Wednesday, March 04, 2020

Dublin: Powerscourt Lunch and Sleeping at the Airport

Dublin, Ireland
Travel Period: September 2019

After the business meeting in the morning, which went pretty well, by the way, I made my way to the Powerscourt Centre.

The view from the balcony stairs of the Powerscourt Centre.

I have read about the Powerscourt Centre ahead of this travel, which is an elegant indoor shopping mall inside a heritage Georgian house. I wouldn't call it a house really, instead, I would call it a mansion, or simply a big historical building!

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On my way to the Powerscourt Centre, with the use of Google Maps on my Apple device, I took some pictures.  I try to play tourist as much as I can even though I am not, haha.

I was on my way to lunch at the Powerscourt, after which I will be going back to my hotel to pick up my luggage and then go straight to the airport for my return flight to Amsterdam.

Passing by so many shopping alleys, I stumbled upon this impressive department store called Brown Thomas on Wicklow Street. They were displaying lovely bags and one, in particular, caught my eye as it was big enough to hold a laptop in it. I have been looking for a nice ladies' work bag that does not look like a work bag but more of a normal lady bag.

Anyway, I couldn't just leave the shop without my newly found item!

I like it when I am able to shop during my travels. It helps me remember the items I have bought abroad. They become special as they are attached to an experience.

Later towards the day, when I went back to the hotel to pick up my stuff, I had a chat with the manager there. He saw my Brown Thomas bag and made a side comment that I knew where to shop in the city. I learned that Brown Thomas is the luxury department store of Dublin.

Upon arrival at Powerscourt Centre, I did not waste time and quickly went to work, and that is, searching for a place to have lunch, and well, to take pictures as well!

I did not have time as I have to catch a plane later.

On the balcony corner of the atrium, I saw this restaurant cafe. The diners sit beside the railings and have a great view of the whole place. I waited for a bit until one of the diners with a good view and seating was finished.

Cosy lunch place in Powerscourt! 

I know I will be lunching and should have perhaps taken a sandwich but my breath is taken away by the lovely cakes! I also had a savory breakfast at the hotel earlier, so I might as well have some early dessert for lunch.

Well, I am eyeing the Victoria sponge cake on top of the counter =)

My lunch: Victoria sponge cake with delicious strawberry jam and to die for cream.

This is one of the best cakes I have ever had. The reason why I love Victoria sponge cake or this type of cake is that it is not too sweet. The cream evens out the sweetness of the jam and the cake is a bit crumbly and hearty which serves well for being a lunch treat.

Every time now that I visit the UK, I try to look for a Victoria sponge cake or a similar baked item, in a restaurant, a bakery or a supermarket.

After the Victoria sponge cake lunch at Powerscourt, I stopped by George's Street Arcade shopping center, one of the oldest marketplaces in the city. I couldn't just pass this beautiful place. I do not have to shop at all here, I just need to appreciate its stunning facade architectural beauty.

Shopping in Dublin is not only cool but historical. Shops are elegant and domiciled in beautiful classical buildings.

Because lunch was a cake, I thought I will complement it with something more savory, some fried onion rings. Sadly, this was a wrong decision. The fried onion rings were too oily for my taste.

Then it was time to leave and go back to the hotel and get on the Airlink Express shuttle bus to the airport.

So colourful!

Oh, I managed to buy these delicious Berliner donuts at Anns Bakery. These are amazing! I bought a couple to bring home to the Dutchman. These are just so, so good.

I arrived at the airport just in time. I wasn't planning on anything special to do here. My goal was to get out and go home. I also planned on eating dinner at home, so I was looking forward to being home that evening.

Unfortunately, this is when the nightmare began.

The winds have picked up and there was a storm brewing outside. There were still some planes coming in and leaving, but then suddenly the screen showing the list of flight departures is showing much-delayed flight statuses.

What is going on here???

So my flight got delayed for more than 2 hours. It is now showing that we will depart at 20:30, however, this proved wrong. Eight o'clock came and all flights were canceled for the evening, delayed for the next day! Ugh, safety first. No plane was allowed to fly because of the storm.

To make matters worse, there was a concert and a big special event in the city and all the hotel rooms were taken!

I flew with Air Lingus and they couldn't help me find a room, much less a bed for a night. It wasn't just me that they couldn't help, but all of the stranded passengers. Like hundreds of us! There were some that got lucky and managed to get a hotel room but not me.

So I literally slept at the airport. This is actually the second time I slept in the airport, the first one was in Seoul many years back together with the Dutchman which was also an unexpected fiasco.

I first spent the evening wandering around and eating some of the strawberry filled donuts I bought at Anns Bakery. I wasn't in the mood for dinner at all. Then I had drinks at the bar and met this English lady who flew over to Dublin to attend a conference that got canceled and now her flight back to England got canceled too. The trip was all for nothing.

Then the horrible part came, it was time to sleep. Oh, I wouldn't wish this on anyone really. I had to sleep on hard chairs, like those rotating brightly-colored chairs at fast-food chains. I had to keep an eye on my belongings while I try to catch some sleep. You know I am getting old and it is important for me to properly lay down and stretch.

Well, I barely slept and my whole body was tired and aching. My eyes were sore and my head was pounding, all I can think of was home and my comfortable bed! The agony continued as I had to wait for 12 noon the next day for my flight back to Amsterdam. The earlier flight was already full so I had no chance but to wait. I was so desperate at this point.

When I finally boarded and got home which was almost 4 in the afternoon, I went straight to bed and slept. zzzZZZzzz

This was the worst (business) travel I have ever had. Never again!

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Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

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