the next 10 days we are taking part in a spiritual journey through ireland. really kind of a pilgrimage, a christian pilgrimage to be precise, by bus (not a lot of walking involved, unfortunately) to the places of the old, celtic irish church. the whole trip has been organized by the akademie st. paul — and it’s the first group trip of this kind that i’ve ever participated in and i’m not too sure whether it’s going to be to my liking. let’s see.
starting point is dublin airport which we reach by way of —- yes, unfortunately — plane to catch the 9:20 swiss flight from zurich to dublin, we take the 6:59 train from einsiedeln, necessitating getting up at 5:00, sigh. we make it in time and get to zurich airport, manage to get our failed web-check-in sorted1, even manage to get two seats next to one another2 — and have a punctual and fairly calm flight (big relief on my part).
we are the first part of the group to arrive in dublin. once we’ve had a coffee (me) and smoothie (mrs d) we position ourselves directly opposite the arrivals area and hold up our sign and wait…
and wait. finally at around 12:30 the first few folks of the remainder of our group trickle in and by 13:30 we are almost complete. it’s an, err, interesting mixture. our bus driver for the next 10 days collects us and after a small problem with luggage (luckily quickly resolved) we are on our way into dublin city center.
our pilgrimage’s guide, mr tambour from akademie st paul, evidently has done his homework and gives us a rather well-informed running commentary of the stuff we see already from the bus, and, once we are ground-bourne again, a tour of the temple bar district and, the highlight of the afternoon: christ church.
i’m not sure whether i’m cut out for this group travel stuff — i find that i need time for myself and, also, that i actually enjoy the immersive part of travelling alone (that is, either really alone or together with mrs d) and being forced to interact with the “natives” (so to speak) and take part (at least to some extent) in the culture that surrounds us. travelling in a group of germans takes that part away, it’s like travelling in a shell, in a bubble, a bit isolated from the country you want to experience.
we get to our hotel, the stand house hotel by a 18:20 and have a bit of time to settle in (we are going to stay two nights here), then it’s a rather nice dinner followed by some blogging
let’s see how this all works out
the swiss international air lines web-check-in took us through all the stages of the check-in process and then refused to display the boarding cards. hmph. ↩
which the aforementioned web-check-in also refused to do. ↩
yes, however unlikely that may be. ↩