Swords to Dublin via Public Express Bus

After spending most of the morning dealing with the Rental Car and learning how to adjust to the TDI Blue Motion Automatic car which disengages the engine every time you stop at a street light or stop sign, we finally made it to our first bed & breakfast; San Augustine B&B.

A quick chat with the proprietor, an exchange of pleasantries about the “house rules”,  then we are handed a key for entry into the home. Instructions in the head on where to catch Public Transit into Dublin. Out the front door we turn left on Rathbeale Road, heading back towards Main Street. On our way we are distracted by the spire above what we think will be a church. Up a Church Road we go hand in hand, smiles on our faces as Ireland is beneath our foot steps. Our minds are open as we skip up the road looking at the cluster of houses hiding behind the stone walls lining the street.

At the top of the hill we locate the spire which is connect to the dark church. A sign before the gate proclaims Saint Columba’s Church”. We peak beyond the stone walls and gate taking in the Swords Round Tower, a cemetery and the care takers house. Everything is dark and gloomy except the yellow flowers sitting before the house.

We decide to take a look around the grounds. Our hands go into our bags pulling out cameras. Our eyes adjust to the light and we begin snapping photos. Watching the ravens in the trees spying on us, as we spy the grounds. A handful of minutes later Ireland in April, pours down on our heads. We smile. Grab each other and kiss in the rain.

Our faces soaked we agree that a coffee would be nice. Out the gate we turn right heading down the street as cars zoom past on our left. Skipping across the street to the sidewalk we continue our search for Main Street. Five minutes later we are standing in front of Penny’s Department Store. Inside the store we go, in hopes of a washroom. She spots a coffee shop on her left. I announce I’m going for a pack of gum and off I go deeper into the store. We meet back up near the cafe. She’s got two cups in her hands. “One for you. Hot chocolate with a splash of Espresso. Hope that works?” “Definitely. Thanks. Where’s the Loo?” She points and off I go into the water closet.

Back outside of the department store we locate the bus stop. Searching for a bus schedule which is more confusing than a South Korean subway map, we decide to ask the locals about which bus is the “Express Bus to Dublin”. There are varying opinions between the locals as to which bus at this hour is the “express bus. We opt to wait until the next bus arrives and ask the driver. The driver of the 102 bus, shows up. We ask our questions. He answers. We nod. We look at each other and step off the bus. “Did you understand him?” she asks. “Yep. Don’t take this bus.” I replied.

Another twenty minutes goes by and we are still standing at the bus stop. A handful of busses have gone by. None of the drivers knows which bus is the “express bus” at this hour. They are all as useful as the bus stop schedule. My mind wonders, “maybe we are making this more difficult than it needs to be? It’s only 15-kilometers to the city. Let’s just get on a bus. Whatever bus shows up next.” 

She’s been over talking to a group of younger guys. “They said take the 501x bus. It shows up in 15-minutes.” Just as she’s saying this, two busses pull up. I say, “screw it. Let’s just get on this one. It says Dublin. This is our adventure bus. Let’s go!” She nods in agreement and jumps on the bus. 

It’s a double decker bus. We pay and sit upstairs a few seats back from the front. It’s pouring rain. The bus yields right onto Forest Road and heads south towards our destination: Dublin. The driver takes his route through a neighbourhood, past a high school, down a hill, around a corner, we laugh, sitting stunned looking out the windows, wondering “did we take the wrong bus?” 

Eventually, the driver goes right, onto a road, passing the airport on our left. Around the outside edge of the airport, down a road, connects to R108 and travels further south. We are watching stores and the suburbs disappear the closer we get to Dublin. Twenty minutes later we are looking at our map, wondering where we are on the bus? And wondering where on this route we should jump off? Without knowing where the bus is supposed to stop, we jump out of our seats and go speak to the driver. He pleasantly says, “I’ll let you off on O’Connell Street. Its the middle of the city. You can find anything from there.” We thank him and step back holding on as he turns a sharp right onto another street, then left and another right. Looking at each other and out the windows the street widens. The driver pulls up to the curb, “mates, this is your stop.” We thank the driver and step out onto O’Connell Street, in what many consider the centre of Dublin.