Saturday night was a lot of fun, and I returned to my hostel room (20 people sleeping in bunk beds) exhausted and ready to sleep. I crashed out on the top bunk around 3am, and hoped to sleep soundly until about 8. I was thwarted when a group of youngsters...hooligans, if you will...came in around 4am singing, laughing, and being otherwise inconsiderate of the 20 people sleeping around them. Once they settled in and STFU, a symphony of snorers began, and I realized I was in for a long night. In short, I think I slept for two hours. Sunday was going to be a long day, and I began wondering how much longer I would be able to put up with hostel life.
I had breakfast with Tina and Nina, took a rather uneventful "Viking Tour" of the city with them, bid them a rather emotional goodbye, and set out to plan my next move. Up until this point, I had let the trip come to me, making relatively few decisions. Now, I realized, it was time to take the bull by the horns and chose my own adventure (anyone read these books back in the day?).
After a bit of wandering, I arrived at the Dublin train station, thinking I'd be able to pick up some WiFi, do some research, and make a plan. I was thwarted, however, when I discovered that WiFi was impossible. I couldn't even get a 3G network or anything. Crap. I realized I had become too reliant on technology, and now I didn't know what to do with myself. After a lengthy discussion with the man behind the ticket counter, I purchased a four day rail pass, which allowed me to ride the Irish Rail system for 4 days and go wherever I pleased. This way, I could get on a train (complete with WiFi access), do some research, and make a decision on the fly. I was able to remember that, when conducting my ancestry.com research, I had found that my 3rd great-grandfather (my grandpa Galvin's grandpa), was born in 1866 in Tralee, Kerry, Ireland.
While on the train toward Mallow, and later Cork, I accessed ancestry.com, confirmed the Tralee connection, and was able to make a last minute transfer in Mallow to get to Tralee. Sweet. This was also the way to get to Dingle, which I was told is a must-see by several reputable sources.
Got to Tralee, wandered the town, found a hostel (yes, again with a hostel), met my German roommates (very nice people), and took a shower. Well, I thought, if my family is from here, maybe there will be some evidence of the Galvin name if I walk around town for a bit. Sure enough, I found some stuff:
It was nearly sunset, and the businesses were closed. I returned to my hostel to talk to Stephen, who was born and raised in Tralee. He informed me of a few Galvin families in town, and advised me to visit them in the morning to figure things out. I went upstairs, listened to my roommates talk to each other in German for a while (perking up whenever I heard a word I recognized), and slept soundly. I had a feeling that the next day was loaded with potential.