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Dublin 1: Arrival

Thursday, August 8, 2019 - 08:44

Despite all my self-deprecating mentions of getting to airports entirely too early for Significant Trips, I didn't actually spend that much time hanging out twiddling my thumbs. After check-in and security, I had an early dinner--or rather a late and substantial lunch. I figured they'd feed us something dinner-like on the plane but didn't want to count on it too heavily. (They did, but it was fairly light.) Then I really only had half an hour or so of wandering around the gate before they started boarding. Bumped into Ellen Klages and Madeleine Robbins, who happened to be on the same flight, and chatted briefly until boarding started.

The plane was only about half full, so no problems with elbow room or people wanting to climb over you just as you were trying to sleep. With the help of sleeping pills and a good supportive pillow, I did manage to get about half a night's sleep. Arrived in Dublin around 11am local time and made it to my hotel by around 1pm. Checkin starts at 3pm, alas.

I dropped my suitcase at the hotel desk to hold until check-in time and then spent a couple hours grabbing a bite to eat sitting by the river and then orienting myself to some part of the transit system. I've bought an unlimited transit pass which means I don't have to worry about details of fare--only about which system and which line get me where I want to go. I downloaded a couple of transit apps for my phone, but they seem to be oriented towards people who already know which bus line they're taking. The tram lines are a lot simpler, with one running east-west and the other north-south. Tomorrow I get to sort out the DART train (commuter train for more outlying routes). I took the tram out to the convention center and the other venue for Worldcon overflow events, then walked back from there to the hotel I'll be staying in for the convention proper. The distances between things are close enough that one can walk between them, but just far enough that it isn't entirely unreasonable to take the tram either. My plan is to aim for as much walking as I can manage to make up for the lovely food.

Despite the weather app showing rain today (and for the next week), it's been warm and sunny so far. (The weather app had convinced me to make the one coat I packed a raincoat. If that act has resulted in fair weather, you may thank me.)

Got back to the hotel and checked in and was grateful for being forewarned that it's a walk-up. This is why I bought a convertable rollaway-backpack. The place used to be a hostel and has evidently only recently been converted to more hotel-like service and acommodations. The decor is...interesting. (The wall behind the bed is covered with deeply tufted cherry-red velvet upholstery. A sort of Victorian bordello look. I will post pictures on facebook.) I have a "single" which is barely bigger than the twin bed, but has en suite facilities. A shower has made me feel more human, but it's going to be a struggle to stay up long enough to reset my internal clock properly. I have deployed the coffee maker in my room to address this issue.

I also have yet to see what effect being located in the Temple Bar area has on nighttime noise levels. (My impression is that it's basically the zone for "tourists who want the full Irish drinking and music experience.") My room doesn't have a window to the street, just a couple of skylights, which may aid in noise buffering. I picked this place in part for the price, but also in part for the "middle of Dublin" experience. So I'm open to the experience. I put out one feeler for a dinner meet-up (generally, not specifically for today), but since I'll need to make an early night of it, I'm not trying very hard for tonight, but hope to find company for most dinners. There's enough of a sprinkling of early arrivers that it's a good exercise in my socializing skills.

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