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Irish Ghosts

Yesterday was bus day. There’s no other name for it. I knew it was worth it to go ahead and waste a night than adding another night in Galway and losing today getting here, but it didn’t make it nicer knowing that.

I woke up and had a leisurely morning. I had walked enough of the area around Sleepzone Connemara already. I might have taken the stroll down to the fjord if the weather had been nice, but it wasn’t. The wind was gusting and it was misting rain constantly.

The best news of the day came that instead of having to walk the 15 minutes to the top of the road (and stand there who knows how long in the rain) the Galway Tour Company had sent a minibus that would come to the door to fetch the three of us! I literally cheered when our host at the hostel informed me!

The back end of the tour was marred by the weather and how quickly night descends here in winter. We stopped at Kylemore Abbey, the only stop of any length. I toured the Abbey and church for lack of anything better to do. Beautiful place (a mansion house before the nuns purchased it). The place is closing and will be in private hands soon, the nuns are aging and their ranks are not being replaced. I doubt I got any good photos, between the gray day and the gusting winds, it was a forced march to do anything. I was first back on the bus a good half hour before we had to be back. At least I had a muffin and a coke in the dining hall. It was my last meal for far too long.

The rest of the drive was rain and then darkness. When we got to Galway, the Brazillians and I scattered off the tour bus to the bus station as fast as we could, little more than 10 minutes after the 5:30 bus to Dublin had left. Ironically, we were heading the same way. Luckily there are buses evey hour until like 8:30pm. I hate to imagine being on that one as the 6:30 set down at the main Dublin station after 10:30pm! It was a soul crushing ride. I couldn’t sleep and the reading lights in the whole bus were broken so there went option two. It was a sea of headphones and I followed suit, pretty much four hours of my own soundtrack as we passed through countless anonymous towns and villages and took on and put off passengers. It was the dark ghost of my trip to Galway almost two weeks prior. The way out had been in the bright fullness of day, but the way back was dark, cold and wet.

When the bus finally landed here, a happy block from Jacobs Inn, I lost track of the Brazillians. I hated not getting to say farewell as they had been good travelling companions in that short span of time. But everyone off the bus scattered into the Dublin night.

I scampered up the street and checked in. This us my second time at the inn. Last time, I was in a six person dorm. I’m not sure if that was a financial decision or if there were no four person dorms when I booked. This time four person, and I have to say here this is literally the penthouse of this hostel. I’m on the 4th floor (which in American terms would be the 5th – in Europe, 1st floor is ground floor, second is first). The room even has a TV. I’m floored. I don’t really see the need, but it’s a nice room. So far, it’s only two of us in there. The other guy is Italian. Don’t ask me his name. I tried several times and I still think he just nodded that I had it to get me to stop mangling it. By this morning, not even a ghost of what I thought it was remained.

Today, I predictably slept in. The Italian was gone and I slowly prepared myself to face the day. I thought based on the gray weather that it would be museum day, but while I sat in the lobby checking out tours to Newgrange and the Hills of Tara, the sun began to peek out. So I got out and spent hours wandering the city with my camera. It turned out to be a gorgeous day. Even when the sun was behind the clouds, the clouds had such a depth and texture to them… It just had to be seen to appreciate it. I think I’ll have some neat city shots from today!

I did sign up for a Newgrange tour on Friday (keep a good thought for nice weather please) and I got on a Dublin city bus tour for tonight – Dublin’s ghost bus tour. It was great fun. The stories were genuine, but it was one of those tours where they try to scare you, no surprise to anyone. The interesting part was they had us take photos in a couple of reputedly haunted places. I got orbs in both, but I take those with a grain of salt. Too many easy explanations, but still interesting because we did not all get them. The really interesting one was the last stop where he said they routinely get some interesting stuff, two of us (including ME) got mist in our photos! I’ve never had anything like that before. I only wish I had a way to upload it to show but will not until I get home!

And that’s another day in Ireland gone. Only two more before I’m hurtling for the airport for Paris. I should add hopefully, as today there was a several hour strike by the air traffic controllers union (think that’s the right group). Supposedly just today, hoping for no repeats. The irony is that I had travel troubles that kept me from Paris the last time I tried to go! Fingers crossed!

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