We landed a couple of hours later than scheduled this morning in Dublin. It was a long flight and the seating was incredibly tight on the trip from Seattle to Newark. I have never been in such a cramped space before on an airplane. It seems United and other airlines have shifted their seating configuration in the hopes that you will “upgrade” and pay more for a little more room in their “economy plus” section of the plane.
I was quite tired as I hadn’t gone to bed following a very busy Wednesday with 4 Masses including our 8th grade graduation.
The leg from Newark to Dublin was over 6 hours long and I wound up playing Solitaire for most of the time. This killed a lot of time and every now and then I got so tired my arm would drop off the monitor and nearly hit my mom in the knee. (She was sitting next to me.) Still, I didn’t watch any movies and only listened to music for about 5 minutes. Let’s just say that I’m not the worst at solitaire but I am also far from being a a champion.
As soon as we got into the airport and through customs, we toured downtown Dublin. It is a very attractive and clean city with lots of history. We went to see the Book of Kells which was extremely popular and well-attended. This display is at Trinity College, the oldest university in Ireland. It was founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth 1st on the grounds of the confiscated Augustinian priory. According to our tour guide it was “built to further the education of the ruling Anglo-Irish families. Restrictions were imposed to prevent Catholics from attending courses and these restrictions were not fully lifted until the late 1970’s.” I was saddened to read that. I thought we had come along a little bit further with ecumenism.
I wound up not spending a lot of time in the display because there were so many people pushing and shoving. Adding that to the sleep deprivation made me seek out a quite place. I met up with my parents who had a similar experience. About half an hour later we departed for our motel. Most of the pilgrims were sleeping on the bus so we decided to take the afternoon off to rest up. Tomorrow will be a busy day with workshops and activities at the 50th International Eucharistic Congress.
We all got our “pilgrim” package from the company sponsoring the Congress and mine came with a nice stole which I will use tomorrow when celebrating Mass.
Thanks to everyone for your prayers while we are away. The Irish are very friendly and welcoming. I just need to get use to looking both ways before crossing the street and realizing things are different here since they drive on the other side of the road. Notice how I am being very diplomatic and not saying the “wrong” side of the road:)
I hope all is going well for you and your family. I’ll make another blog entry at the end of the day.