Last week was my first travel break through DIS, so last Monday I traveled to Dublin! Monday was a pretty early morning. I set my alarm for 4:15 because our flight left around 7:15, and as you probably know, you are supposed to be at the airport two hours early, so yeah, that happened. However, I have found that traveling with just a backpack is super convenient because then you don’t have to lug your suitcases around all the time. Two of our friends, Sun and Alyssa, were also on our flight! We had just discovered this the day before we were flying out, so it was kind of funny. From the airport in Dublin, we took a bus to O’Connell Street, which was not very far from our hostel and is a main street in the city of Dublin. Jessica and I had found our hostel pretty easily, but we couldn’t check in until 2 in the afternoon, so we had to carry our backpacks around for the afternoon. But, at least I didn’t have a suitcase with me as well! After that, we met up with Sun and Alyssa again because we were all starving! From there we walked around to area where Temple Bar is and found a cafe to eat at for lunch.
After lunch we went to the Dublin Castle and took a tour of the State Apartments. The castle grounds were gorgeous! And seeing a castle is always pretty cool too. We were quite tired after a busy morning, and ended up getting snacks at the cafe in the castle. We ended up staying in there longer than we expected because it started raining pretty heavily outside and we didn’t really want to deal with that. It didn’t take a terribly long time to stop raining though, so then we continued exploring as we walked towards St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The Cathedral is amazingly beautiful outside and inside. However, when we got inside, we were told that the Cathedral would be closing soon because they would be having their service at 5:30 (we probably got there around a quarter to 5). We decided that we would just come back on Tuesday.
Then we were off to Grafton Street, which is a big shopping area in Dublin! The stores were pretty cute, but I was limited with what I could bring back since I only had a backpack. Now that I think about it, that was probably a good thing! 😛 I also had my first beverage at Starbucks! It was a chai tea latte (I’ve never had coffee and I never plan to) and it was delicious! Sun was telling us that Dublin was having a Theater Festival, so we ended up passing the Gaiety Theater and getting tickets for a play called “Conversations on a Homecoming” by Tom Murphy. Then we decided to head back to our respective hostels and get settled in before joining up again later that night. On our way back, we almost got pick pocketed! There were these two women walking behind us, and I could feel one of them touching my backpack. At first I thought it was just because it was a little crowded on the crosswalk, but it still made me walk faster. Luckily my backpack had my lock on it too, so it’s not like she could have opened it anyway! 😉 Later that night though, we learned that they did get a hold of Sun’s wallet! She felt the weight of her wallet leave her bag, and looked around and say one of the women holding it! It was lucky that she saw it, because the woman gave it back. Sun said that she was laughing and saying that it was ok, but that is definitely NOT OK. At least she got it back though! I was pretty paranoid about my backpack after that.
In the evening we all went out together to the Temple Bar. They have live music every night, which was pretty cool. It was really crowded though! We ended up snagging some seats in the back next to the bar. I didn’t get anything, and was therefore in charge of saving our seats. I learned that it’s not very fun sitting alone in a crowded bar, but whatever. The other three girls got fish and chips after that. It’s called LeoBurdock’s and it had a Celebrity Hall of Fame. The cast of Scrubs and P.S. I love you, U2, Sandra Bullock, Bruce Springsteen, Serena and Venus Williams, Mick Jagger, Bobby Flay, Alan Rickman, Daniel Day Lewis, Charlize Theron, and my personal favorite, Justin Timberlake’s parents, have all eaten there. There are tons more, but I’ll spare you. 😛
Now on to Tuesday! Our Carleton friends Kaitlin and Nikki arrived at around midnight, and Nikki wasn’t feeling to well. 😦 We think she had food poisoning from a Chinese buffet while she was in Scotland with Kaitlin, but who knows. We got to sleep though! I think the alarm was set for 8:30, but I woke up well before the alarm almost everyday. I don’t know why I can’t sleep in like a normal person! Anyway, after breakfast, the four of us decided to do a Hop On Hop Off tour. We first hopped off at Trinity College. They had signs that said to stay off the grass, but when we got to a football field, Kaitlin, Nikki, and I decided it would be fun to run around it. We didn’t see any signs that said to keep off the grass!
Our next stop was St. Patrick’s Cathedral. This time we actually got to go inside! Like I said before, it was beautiful. The priest also said a prayer while we were there, and a part of it was specifically for people on holiday. It was really sweet. 🙂
We went back to the Temple Bar area for lunch to a place called Gallagher’s Boxty House. I had some potato pancakes since that is what they are known for and because they are vegetarian, along with some dumplings in a blue cheese sauce. I must say, it was quite delicious!
Our last stop on Tuesday was the Guinness Storehouse. It has a lot of floors, and it’s floor plan is in the shape of a pint of Guinness, which I thought was pretty cool. It was interesting, but as we were making our way upstairs, I was getting less interested. Maybe I was just tired. Admission into the storehouse includes a pint of Guinness beer. I got my beer, but I didn’t even get through the foamy part top. Not a fan, but at least I tried it I guess!
In the evening, Jessica and I went to the play “Conversations on a Homecoming: with Sun and Alyssa. The theater was pretty empty, so when it started, we all moved up into better seats. It was hard to get into at first because the actors had thick Irish accents. I probably missed a ton of stuff, but it was still interesting to see!
Now comes Wednesday, which was probably my favorite day because Jessica and I went with Kaitlin and Nikki to the coast of Northern Ireland to a place called Howth. The scenery is all that I think of when I think of Ireland, so I was really excited! As we were hiking around, I saw a dog standing outside of a house. I started saying hi to it, and then it ended up following the four of us for OVER AN HOUR! The coast was simply gorgeous. The green grass, beautiful cliffs, and blue water just made my day,and so did the dog, hehe. As we were walking back into town though, I was getting worried because the dog kept crossing the streets and there were cars and stuff. We stopped somewhere for lunch and he was waiting outside, but then another group of people came by and started petting him, so he followed them instead! Also, the dog had a collar but no identification tag, so I hope it got home alright on its own! After lunch we walked some more to see more of the cliffs, and they were also so pretty! As we were waiting for our train back to Dublin, it started raining. I’m so glad we missed it! The only thing I’m sad I didn’t get to do was pet an Irish sheep, so I’ll just have to come back.
Later on Wednesday we headed back to the airport for our next stop in LONDON!!! I’ll write about that later though because this post took a while. In other news, today another one of my classes was cancelled. What is this madness? Then around 3 this afternoon I took a walk with Steen and the dogs in the woods. The leaves are starting to change colors! I love autumn! Afterwards Steen gave me some candy. 🙂