First trip of my overseas stay = a rousing success! Dublin was fantastic and we had a great time. I went with friends of mine from NU who are studying at King’s College and we met up with other NU students from Paris, combining to form a 14 Wildcat-strong force to be reckoned with.
We left from our dorm at 3a on Friday bound for Stansted, one of London’s smaller airports. We flew RyanAir, perhaps the most ghetto airline that I have ever seen – so much so that they didn’t even have pockets on the fronts of the seats. We arrived in Dublin at 7:30a and enjoyed a traditional Irish breakfast. We dropped our bags at the hostel and walked over to the Jameson Distillery (for Uncle George’s sake, I will post pictures!). My friends Jason and Jared were selected from our tour to be “official tasters” of Jameson, scotch, and JD, and they received a certificate documenting their efforts. After our tour, we walked back along the Linney River and had dinner at a restaurant on Temple Bar Street. Afterwards, we headed out to the pubs in the Temple Bar area. There are 26 pubs in a 2-block radius; we didn’t hit all of them (although we tried our best!), but we had a great time.
On Saturday, we explored Trinity College and toured the campus. The buildings themselves are not as old as I expected, but it was nice to see the college in downtown Dublin. From there, we had lunch at The Bank, which was rated the #1 bar in Ireland the previous year. We journeyed along Dame Street past City Hall, stopping at Dublin Castle and Christ Church Cathedral until we hit the Guinness Storehouse. While the tour itself was kind of overrated, the Gravity Bar (with 360 degree views of the city) and free pint at the top made up for it. After the Storehouse, we went to a hotel on the main street with traditional Irish dancing. We stayed for the show, which I can equate to a small-scale Riverdance, and then watched the Ireland-Italy World Cup Qualifier football match. It was exciting to watch the game in such an electric environment, and Ireland almost pulled out a win against the world champs, but ended up with a 2-2 draw. We finished the night by going back to the pubs on Temple Bar.
The trip itself was great, and introduced me to both inter-Euro travel as well as hostel life. Our hostel was clean and nice, although some of the other hostel patrons were a bit dodgy (English slang for sketchy). Dublin as a city was much smaller in terms of size and MUCH more expensive than I anticipated, but for a vacation it was lots of fun. Back to classes tomorrow. Great weekend; more good ones to come.