We landed in Dublin right on time, about 7:30 a.m., to a lovely day, FrIday, Sept. 25. Who would know that we would end up experiencing only one day of real Irish/English weather the whole 2-week trip! The closest I ever came to layering was a t-shirt and windbreaker and usually only wore the latter for in case.
The first task was to find the bus to Busaris, the an Dar (City Centre) station. We really wanted to do every step smoothly because we would only have until about 3 p.m. to see sights of Dublin before we would have to catch a bus to Carlow and then travel on to Wales.
And we didn’t want to waste a step because of my bad left hip. A second way for time to be up!
“To the left, you can’t miss the bus …” Haven’t we all learned that something “you can’t miss” is a sure miss! Soon it was obvious somebody had laid out 3 shovels and told us to take our pick.
We ended up being directed back the way we came and then back again the way we had gone but not far enough. When we finally found the right stop, it turned out there were two different destinations for a #16 bus, and the wrong one kept pulling up!
Next we were off to find Trinity College and its famous Book of Kells. Claire Mooney, our wonderful host who so kindly offered to let us stay in her 2-bedroom apartment in place of 2 nights at a Dublin B&B, had told us by email to be careful to take the correct street downward to the River Liffey.
“Out that door and turn right at the first big street” pointed the information booth clerk. About 10 minutes later, my hip now starting to complain, there was no sign of the river. A smiling fellow was approaching, so I asked for help, and sure enough, the nearest bridge of 11 over the River Liffey was in the opposite direction! He walked with us until he had to part and said to keep following the trolley tracks which were no longer used by any trolley but apparently kept because they were indispensible for directions!
When we reached the long line for seeing the Book of Kells, Mary said she would line up for tickets, I could go rest on a bench. Striking up a conversation with the young man sitting by me, what a surprise that he ended up telling me that he would be happy to take Mary and me into the viewing place for free as his student guest! No line and no euros!
We finished our touring goals for the day and were ready to board the bus to Carlow over an hour early. Little did we know that about three times more passengers than the bus would hold would be vying to climb aboard. We threw our luggage into the underside storage, and that meant we had to get on. We also needed on because Claire and Christy Murphy would be waiting there to collect us, and we had no easy way to contact them about any change.
We wedged toward the door like leaning, smiling elephants. That’s when a couple of the Dublin college students, the crowd going home for the weekend, took pity on us old tourists and blocked a hole open for us to squirt through the line!
In the Bible, Paul said Christians must be “given to hospitality” (Romans 12:13), and hospitality must be the hallmark of an elder (1 Timothy 3:2). We should be careful to help strangers because they could turn out to be angels (Hebrews 13:2).
The Irish we met that day needn’t be concerned about that, but Mary and I are grateful for the many times the Irish showed us lovely hospitality.
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