170904-Special

Last night and the night before were surprisingly warm. Some benefit to the rain at least. 

I managed to (mostly) dry the tent before heading into central Dublin, following the Grand Canal into the heart of the city. While well-paved, barriers designed to permit road bicycles and pedestrians guard the intersections. I didn’t pay them much attention the last couple of days, as with only one pannier I could ft through with only a modicum of care. With four panniers? I have tons of practice at maneuvering the bicycle through tight spaces, but still slipped up on the first one and bloodied my lip on the handlebars. 

I arrived at the hostel to discover it unintentionally the same one as two years ago. Having arrived early,  my room wasn’t ready, but I placed the bicycle in storage and decided to take the Dublin Bicycle Shop Tour (est. 2015). After futilely inquiring at the shop just around the corner from the hostel, the first shop that had promised a box provided a box, of such small size to require completely and utterly disassembling the bicycle. A box in the hand worth two in the bicycle shop, I returned with it to the hostel.

Dissatisfied, I continued the tour and headed to the next, the shop that had provided the most feedback and options of different boxes. Unfortunately, although I had indicated I would pick up the box on the 4th (Monday) or the 5th, they neglected to mention the shop was closed on Mondays. Onwards. 

On the way to the third shop that had promised a box, I encountered another nearby. They had the perfect box, but wouldn’t let me have it, as they used it for their trash. The next shop provided me with a box better than the first. However, I returned to the previous shop, and exchanged boxes! They laughed at me, but who cares? I have a box. This time I had thought to bring a strap to be able to carry the box over my shoulder like a (very large) handbag.

After confirming the bicycle would fit, I disassembled the front of the bicycle and packed it into the box. I removed the pedals with no difficulties or injuries. Still missing tape, hostel Reception pointed me to nearby stores. Shortly thereafter I returned (again) to the hostel, tape in hand. 

My room now ready, I  moved the gear to my room, studied attractions in Dublin, and wandered about the city. 

I stumbled across the Office of Public Works (OPW) today, the department that maintains historic sites, and remembered I’d been there before. Years ago [2004], when visiting a castle in southwestern Ireland, a descriptive poster of a tower castle hung on the wall, modeled after Castle Clara, my favorite of all castles. At the time I inquired whether the poster was for purchase, only to learn the poster was only for display. I copied the address for the Office of Public Works from the poster. When I arrived in Dublin that trip I tracked down the address and stopped to inquire whether I could get a copy of the poster. Tourists didn’t normally drop by their government office. The person I needed to speak to was on vacation, so I sent a letter when I returned home. Three months later the poster showed up in the mail. It’s mounted on my wall to this day. 

Tomorrow I’ll complete packing the box, take the normal non-box version of the Dublin walking tour, and visit sites around the city. An early cab ride the next morning, and homeward bound. 

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