Lisa and I arrived back to Warsaw last night after a wonderful trip to Ireland this past weekend. We started very early on Thursday morning on a 6:30AM flight to Frankfurt, then a couple hours before another flight to Dublin. It was around 12:00PM by the time we left the airport and took a bus to city center, and since we were supposed to be in Maynooth for a sound check by 4:00PM, we didn’t have too much time to explore that day. We ended up having a nice sandwich at an O’Brian’s (I think it’s a chain) and then went to see the Book of Kells exhibit at Trinity College, which was as lovely as ever to experience. After the exhibit we found our way to the train station and then headed off to Maynooth.
After a soundcheck and chatting a bit, evening came and with it an EAR Ensemble concert of music for cello and tape, which I was very fortunate to be invited to take part in. My piece was first on the concert and I think because I was so anxious over the piece and also the presentation the next day that I had a hard time really listening and enjoying the piece that night. (It didn’t help that we hadn’t slept much the night before and that I was freezing from the damp weather which I didn’t quite prepare myself enough for). The rest of the concert was quite nice with a good variety of music, and I left the concert as impressed as ever with the EAR Ensemble and their work. Dinner that evening and afterwards a short time at a pub with other professors and students was quite nice and the warmth of both was quite welcome.
Friday was a bit of a blur for me as I was a bit nervous about giving the presentation I had prepared, but I think in the end, it went quite well and I was pleased with how it turned out. I think that I was supposed to talk for 40-45 minutes but I ended up going and going until I finished and realized I had spoken for 1 hour and 30 minutes! It was nice to really discuss the design and ideas behind blue as well as to discuss music software design in general. If things go as well in Berlin in a couple of weeks I think I will be quite happy.
On Saturday, Lisa and I were able to walk around Dublin and see the sites. We walked from St. Stephen’s Greene, through the Temple Bar area, then a tour of Christ Church, a walk around St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and finally ended up at the Guiness Storehouse (which we got to tour very quickly as we did not have too much time, but did manage to get in the yummy Guiness at the end in the Gravity Bar while looking out at the city on a beautiful day).
Victor was amazing in his hospitality and we also managed to have a couple of wonderful conversations at the pub on Friday and Saturday. I was quite impressed with Irish pub culture and how casual drinking was in Irish culture. The pub had a very nice feeling of community and a sense of just a nice place to relax a bit and enjoy good conversation. Definitely something unique and favorable about the pub experience compared to bar cultures I had experienced elsewhere.
By the time we got to the airport on Sunday, the whole trip felt as if it was just too short, though at the same time it felt quite full, rich, and memorable. The weather that morning was as dynamic as it had been the days before, sometimes gray, sometimes blue, sometimes incredibly windy and sometimes not, and just a couple hours later we were off into the skies and heading back to Warsaw.
After arriving back to the apartment complex, I had that wonderful feeling while walking towards the apartment of looking around at everything and seeing the old things in a new light, everything fresh once again. Such a great trip and fond memories…