Hostel Horrors

Fresh out of school, all of 18 years old. I’m working in the UK and a mate and I take our first trip after a couple of months solid graft, off to the Emerald Isle over Easter. We had both done some travelling before, but always with parents, or school trips etc. We had even been eased into our time in the UK, with family friends helping us with accommodation and the like when we first arrived.

So our very first  backpacking trip, entirely on our ace. We were excited, and had plucked Ireland out of thin air because we knew we did not need visa’s. An hour on the old intraweb looking at our options, and it was off to Euston for the train/ferry combination to Dublin. That was the extent of our planning and prep work. And what a trip it was…. But that’s a story for another time.

10 hours later, after an uneventful train trip, and a ferry crossing largely confined to the bathroom (I was not made with sea legs), we find ourselves standing outside Dublin’s Bus Station, at 1:00am. On a Sunday. In the rain. Ireland doesn’t get green by magic you know. Where to sleep…? We hadn’t thought this one out. Never fear, we picked the best lit lane we could see, and headed off, sure that the luck of the Irish would smile upon us.

Youth Hostel. We could just make out the writing on the old weatherbeaten sign. Guess that should have been our first clue. Anyway, we weren’t in a position to be picky. The old fella behind the desk in the entrance hall/cavern from the Middle Ages was missing his front teeth, and had a great laugh when we produced our YHI cards that our mothers had told us to buy, “You’ll save so much money.” Thanks Mom.

Too much time has passed for me to remember what we paid for the night, what the hostel’s name was, or thankfully much else. What I will never be able to completely wipe from my memory is that it was in the Custom’s House area of Dublin, I found a syringe in my bunk, the mercifully brief appearance of (what I now know to be) someone flying very close to the sun scared the bejesus out of us, and when we crept out at the crack of dawn after not sleeping a wink, we stepped over a huge pool of blood in the entrance hall/entrance to hell. We were two rather shaken youngsters, who were just happy to be out of the place in one piece.

Thankfully, it was all uphill from there. That trip turned out to be one of my best ever, and after the worst possible first impressions, Dublin and I got along famously. I can’t wait to renew her acquaintance some day.

Published in: on 25/06/2010 at 10:59 pm  Comments (5)  
Tags: , ,