A Travellerspoint blog

Start of an Irish adventure!

London Luton Airport, Dublin Airport, Gormanston and Gormanston Beach


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I arrived in Ireland this morning for a period of two weeks and five days of adventure!

I'm teaching on an EFL summer school for two weeks and then going on to Dublin. I've only been to Ireland once before, and that was back in 2006 on a university rugby tour to Cork for one long weekend, so my memory of that is a bit hazy! As a result, when I saw the advert come up for this job, I thought it would be really nice to return to Ireland for a bit longer and have more of a look round. While in Dublin there are lots of places I want to visit, including some with connections to some of my ancestors, and I also hope to go on a day trip to the prehistoric site of Brú na Bóinne.

It should also be nice to be back teaching face to face again, as I haven't done so since Austria back in March (since then, I've been teaching exam preparation online intensively, both groups and 1:1 - IELTS, Cambridge First, Cambridge Advanced, Cambridge Business Higher). Much as I've enjoyed teaching online, I also enjoy it face to face and I haven't been able to do much of that since the start of the pandemic! Teaching General English again will be nice as well, and within a summer school context. I've taught one summer school before, in the UK before the pandemic, and it was a great experience so hopefully this one will be too!

To rewind to the beginning of the day, my flight was at 06:30 from Luton and Dave kindly gave me a lift in at 03:30 - arriving very early in case of airport problems of the nature we've heard about in the news so much recently. As it happened, hold bag check-in went very smoothly, but there were a couple of hold-ups at luggage x-ray, the next stage - firstly, the queue was massive and although it kept moving almost constantly, in my state of bleariness it still felt like a never-ending walk down aisle after aisle after aisle. Then there was a hold-up in trays moving through the x-ray... although none of my stuff had to be checked over, I still found that I'd spent about 45 minutes just in the luggage x-ray hall.

Luckily, there was still enough time left before the flight to make my way to the departure gate without having to rush. The flight itself went well; one perk of including a hold bag in my ticket purchase with Ryanair was that I could choose my seat with no extra charge, so of course I chose a window seat. Sunny weather meant I had fantastic views throughout.

My hold bag was one of the first ones out on the luggage belt, and I went almost straight through passport control at the electronic gates (no stamp given), so before I knew it I was outside the terminal looking for the right bus stop. €6.50 for a single to Gormanston, a journey of around 20 minutes. Lots of lush greenery to be seen once we'd left the outskirts of Dublin - the Emerald Isle living up to its name.

Since settling in this morning, I haven't done very much aside from relax, though I did go out for a walk to the beach. I went round in a big circle, taking in part of Gormanston village and the mouth of the River Delvin as well as the beach itself.

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The beach was extremely wide and I couldn't actually reach the edge of the sea due to the stream which cut across, but I could see that the sea was extremely choppy - loads of white horses. Something unusual about the beach was that at one end, there were large patches of bright green seaweed which appeared to be growing directly out of the sand, rather than just being washed up (though there did seem to be some of the latter too). Seagulls were poking about in it, and I was struck by the vivid colour combinations; white sand, brown sand, strikingly green seaweed, white seagulls, bright blue sky, the darker blue of the sea, the clear glinting stream, plus the white horses in the Irish Sea.

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Clouds were moving over, and almost as soon as I'd left the beach (a different way to how I'd arrived, further up) and had passed over the bridge by the tiny train station, the heavens opened. As luck would have it, the rain was blowing sideways and I was just coming up to a handily-placed tree growing out of a hedgerow, which blocked most of the rain from reaching me. A local passed by on foot, saw me sheltering there and asked if she could give me a lift anywhere, but I politely declined, as I knew it was only a passing shower. Sure enough, after only around 10 minutes, the rain subsided and the sun came out. What appeared to be steam rose from the road tarmac. The roads glistened as I walked along country lanes, plus a bit of main road, back to campus.

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I've also heard about a prehistoric passage tomb close by, and a holy well of St Brigid, but I decided to save those for another time rather than see them all on my first day. I might see one of them tomorrow, if the weather plays along. I will be quite busy tomorrow though, meeting my new colleagues, looking round campus more properly and getting ready for Monday.

Posted by 3Traveller 18:28 Archived in Ireland Tagged landscapes beaches coast airport ireland explorations english_teaching extreme_weather

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