From Dublin Airport, we took the Aircoach* (forking out a stomach-churning E7.00 per person for the privilege – that’s like ZAR170.00, ouch! Gotta stop converting to Rands!) into Central Dublin.
At last, we arrived at College Green (which is not a ‘Green’ at all anymore, but probably one of the busiest intersections in the city centre). As we walked in through the famous archway of Trinity College, onto the pathways of cobbled stones, it all felt oddly familiar. And then I realised this was because I’d clicked my way through the outstanding virtual tour on the TCD website.
So this would be our home-from-home for the next three nights.
We asked our way to the Accommodations Office, which was staffed by a bunch of very friendly, patient, and helpful young people. Over the next three days, they were our official information bureau, advising us on matters as diverse as bus routes, movie houses and inexpensive restaurants.
Our room was in Goldsmith Hall, which was quite literally at the other end of the world! Well, the campus. A long walkawaited us, laden down as we were with two bulging rucksacks and two unwieldy suitcases.
And unfortunately, this is when we realised that the wheels were squeaking.
I don’t just mean a gentle squeak now and then.
I’m talking more like an incessant, penetrating screech-squeaking that sounded like a flock of very chatty migrating birds had arrived en masse, and they were now arguing about what they were going to eat and whether they were going to overnight in the centre of town or push on to the next rest-stop.
Acutely embarassed by the screech-squeaks echoing between the venerable old buildings, which seemed to glower disapprovingly at our lack of decorum, and met by stern glares and appalled looks from the lecturers and the one security guard who crossed our path, we tried to carry the suitcases as much as possible.
MAN! They were heavy. Had I packed bricks in there or something? When we finally reached our chambers, we collapsed in a heap of exhaustion, aching arms, and swollen feet.
Fast forward to Wednesday night.
We were checking out in the morning, and faced a long trek with our luggage to Drumcondra, where we had to fetch our rental car. Fearful of causing further affront, we had decided to grease the wheels, so to speak. And thus you will find hubby on the floor, trying to poke butter right into the rotating bits of the wheels.
Can you imagine our relief when it actually worked?
We made it all the way around Ireland and all the way back home to Cape Town without a single squeak. Well, not from the wheels in any case.
As we S’effricans like to say: “‘n Boer maak ‘n plan!” **
* Yes, I know there’s also the much cheaper City Bus, but the helpful people at the Dublin Tourism Centre, handily located at the airport terminal, said that we might have trouble getting our suitcases onboard. So, not wanting to inconvenience fellow passengers and unsure of protocol on Dublin buses, we took the safer option.
** ‘A farmer makes a plan.’ And you can say that even if you aren’t a farmer.