I have been a member of ancestry.com for several years and have been working on my family tree. It is not an easy project but one that I am avidly pursuing. I decided to have my DNA tested so I spent the $99 and sent away for the kit. My results came back that I was 35% Irish and 33% English with East and West European making up the balance. It has been a long goal of mine to travel to Ireland.
I decided to take the plunge and started checking out travel tours. I wanted to take a guided tour to be able to find out as much as I could about the Republic of Ireland. I didn’t feel that driving there would work for two reasons. One – I have never driven on the left-hand side of the road and I don’t know anything about Ireland. I wanted to learn.
I checked many tour companies and finally decided on CIE Tours and went ahead and booked the trip. How exciting!!!
I flew from Portland International to Chicago O’Hare. That in itself is a long flight but nothing compared to Dublin. I watched every episode of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” that they had. That is a very funny show.
I arrived in Dublin about 7:30am and was able to locate the shuttle bus. While waiting for the bus to leave I sat with some other people who were going on different Ireland tours. I met a couple from Seattle who were in the same MG car club as my parents (GOF West). They showed me the pics of their MG’s and I told them all about my folks MG’s. It sure is a small world.
Can’t check in yet
We got to the hotel but couldn’t check in until 2:00pm so rather then just wait around the hotel I got directions on where I could meet the city bus. The hotel locked up my suitcase in a room for me so I didn’t have to drag it around.
I only had to walk a few blocks to meet the bus going into Dublin city center. I wanted to meet a Hop-On Hop-off bus and see some sites. I noticed many people getting on the bus as we were headed downtown, in fact the bus is packed and it was a double-decker. Then all at once everyone got off. Not sure where they were going I thought I would find out so I too got of the bus and followed the crowd.
It turned out they were going to the Irish Camogie Championship tournament at the Croke Stadium. Before I checked that out I asked a cop if the Hop-on Hop-off buses run on Sunday. He told me they didn’t (which was not true) so I decided to buy a ticket and check out the Camogie games.
Camogie is almost the same thing as men’s hurling, but only played by women. The Croke Stadium it was played in is the 4th largest soccer stadium in Europe holding over 80,000 people. There was not that many people watching these games though. It was sprinkling and I left my camera back at the hotel and my cell phone needed charging so I was not able to get any pics. I did get a program so I included a pic of that. Dublin lost the championship in the junior women’s round, but Cork won the middle women’s round.
Later I got back to my hotel and was able to check in. Our tour didn’t start until 2:00pm the following day. I ate a nice dinner in the hotel dining room and hit the sack early after getting my two cameras, iPhone, and computer charged up.