I Don’t Feel So Good

I woke up early after a good 12 hours sleep and realized that either I had caught a cold from the hotel desk clerk yesterday, or I had caught one along the way. There is never a good time to be sick, but there are worse times, and on day one of a trip is one of the worst.

My plan for the day was now to minimize the likelihood that this was going to be a trip length cold. I took the train into town to get some supplies and figure out where a few things were. I’d throw my plans for this day out the window so I could come back to the hotel and rest with the hope that I would keep this cold to 3 days or less.

I went to the General Post Office to pick up some stamps for my postcards, and I really like the fact that such a historic place is still an active post office. It was before the museum opened for the day, so I didn’t wait around for that. I grabbed a few postcards and souvenirs at a book store nearby, and went to a cheese shop a few blocks away to buy some Irish cheese. If anything will make me feel better it is cheese.

After the cheese shop, I took the bus back to the hotel. I had bought a ticket to a silent movie at St. Patrick’s Cathedral and as much as I hated to miss it, I was going to sacrifice it for more sleep and the chance to get better before I left Ireland. I’m not complaining. Having a head cold in Ireland in better than having a head cold back home. At least here there is great Irish, and BBC TV.

I’m Not The Only One Who Came To Ireland For St. Patrick’s Day

After a short flight from Paris, I landed in Dublin during a very windy and rainy day. The last 10 minutes of the flight were a bit like a roller coaster ride. Airsick bags were pulled out and at the ready by some, and the rear of the plane let out a cheer once we were on the ground. I was too tired to care.

Once off the plane I soon realized that I was not the only person who had decided to pond the holiday in Ireland. I was at the back of a line that took an hour to get through passport control. Never have I wanted an EU passport more than when I got in that line.

One of the other issues with EVERYBODY going to Dublin for the holiday was a lack of hotel rooms in the city center at my kind of rates. So I took a long cab ride out to West Park where my hotel was. Usually I’m all about public transit when I travel, but sleep deprivation made me opt for the expense of a taxi. The hotel is near a train station and a bus stop so I can make up for that expanse over the next few days.

While I was checking in to the hotel, the friendly lady at the front desk was coughing and commented that she was coming down with a cold and would be going home soon. Uh-oh. She was very nice, so I felt sorry that she wasn’t feeling well instead of angry that she was potentially infecting me with some virus.

I got to my room and went to sleep with plans to hit the town first thing in the morning.


En Route

I have a short layover at Charles de Gaulle on my way to Dublin. My experiment with trying to sleep on a plane was better than I expected, as I got about 2 hours of sleep. I’m catching up on some work at the Air France lounge and drinking insane amounts of coffee.

Ireland For St. Patrick’s Day 2018

Here’s some info on this trip:

  • CHA to ATL to IAD on Delta. IAD to CDG to Dublin on Air France. Dublin to AMS to IAD on KLM. IAD to ATL to CHA on Delta. More legs and airports than I’d like, but I got a super deal from Washington Dulles (IAD).
  • Books: The True Flag by Stephen Kinzer. It’s about the Spanish-American War, which doesn’t get covered much in US schools, so I’m learning lots of new things.
  • Music: Plenty. I’ve been discovering all of my collection again by filling up my new desktop with my CDs. Long story and long process.
  • TV: None, I’m going to read.
  • Guide Book: Lonely Planet Dublin
  • My Mother’s Biggest Fear: Nothing this time. That’ll be two trips in a row!
  • My Biggest Fear: Too much Guinness.
  • Plans: I bought tickets to two St. Patrick’s Festival events, checking out the parade, several museums, a pub or two, some bookstores, record stores, etc.


The biggest part of this trip, outside of the cool stuff in Dublin, will be my first attempt in a long time to sleep on a plane. I have never really been able to so I have stopped trying. I am planning to give it a shot again. I figure if I can get even a small nap in, it will be better than nothing.

I am also trying out my new AirPods for the first time. The new iPhone I got a few months back was the 8, and it saw the removal of the headphone jack. Since the earbuds now plugged into the charging port, it makes it impossible to charge and listen at the same time. If you also add the fact that one of my cats chewed the wire on my new earbuds that came with the phone, the jump to wireless was a no-brainer. Sigh.

Geneva Back To Zürich

I spent my last part of a day in Geneva buying the last of the souvenirs and finishing up the postcards for the people back home. The main post office in Geneva is pretty amazing, not Barcelona post office amazing, but amazing. It also has a tourism office there which is very convenient.

If you got a postcard from me, it went in there. Die Post! Die!
Like all of Europe, the old look was right on time.

I grabbed a few souvenirs along the shops lining the street and was VERY tempted to get a Geneva only Geneva themed Swatch at the Swatch store. Very tempted. I already have two watches, so I passed. I to this day feel regret. I’m going to have to go back and make it right.

I hopped on the train for the approximately two-hour trip back to Zürich from where I was flying back and took in the amazing scenery that I missed on the trip there due to darkness. The lakes and mountains along with the odd castle along the way make for a beautiful journey. I could really go to Switzerland and do nothing but ride the trains the whole time and still be pretty happy with the trip.

We rolled pass vineyards that I was sure were responsible for the wines I had on this trip to Geneva and the last one. Vineyard-to-table-to-my liver. We don’t many Swiss wines here in the United States and get none out in the hinterlands where I am based so I drank my fill while I was there. They were quite good.

About an hour from Zürich something happened on this trip that hadn’t happened to me yet on any Swiss (or French, or Austrian for that matter) train: a delay. I kind of smelled something burning and figured I was maybe having a stroke. I was fine with that if it was, Switzerland is probably a great place to have one if you must. Soon a few conductors walked through hurriedly with radios speaking into them in German. It was at that moment I realized it was not a stroke, but that was also the moment I had wished I had learned the phrase “abandon train” in German. I don’t normally follow crowds, but when I’m somewhere that I do not speak the language, I figure that it is safer to than not. Everybody else was cool and stayed put, so I did to.

They did make an announcement in English apologizing for the delay. They never said what the issue was, but we were delayed for a little over and hour. If we had been delayed in the countryside, it would have been better since I could have soaked in the views. We were delayed on a siding just outside a train station and the scenery was much more industrial and railroady.

We got to Zürich eventually and I hopped another train and a shuttle bus to my hotel. I spent the evening repacking for the trip home and drinking the last of my recently purchased Swiss wine and cheese. I miss them both so much.