. I had some porridge which was very Irish and delicious. Kathleen had bacon and toast. The bacon here is more like ham, and I thought it was hilarious when she ordered three. When the food came out, they brought hers with a side of ketchup. Now, I know we’re American and that the stereotype is that we put ketchup on everything… but really, bacon and toast? Not ketchup foods!
The previous day I had bought some mixed nuts and dried fruit, which was going to be critical to keep Kathleen’s and my energy level up. I tried to eat it throughout the day and stay really hydrated. We arrived in Liverpool, or L’pool, before 9:00 AM. The flight was either the shortest flight ever or we slept through the whole thing. Or both. I’m really not sure.
We found a map and discovered that all the cool museums were in one part of town, and the train station not far from it. A bus took us straight to the city center. Our first stop was the Liverpool Lime St train station, so I could talk to someone about how Kathleen and I were getting home. I was hoping to play on their sympathies, but I think policy is pretty strict. Our replacement tickets were twice the price of the originals, which is sad. But these things happen, and you can be sure I’ll never ever forget train tickets again.
We walked down to the museums and went to The Beatles Museum first. It was really cool. I learned a lot about the history of the band and there were some cool recreations of their early venues. It was strangely sad, though. It seemed like they became very unhappy very quickly.
After this, we hit the Tate Liverpool. I was pleasantly surprised by the collection. There were some pieces I definitely could have passed on, but there was also some very exciting work. Not all of it was successful, I think, but it was all interesting. Oh, and there was this:
We were both fading fast by this point in the afternoon. Kathleen had tried to go to sleep on the gallery floor. We had passed a fish and chips place between the museums, and we headed back there. It took forever to get our food, during which time I ate an apple that I had brought in my bag. I love carrying around snacks, even if Kathleen does turn her nose up at them. The fish and chips were pretty good. It was a little bland, or maybe I’m just liking vinegar more and more. Kathleen had never tried fish before, but didn’t make a fuss about it. She ate most of hers, with the comment that it doesn’t really taste like anything. Haha. She tried some chips with vinegar and found it highly disgusting.
Liverpool was a cool city. It reminded me of Kansas City in the way that it’s a small-big city. The buildings were interesting, the people were nice, and the accents were awesome. Kathleen loved it as well. She said that if she were moving to England, this is where she’d come. Granted, this is the first city in England she’s spent more than one waking hour in, so we’ll see how she feels by the end of the trip. I think she could be on to something though, honestly. From what we saw, it was really nice. I’d like to go back and see a little more of it.
We made it to our train at the perfect time and got nice window seats facing each other. There had been some kind of problem on our line earlier, so Kathleen was lucky enough to get the true English rail system experience. After diversions, delays, three transfers, and the threat of a bus, we were finally boarding the train that would take us the rest of the way to Brighton. I didn’t let her sleep on any of the other trains because I was afraid we’d both fall asleep and miss our transfer. If either of us were asleep, there would be no one to stop the other from falling asleep as well. But Brighton is the end of the line, and we both passed out hard. It was dark then, anyway. Most of the rest of our journey had been in the early evening and dusky hours, and the countryside was just stunning.
Alec and Alice were home when we finally walked through the door, so Kathleen got to meet them briefly. We were exhausted and just wanted to get to bed. I have class in the morning, so we have to wake up for that.
Waking Up on a Bench
Eloquently put by Kathleen Blanck
McDonald’s in an airport. Not the nicest place to wake up after a St. Patrick’s day in Dublin. Fortunately, unlike our many bench companions, Anna and I were not hungover as hell. I was a little confused though as I tried to figure out what part of McDonald’s I had fallen asleep in. Nonetheless, it was a pretty good place to be, considering we were warm, dry, and right at our pressing destination, a 7:45 flight to Liverpool. No more walking through the cold, rainy, vomit-ridden streets of Ireland (though they were surrounded by pretty houses, shops, and churches).
We hopped through several different places for our breakfasts, and I managed to compile a chai latte (with soy milk for those wof you concerned about my lactose intolerance), toast, a chocolate muffin, and Irish bacon. Oh, and due to my overwhelming American-ism, I was awarded a side of ketchup to go with my bacon and toast. The Irish bacon was delicious, despite my original shock at its size.
Our flight to Liverpool consisted of me crunched over my own legs and Anna resting on top of my back as we tried to catch up on sleep. It was super refreshing, tbh (to be honest).
Liverpool was the bomb. Everyone was soooooo nice. Like everyone. The bus driver was very considerate and patient, the workers at various museums were all very friendly, it was just amazing! The architecture was really pretty and it wasn’t too far spread out, so we had an easy time walking around. The view from just about any window in the entire city was beautiful because of its proximity to water and the weather made it all even better. I just really really really loved Liverpool.
The Beatles museum was pretty awesome and the funniest part about the city was that they weren’t even obsessed with the Beatles. They were like, “yeah, sure the Beatles, they’re pretty cool I guess,” where as like any other city where any British Invasion has ever started would be blasting it from every billboard in a 20-mile radius! It was so cute.
I may or may not have fallen asleep in the Tate museum and woken up to Anna pulling me into another room and the curator looking at me with concern. i don’t know if they somehow found Anna to come and get me, or if they just didn’t notice, but no one woke me up from my floor napping. Maybe I just looked to pathetic to mess with.
I tried going into this cool dark room that was an art piece, but then I remembered I was afraid of the dark and had to get out of there pretty quickly.
I tried fish and chips! It tasted like nothing. All in all, not bad. The chips with vinegar were not as good as the chips and bits of heaven.
After lunch, we rushed to the train station and spent the rest of our day, resisting the urge to fall asleep on trains and trying to find our way back to beloved Brighton. We did and it was great and it was a good day and now I’m tired so good night.