When you have a limited income, you learn how to be frugal with your money. When you’re young, able bodied, and have time, this frugality can lead to round about ways of getting places. In order to go from Minneapolis to Marrakech, I Megabused to Chicago overnight, then flew from Chicago to Toronto to London to Dublin where I spent the afternoon, all before finally arriving in Marrakech. Doing this saved a couple hundred dollars. To my chagrin, if I had bought my ticket out of Minneapolis to Paris a few weeks later, it would have been the same price. At least this way, I had the opportunity to explore Dublin. We’ll try to keep things about silver linings.
I got into Chicago around 7am leaving 5.5 hrs before my next flight. Subtract one hour for the transit via L-train, another two for checking in and security, I had 2.5 hrs in the city so I decided Chinatown would be a tasty way to get breakfast and not sit in the airport. 30 min and one char siu bao later, I contemplated milling about Chinatown a little longer, but it was in the 40s and my wardrobe is very much meant for warmer climates. Right when I got off the bus, I’m pretty sure I could see people’s breaths. Instead of freezing to death, I just headed to the airport sooner and caught up on some of the sleep I didn’t get on the megabus.
After a quick layover in Toronto and another in London, I arrived in Dublin where I would have 5.25hrs. Subtract 1.5 hours for transit to and from the airport and 1.5hrs for security and not rushing through the airport, that left me 2.25hrs to explore. (I should note that both Aer Lingus and Ryanair changed their flight times after I bought my tickets; I originally had a few more hours in the city). The 12€ roundtrip Air Coach bus from the airport was a really convenient and speedy ride.
Sunday morning is a really bad time to be somewhere for a short time because everything is closed. Downtown on Grafton St. was filled with shops and restaurants I couldn’t enter. It was still nice to soak up the – albeit only slightly warmer than Chicago – air. In my 2hrs in Dublin, I meandered the streets around Trinity College, took a walk in St. Stephen’s Green, then tried to find somewhere to eat. Even though I was in Dublin and everyone said Guinness tastes so much better there, I couldn’t bring myself to drink beer at 10am. Instead, I had a warm bowl of porridge with Irish honey and fresh fruit and a pot of tea. On a cold Sunday morning, it was just what I needed.
Next stop: Marrakech.