Okay so Diane and I have now had a couple of days to spend exploring a bit and getting our feet wet in Dublin. It's been fun so far, if a bit confusing and bewildering at times. What did we do over the past two days? On Monday, we slept in as much as we could. This time around I'm having a bit of an issue coping with the jet lag -- both sunday and monday night I was wide awake around 2am Dublin time. I'm not exactly sure why, but it was a little bit annoying. Sleeping in was nice though, and we didn't get ourselves moving until well after 10am on Monday morning. We scouted the area right around the apartments for a place to eat and settled for the Spar, which is a little convenience store which had some fresh food that was actually quite good. We each had a sandwich freshly prepared for us there. Not so bad!
Our next stop was to get some basic groceries and supplies for our stay in our temporary apartments. For that, we went to a store called Dunnes which at this location is kind of half grocery store, half fashion/department store. The grocery section is quite extensive with just about everything you might want to get, so that was pretty nice. The weirdest thing about it? They stock their eggs on an unrefridgerated shelf. Weird.
Dropping our groceries off at the apartment, it was time to take a look at some apartments to see if there was anything promising available. The source for new listings is http://daft.ie, and we spent several hours looking through the listings and making some reservations to see some places over the next couple of days. Our search is primarily on the southern light rail train line called the LUAS. There are two LUAS lines, the red and the green. The green is the southern one and the red is up north cutting vaguely east to west. They are not connected though, so you have to hop off one and walk to the other. Both Diane and I are in favour of an LRT-like experience, and the LUAS is very close to giving us that.
Afterwards we ventured forth to Darse and Alexandra's place for dinner, games, and a little bit of chatting about our next steps. We stayed late enough that we missed the bus back to our apartment so we had to catch a taxi back in a raging thunderstorm. While those are apparently not that common in Ireland, we kinda felt at home -- the pounding rain and the thunder was so similar to the summer thunderstorms that we got in Alberta.
This morning the plan was to get up and head out in search of a mobile phone for us to be reachable. So after having some breakfast, we returned to Dundrum mall, where we walked between the three main mobile phone dealerships here (Vodafone, Meteor, and O2) and eventually selected a pay as you go plan with Meteor. It kind of felt like the Fido of Ireland, although we could be mistaken there.
In the afternoon we had appointments at 3, 4 and 6 to see some apartments. Having spent awhile debating mobile phone plans, we hastened to our first appointment to check out two apartments. They were really quite nice -- brand new, never before lived in suites with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Nice, but pretty pricey, although I'm not totally certain we're going to find a place that will be much cheaper and in a good location. Oddly enough, our second appointment was in the same building (we figured that out late the night before, but figured it couldn't hurt to take a look at more suites in the same building. Turns out that the second guy was going to show us the same two suites! Huh.
We checked out some more places and then headed downtown to find a place to eat. We ended up back at Bewley's -- the restaurant we ate at with Darse and Xan the last time we were in Dublin. It was rather tasty.
So now we're back at our apartment. The plan tomorrow is for me to go into the office to pick up some paperwork that will smooth the process of getting a GNIB card (an immigration card) and a PPS number (kind of like a social insurance number). With luck, I'll be able to get that done on Thursday before I start work on Friday!
I'm going to attempt to wade my way through some pictures tonight so if you want to watch my flickr stream, you just might start to see photos of Vegas starting to show up there.
Hope everyone at home is doing well, we miss you all!