We landed and got our luggage after going through customs. Why is it that you can be completely innocent of any wrongdoing, and the people in customs can make you feel like you have a dead body in your carry-on?
One of the first things I realized about Ireland is that air conditioning is not common! I knew that, but knowing isn't KNOWING. We'd been told that the weather would be cool, and I'd dressed appropriately for that, but when we got outside it was sticky and humid. It wasn't hot exactly, but the sun came out after a rain and everything felt stuffy. Bleh. I was exhausted, I'd been without a shower and was still in the same clothes I'd been wearing the morning before, so that felt gross.
Instead of going to our hotel, our tour guide took us to St. Patrick's cathedral, which was amazing.
It was old. Like, built in the 12th century old, which was hard for me to comprehend. It would have been more amazing if I felt like a human being instead of a sack of dead flesh in dirty clothes, but I enjoyed it the best I could. I'd seen pictures, of course, but being there was so much better. We took a few pictures and sat down while everyone milled around. It was still too early for the hotel, so our next stop was Christ Church cathedral, which was actually older than St. Patrick's!
I realized halfway through my tour that I was in a building older than my entire country, and had foundations older than even England, which was mind boggling. That sounds kind of dumb, but it was true. Being an American, and a southern American at that, I really think about places being that old. Sure we have St. Augustine FL and Savannah, but compared to the rest of the world, even our oldest stuff seems brand new comparatively!
We got back on the bus and finally, FINALLY, headed towards the hotel. By now I was so tired that things had stopped feeling real and Steve and I kept nodding off on the ride there. We got a few cat-naps along the way, but nothing satisfying. When we got up to our room, we couldn't figure out the lights. Nothing would come on! We finally realized that you have to insert your room key into a slot on the light switch before the power would come on. Weird. Steve got in the shower, and I fell asleep face down on the bed. I slept deeply, but not nearly long enough. Then I got to take a shower and had a hard time figuring out the bathroom! It's not so different than bathrooms I'm used to, but the one in our hotel is a bit confusing simply because of the way it's made. The bath tub had really high sides, a which meant I literally had to climb into it. It was high enough that I was afraid I'd fall, but I didn't! I was so glad to be clean that I didn't care how high the sides were, I just hoped I wouldn't fall getting out. So, showered, clothes changed, and still exhausted, I sat down on the bed and "closed my eyes for just a minute" and woke up two hours later. We were lucky that the only thing we had to be around for was the have dinner with the band downstairs at our hotel. I was much more rested, but still tired when we went down.
Dinner was fun, and I got to meet a few new people who were very nice. The food was good, but I ordered it out of curiosity more than anything. WTF is a loin of bacon? Well, when you see bacon on a menu here, it's just straight up ham. It might be from the same part of the pig as our bacon, but it was not bacon as I know it! It was delicious, though, so I'm not complaining. After dinner Steve and I went to St. Stephen's Green, Dublin to go to a pub with some other folks. There was supposed to be live music and we wanted to see a bit of the town, so we caught the train and headed over. We walked quite a ways until we ended up at a place called O'Donahues (that is probably not spelled right) and when you walk in, it's like Diagon Alley on the bottom floor. It's cramped and crooked and full of people, but the door to the pub was there. We want to the top floor and got a couple of pints (heh, pints. I like saying that.) and we stood there talking for a bit.
I didn't drink much, obviously, but we stayed there for a while. We never heard any music, and it was getting late, so Steve and I broke off and headed back to the hotel. Alcohol on top of jet lag is no fun. Our ride back was uneventful, except that a drunk guy sat down next to us on the train and asked Steve for a fag. Steve got excited for a minute (I mean, 20 Euros is 20 Euros) but then we realized he wanted a cigarette. I'm kidding, I'm kidding. Steve actually couldn't understand what he was saying because the guy was slurring so bad, but I heard the one word and told him we didn't have one. He looked kind of sad, but still sat there until the next stop. He stood up, said "see you later, kids" and stumbled off the train. I feel like we were rude for not being friendlier, but it was kind of weird.
By the time we got back to the hotel, we were too tired to do much more than fall out. I had no idea what day it was and I didn't care. I just wanted sleep. So that's what we did!