Looking back, it was Bank Holiday that did it. Dublin is the one place in Ireland where I actually had some contacts, so I figured it would be a good idea to book my flight out of Dublin. A few days ago I was having trouble getting in touch with my friends here, and was watching air fares climb, so I booked a ticket for Monday, figured it would work itself out. Turns out that this is Bank Holiday Weekend, and everyone I know in Dublin is not actually here. Oh well, I already had my ticket, so off to Dublin I went. I arrived yesterday afternoon, and found a nice looking hostel in the center of town. No vacancy. No worries, there are tons of hostels in Dublin. Three hostels later, no vacancy in any of them. I parked myself in a call shop and got out the hostel directory. Eighteen phone calls later I had run out of numbers, but still didn’t have a place to sleep. All the accommodation in Galway was full, but I had expected that (it was Race Week). I hadn’t expected all the Dublin Accommodation to be full. Damn Bank Holiday. Everyone in Dublin leaves, and everyone else comes. In Galway I knew a place I could camp without being bothered. I did not know such a place in Dublin, and wasn’t too keen on the idea even if I could find one. I hadn’t had a bath in several days, and I’d been lugging all my stuff around with me with no place to leave it, and really just wanted to check into a hostel and relax for the evening. Some web research turned up a couple more numbers to try. And, finally, one of them had a vacant bed (a single vacant bed). And it was pretty cheap.
I had expected Dublin to be a little too big and busy for my taste, but I’ve really enjoyed my stay here (after finding a place to stay; I wasn’t feeling so hot about the city yesterday). Actually, I wish I had booked a later flight and could spend some more time here. Today I spent a lot of time walking around checking out the city. I caught a couple acts of the Street Performance World Championship that is going on this weekend. A highlight was watching the Space Cowboy (from Australia) juggle a torch and two machetes, blindfolded, atop a ten foot unicycle. I also visited the Guinness brewery and learned all about the famous brew. At one point 30% of Dublin’s population was financially dependent on the brewery. Favorite part of the tour: Guinness parodies of Alice in Wonderland.