From Ireland to Austria Series: So Here I Find Myself Again... Somehow
This is from a series originally posted on my original blog: Seefahrer Thayer. While I don't recommend it, you can view the original posts here. Because the content had value and useful tips I've decided to repost them here, however, they've since been heavily edited and updated.
Even though I swore never again.
Well how did I end up here? Don't think I didn't try my hardest to avoid it. I did everything I could. Where did it all go wrong again...
Let's go back to the beginning of today. And before you get worried, this is a happy story (though the introduction may suggest otherwise).
This morning I woke up in lovely Belfast, got to say bye to Don, left him with some coffee and the promise I'd be forever indebted to him. I went on my merry way to Coleraine. From there I hopped a local bus up to Port something. It was maybe a twenty-minute drive- hard to tell because I kept nodding off.
I made it to the Giant's Causeway around 11:00. It was beautiful. The coastline, the rocks, and the beautiful grass and flowers. It almost made me want to study geology. There was lots of neat wildlife around too- I took a picture of a slug I saw, but there was also a neat black and white Finch, a pasture of sheep, and some sort of brown-yellow bird that landed at my feet to get a look at me. Holy sheep, it was a site to see.
So after that, I went back down to Coleraine. I can't think of a way to describe the place. You just feel that everyone there wishes they were somewhere else. In Derry-Londonderry you got the feeling no one quite trusted you, everyone was on edge, but in Coleraine? It felt like everyone was miserable and depressed and just wished they were in some other town somewhere. Maybe it was the overcast weather, I'm not sure, but that's what I got out of it.
I ended up having to waste about an hour and a half or more waiting on the train- even it didn't want to be there. But I went to a fish and chips place around the corner... it was okay. I can see why the attendant told me to go to Subway. When I was first getting off the train there were two young guys (both on their own) that looked as lost as me, so we all chatted while we found the way out.
We when I got back to the train station, one was sleeping on the bench. I sat a few rows away, and when he woke up he smiled, waved and leaped over the seats to come say hi. It was exactly what I've grown accustomed to being here, and it was precisely what Coleraine was missing- energy.
We chatted like we were old friends (also very common with people you meet here) and joked about "magical" money dispensers (ATM's). It put me in better spirits, at least. But I was almost as ready to get out of there as I was to get out of Londonderry. I took the train back to Belfast with a nice older lady, who napped on and off.
I decided I didn't want another night like last night. I booked a room. I also decided I needed a nice break, so I booked a b&b. It was about $50, but it's giving me a night in a private room, a chance to wash my clothes (I'm slightly embarrassed to admit how long I've been wearing the same pair of socks- which I could have switch at any time and just didn't think about it...). After the last few days- and the next few to come I figured I could afford it. Especially since I'm waaaaaay under budget on Food.
It's on the other end of town, which I didn't know when I booked it, but I'd still say it's worth it. Really nice owner, and old fashioned keys for the doors. (It's called Paddy's Place if anyone wants to look it up.)
Anyway, back to the train ride. In Belfast he and I are laid over at the same stop, so we get some coffee. Just so happens all the attendants that helped me last night were there again, and they were all so happy to see me, asked how I slept and how I've been doing- it was so nice. Shortly after I went from Belfast down to Dublin. I decided to sit across from this older man, even though he looked grumpy, just because all the other young people on there looked annoying.
He and I talked the whole way there, about the culture, and language, he gave me a guided tour along the way. He even shared an apple with me. We both got off at Dublin, and he walked me about a mile to my bus stop, where we parted ways. He was up in age, but he told me about when One Direction came to town (I barely know who they are, how does he?) and I had to book it to keep up with him. Of course, I did have my backpack, and a cough, but all the same.
I had hoped to get to the west coast today- to Galway, Kilkenny, or Clare, but here I am. In Dublin. Not so bad on this side of town, still not a fan of all the drunks, traffic, and people. But I have a better opinion of it now. I'm hoping tomorrow the west coast will go smoothly, then maybe head to the UK Wednesday or Thursday. Not sure how I'm getting there yet. But so far Ireland has been grand, I really won't want to leave.
I know I'm forgetting something important, but I suppose it'll come to me later.