I moved out of my flat in Dublin on the 24th of May, 2014, at 9:30 AM. After donating most of what I owned to charity, I managed to squash the rest of it into two bags and to squash those bags into the taxi which picked me up in Halls. I had hoped to see the last of city centre one more time as I went to the airport, but my taxi — driven by a very gregarious Irishman lately back from Vegas and eager to tell me about it — took the shortcut around the outside of the city, so I didn’t get a chance. Disappointing, but I’ll be back one day, I’m sure.
I put my heaviest bag in the left luggage facility at Dublin Airport and then flew to London to spend a day there before I would go to Bath to stay with my flatmate at her home there for a couple of days. GoogleMaps gave me the circuitous route to my hostel in Holland Park from the Kensington High Street Station, but once I got there I was fine. The room I was in was a bit weird, with the bunks three beds high and staggered with no ladder so that the only way to get to the middle and top was by stepping on the side of the ones below you, but I had surprisingly little trouble with it.
On the 25th, I walked from Holland Park to the South Bank (not really wanting to pay £4.70 each way on the Tube), a walk which was greatly assisted by the fact that the London 10,000 road race was taking place and so many of the main streets were closed to traffic, but not pedestrians, so I got to walk around a lot unhindered by cars or buses. I visited the Tate Modern and then spent some time reading the The Scoop, an amphitheater built into the ground next to London City Hall. I then decided to walk to the Victoria and Albert but got very lost, and only found it after deciding I had given up on it, by which time it was only open for another thirty minutes anyway. Oh well. The weather in London was amazing: it was close to 70 F and very sunny. I got a sunburn.
The next day, I took the National Express to Bath where I met up with my friend Louisa and her parents. For the next two days, she showed me around Bath. We walked into town by following the canal that runs behind her house, and then strolled around the city. We visited Bath Abbey, the Roman Baths (including drinking some of the healing water), The Royal Crescent (including going in No. 1, which is a reconstructed Georgian House), the Circus, the Holburne Museum of Art, and just generally wandered around the shopping district. I had the best cookies of my life, I kid you not, from Ben’s Cookies… I could wax poetic about them, I really could. One day we took a river boat ride from the Weirs to a pub a little down the street from Louisa’s house. It was wonderful! One night, we did the Bizarre Bath walk, which was everything it promised to be, and very confusing. I loved Bath, and I certainly want to go back there again, someday.
On the 29th, I got up at 4:00 AM to leave at 4:30 to catch a bus in town at 5:00 for Bristol Airport. Louisa and her mum saw me off as I got on a big, green, double-decker, retrofitted tourist bus, which then trundled off for an hour long journey to Bristol. You haven’t lived until you’ve sat in the top-most, front seat of a tourist bus flitting along a motorway in the early morning. From Bristol, I flew back to Dublin to collect my suitcase from left luggage in Terminal One and then drag it and my other suitcase all the way to Terminal Two to have it checked. I was over the 23kg allowed limit by .8kg, but I think the clerk saw that I was about to have a nervous breakdown, because he didn’t charge me extra. I had a seven hour layover in Dublin, and then I flew to JFK where I had a four hour layover, and from JFK to Syracuse. For once in my life, none of my flights were delayed or cancelled (and I was very, very lucky, because AerLingus had a strike planned for the next day which screwed up a lot of travel plans for a lot of people.) By the time I met my parents in Syracuse, it was 12 AM, EST and I had been awake for twenty-five hours. By the time I got home, it was 2 AM. Talk about a long journey.
So I said goodbye to Dublin. It helped, I think, being able to see Louisa before I went home, because even though we had both left Dublin, seeing her outside of it kind of helped me to realise that just because I’m not living there anymore, doesn’t mean that I don’t still have the friends I made there. I miss Dublin, but London and Bath helped ease me away instead of just ripping me out and dropping me in America.
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Hannah Vose is a University of Rochester junior, majoring in English with an interest in literary translation studies. When not burying her nose in whichever book has most recently been plucked from atop the dangerously tall pile on her desk, she can be found obsessively learning new languages, squinting through her (very stylish, thank you!) bifocals at someone else's writing in her job as a Writing Fellow, drinking stupid amounts of tea, squinting through her bifocals at her own writing in her job as a scathing self-critic, or dreaming of living somewhere which gets even less sun than Rochester. Born in England but having lived most of her life in Endicott, New York, she has traveled back to the Land of Her People twice and visited Dublin once on the way over. She considered applying to Trinity College as an international student, but was deterred by tuition costs (yikes!) so she's absolutely 100% thrilled to be living in Dublin and taking classes at Trinity for an entire year (and only about 34% of that is because she might get to take a class on Patrick McCabe -- will it happen? Stay tuned!)</span></p>