What do you do when you have a 10 hour layover in Dublin? Anthony Bourdain would probably go to some trending restaurants, drink a few beers in a pub, exchange some witty banter with a local artisan and then get back on the plane after pontificating about the politics of corned beef. This is indeed the best option when faced with a long Dublin layover even if you’re not an international celebrity. But what if you wander sleepily through customs, get funneled through a basement tunnel and suddenly arrive in another terminal and realize you’re screwed?
As the times have it, airports have become police states and talking to anyone of even a shred of authority is like talking to the Stasi, so when you ask where to exit and are told you’ve passed the point of no return, you probably suck it up and take it. This is a mistake: EXHAUST ALL OPTIONS BEFORE GIVING UP. The reality of a 10 hour layover in any airport is grim. The overpriced shops full of perfume, sunglasses, electronics, womenswear, menswear and other such high-end airport commerce, offer no comfort for the desperate traveler and the restaurants and lounges will suck your wallet dry.
If you’ve planned on sleeping through your layover the outlook is not much better. Dublin airport is notorious for harassing airport sleepers. The air-conditioning is set at an uncomfortable level, the janitorial rotation seems to be scheduled every hour around the good spots to sleep and the unwritten rule for discouraging naps in restaurants or cafes is a kick or shove. To which you can either place another order or skulk off to the next place. Sleeping in airports is not fun. The seats are designed in such a manner that you can never get comfortable. The sleeping on luggage technique hardly works and when you look down at your watch it’s only been 23 minutes since you last checked.
So what do you do when you’re stuck in an airport? Dublin doesn’t have a a 4D theatre or a cockpit simulator like Hong Kong International but they do have the Food Hall where you can eat the breakfast buffet: eggs made from powder and sausages that sink into your gut like dysentery. Right across the way is the Gate Clock Pub where you can wash down your breakfast with a pint and a crowd of soccer hooligans on their way to Liverpool who may or may not spill their entire beer on you.
However, in these situations booze is best, despite the money drain. The Garden Terrace is expensive and certainly not among the best in the world but you can get some decent food and cocktails. Find a booth in the back and begin the routine of drink, nap, drink, nap. A partner is better for this technique because you can take turns passing out. Going solo will have you tossed out of the pub and possibly worse, either way you will be hammered by the time you have to board which is a gamble. Layover, hangover…there is little difference.