Dublin 2023 Dublin, Ireland MSMU Travels

The Tall Way to Galway

Heuston Train Station in Dublin: A gateway to Galway!

I woke up at the crack of dawn to the smell of slightly warmer-than-normal Irish air. Today was the day I was heading to Galway for a two-night stay, planned and organized by the Study Abroad program. The clock read 6:15am, yet I was ready to go catch the train. I said my goodbyes, stowed away any more items that I might have needed, and headed out the door. My backpack was filled to the brim with clothes, water bottles, jackets, and first aid material just in case I or anyone else got hurt.

I hopped on the number 4 bus headed to McConnell Street. I had to run across the street in order to catch it, and even then I just barely got on as the last person. It was surprisingly not as much of a struggle running around 40 feet with around 45 pounds of gear on my back, which I attribute to my days in ROTC. Once on the bus, I found that the most convenient route would be to get off before Trinity and walk along the river promenade. Once I got off, I started my hour-long walk.

A beautiful morning in Dublin!

As I continued along in the early morning atmosphere, the river Liffey appeared as a glowing creature slowly snaking around the bridges. The sky was filled with golden rays which peaked out from behind the buildings. I walked in the shadows of the south side buildings, which shielded me from what would turn into the heat of the day. As I walked along, a very important thought popped into my head: I needed something to eat.

I scoured the industrial and commercial buildings that dotted the riverfront for a morning treat. Nothing was open. I continued a little further down the riverwalk to the Ireland Criminal Court, at which point I turned around to backtrack to the station. On my way back, I found a little cafe called Provender & Family and got something called a “Bacon Bap,” which was a bun filled with bacon and pickled pears. As I sat down to eat my breakfast, I noticed an enormous pile of cigarette butts on the ground. I decided to switch seats to not be around the unpleasant sight. After I had my breakfast, I headed toward the train station a block away.

That’s my train departing at 9:25!

The train station itself was a work of art: built in the 1800s, the outside facade was ornate and well cared for. On the inside, the rotunda felt so welcoming and clean compared to my other long-distance travel experiences. Once I got my ticket, I continued to wonder about the station and meet up with the others on the trip who had arrived a few minutes before. Thankfully I did not have to wait long to get my ticket and to board the train, which was one of the most hassle-free transitions I ever had. From that point onwards, I settled in nicely into my train seat, put in my earbuds, checked my zippers to make sure nothing fell out or was missing, and waited until we pulled out from the station. As I slowly faded into a train ride-induced nap, the anticipation of visiting Galway and the many sights and sounds that awaited filled my dreams.

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