The day started out windy and cold and remained so, although the sun peeped out a few times to warm our California faces. Our first impression of Ireland already was of the friendliness and helpfulness of the people.
Stepping outside the airport terminal, we easily found the right bus and stepped on. The bus driver was so nice, greeting us warmly and joking with everyone. On the ride into the city, we sat near a young Irish fellow just returning from Toronto. He was talkative, asking where we were from, telling us about things we were passing. As we entered a long tunnel, he lamented how it was a waste of taxpayers’ money.
“It’s a death trap!” he exclaimed as we hurtled through, not noticing our nervous glances. Our conversation with him was our first real introduction to the thick, almost unintelligible (to our American ears), Irish brogue. I could barely hang on to the gist of the conversation, trying to nod and murmur at what seemed to be appropriate places. Dad seemed to be responding to the fellow’s comments with no problem. Later, Dad told me he couldn’t believe how I had understood this guy; I told him I had thought the same thing about him! We both laughed — neither of us could understand much at all. It had been a good fake.
We got off the bus at spot designated by our hotel’s instructions. After a brief walk and one false start (there is always at least one), we found the Anchor Guest House at 49 Lower Gardiner Street. Friendly Greta greeted us, escorted us to our rooms, and gave us a quick tour of the lovely breakfast room. Quickly depositing our bags, we dashed back downstairs, anxious to get out into Dublin and make the most of our day.