Yesterday was my appointment at the Embassy in Dublin to get my new passport sorted. Since I've always had the old style one
, and not the new style which requires fingerprints and gods know what else I had to make an actual appearance in a fully booked Embassy agenda. Miss it by a few minutes and you'll have to wait another few months, something which wasn't really going to happen, as I've got travelling plans in September.
So, with the appointment booked for August 23rd at 10:40am, we needed to get the earliest train possible. Luckily for us Translink/Irishrail
had special deals on, and a return ticket from Bangor to Dublin was £12,50 each. £25 for two adult return tickets to Dublin isn't bad when balanced out against the fuel and parking costs in Dublin. Plus we knew from previous experiences that if we were to park in the wrong place we'd have our car broken into again.
Downside to this was Tennant's Vital.
This years big stars are The Script and Eminem. I was planned in for the Tuesday night shift in Jenny's, but not knowing how long the passort-malarkey was going to take, the trains being bunged, and the roads even worse we didn't know if we would be able to make it back in time for my shift at 7pm. After asking the boss he said to 'give it my worst', so I was going to try and 'make it when I make'. In the end, a good friend and hard worker had her holiday plans cancelled, and rather than having the bar-staff team awaiting another member on what could be a rather busy night I asked if she could cover me, which she did.
This atleast opened up part of the day for me and Mr. Richardson, allowing us to look around a bit as well. Plus, it's always nice to be able to take it easy when you have to get up at 5am in the morning to get everything ready.
As said, at 5am we arose, fed Oscar and cleaned the bird's box. Yes, we have a re-hab case again, a juvenile blackbird with a broken wing. We finally got everyone washed and fed, leaving with just minutes to spare to Bangor station, and we managed to just catch the train. We arrived in Belfast 20 minutes before the Enterprise would depart for Dublin, but unlucky for Mr. Richardson none of the food bars were open yet.
I slept here and there on the train journey and we arrived at Connolly around 9:45
. We asked on how to get to the correct street and were send on the Dart service going the wrong way. Typical. Mistake was soon fixed, and we were on our way again. I think we finally made it to the building with 5 minutes to spare. I handed over my forms, ID, and photos... only to be told the passport photos were UK sized and too large, so I had to get new ones taken. My heart sank, but the lady at the desk assured me she'd keep the slot open as all she needed was the photos. Ran down the street, found a photo place got the pictures taken and 20 minutes later we were at her desk again. Got my prints taken, and all was now sorted. The new passport will be send to me within two weeks.
Taking a breather we headed back to the Dart service
, and got off at Pearse Station. From there we walked to the Grand Canal Docks
and sat in the sun for a while. There was an amazing sculpture of a bull near the docks as well in the shape of a bull. From the docks we walked all the way to Echlin Street and decided it was about time we paid the Guinness Storehouse
Had a grand day relaxing and mucking about in that HUGE place. It was fun, and I even got Mr. Richardson to pour (and drink part of!) a pint of Guinness. One of the few Irish people I know that doesn't like Guinness... though I'm sure I make up for the both of us!
We tried getting the train back to Belfast at 5pm, but it was bunged and we missed it. Heading outside again I promised Mr. Richardson I wanted to buy him dinner, so after a few blocks we ended up in "Le Bon Crubeen"
, which was absolutely delightful, and entertained us with plenty of time to catch the 7pm service to Belfast.
It was BUNGED, and people were standing in HUGE groups to get in. I spied a way around, and told Mr. Richardson to make a dash for it, as after a day of running and walking around Dublin neither of us fancied standing on the way back! We managed to get a seat, thankfully, and two lovely old ladies which had been out for a last couple of days travelling the entire island were sitting next to us. It wasn't long after the train started moving I dozed off again.
Finally, at 10:30pm we sat foot in the door and were well and truly knackered. After checking on Oscar (which was hyper) and the bird (fast asleep) I hit the bed and almost instantly fell asleep. The noises of Tennant's Vital (and their bloody blimp, which was pretty noisey!) soon faded and I had one of the better sleeps I've had in a LONG time.
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