Our introduction to Dublin was an interesting one. We received an informal but welcome tour of the city by Ronan, our cab driver, who revealed he’s lived by the Dubin airport for 53 years.
Our Dublin hotel was probably one of the worst hotel experiences I’ve ever had, and I don’t quite know where to begin. So I’ll lay out what happened chronologically.
- Arrived around 8:30 pm, and the door to the hotel was locked. Not the door to our hotel room, the door to the hotel. Ronan the Cabbie had to bang on the hotel door for us to get the receptionist to let us in.
- Timoty (yes, spelled that way) was very frazzled when I gave him my name to check in. He asked if another member of our party had already checked into the room, and I told him that was impossible because the only people who were supposed to be in the room were standing in front of him.
- Timoty revealed to us that another person had been given our room accidentally, so we would be given his room. No big deal, as long as we have a place to sleep.
- The room was suite-like, with an exit onto the top floor balcony. Which was great. Until we learned that the door that leads from the balcony to our room DOES NOT LOCK. The top floor balcony is shared among all sixth-floor residents so anyone on the sixth floor could walk into our room.
- Exiting the room for dinner, we came across Timoty who was struggling under the weight of delivering a new mattress to the room next door. We didn’t stop to get the full story, but it struck me as enough of an oddity that I’m sharing it with you.
- At 8 am the next morning, I woke up incredibly paranoid that someone was in our room. I got out of bed to look around the room, only to find that the balcony door was wide open. Cold Dublin air and strong winds were gusting into our room before I shut the door. (No one was in the room, but it was the sound of the door banging against its frame that had startled me.)
- At 9 am that same morning, the fire alarm went off on the floor for a brief 10 seconds. It was enough time for me to shoot out of bed, grab my phone, and prepare my shoes. I popped my head out of the doorway where the housekeeper shrugged her shoulders at me and said: “I dunno what that was, it wasn’t me.” So I returned to bed.
- Between 10 and 11 am, a mysterious door somewhere near our room kept opening and slamming shut. The slamming was so abrasive that it shook the headboard of our bed repeatedly. I have a few theories as to what this door was. Perhaps it was a neighboring hotel guests’ unruly balcony door in the wind. Or more likely it was the housekeeper’s supply room door opening and closing as she accessed the supplies.
Somewhere during my personal hell outlined above, we set out to find a late dinner at a pub Ronan the Cabbie recommended. We walked past St. Stephen’s Green and the street Christmas decorations, and we were impressed. The city had an interesting feel to it at night. Homeless men gathered around a folding table that was dispensing hot drinks and food. There were different street musicians playing. Someone played the bagpipes, and a few talented guitarists were out.
The pub Ronan recommended was strange. With a smoking section on the top floor, and a serve-yourself-cafeteria-style dinner. We left in favor of a loud pub and ordered food as the kitchens were closing. It was a good inauguration to the city for two people coming down with tremendous head colds.
We passed out shortly in the room for the most restless night ever.