So, back in London. It’s still raining, the same man is still telling me to mind the gap, and after three months of more or less finding my way around non-English speaking cities, I am again lost. I think I am somewhere around Covent Garden, but I can’t be sure. All I know is I started walking from the British Museum hoping to bump into St Paul’s Cathedral sooner or later, but all I’ve seen for the last few blocks have been Bengali restaurants.
I certainly packed heaps into my last day in Dublin, the first day that it rained the whole time I was in the country. I spent over three hours at Croke Park – now that stadium (yes, I’m calling this one a stadium) wins my award for the most historical. It’s also up there with the best tours, and the best museums. Even the names of the stands are historical – none of this ‘Northern Stand’ and ‘Great Southern Stand’ business – one was named after the player that was killed on the field during Bloody Sunday, another after the guy who set up the Gaelic Athletic Association in defiance of the British authorities, and the simple terrace, when questioned as to why it hadn’t been re-developed along with the rest of the ground, our guide informed us that it was constructed with the materials from the buildings destroyed during the 1916 Uprising. Pretty good reason, I suppose.
I also paid a visit to the Jameson Distillery, even though I’m pretty sure I don’t like whiskey. The tours were all full (probably because of the rain) so I had a real Irish coffee in the complex, which was surprisingly good.
I spent most of the night culling more from The Beast. I made the startling realisation that I have collected a lot of crap along the way. I filled up a whole bin, and if you asked me what I filled it with, I couldn’t tell you.
What I can tell you, though, is of my experience at Dublin Airport. I walked straight up to the check-in desk, said a silent prayer, and plopped The Beast down. The monitor blinked:
The check in girl didn’t understand my elation. I felt as if I’d conquered Everest. I had done it. An international flight, taxes included, for a cent.