Raise what's left of the flag for me

Trip Start Dec 17, 2010
Trip End Apr 26, 2011

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Flag of Ireland  , County Dublin,
Sunday, April 24, 2011

19 April 2011
This morning we checked out of our hostel and headed to the airport on our way to one last country, Ireland.  As we were getting on the plane, the men in the visa check freaked out because we hadn't gotten our passports stamped when we got to Berlin.  None of the countries so far had stamped our passports, so that was disappointing, but definitely not our fault.  We really have not been jumping customs, I promise.  Anyhow, they gave us our Germany stamp as we were leaving and Dublin stamped us again when we got there, so now I have 4 countries on the passport and I'm missing 3.

Back in a country that speaks English, but they drive on the wrong side of the road.  I always need to be just a little bit confused while I'm in Europe.  The weather is awesome.  We bring the sunshine wherever we go.  Haven't had rain since the first day in Paris when we went to the Louvre.   

We're officially wiped out from all of the traveling.  Good thing we got Paris and Rome out of the way at the beginning because we would not have the energy for them now.  Dublin doesn't really have too much to do except drink, right?  Our first treat was hot chocolate from Butler's.  Get it at least once if you go to Dublin.  It's the best ever.

We're staying at Felicia's boyfriend's cousin's apartment in the city, so there's really no pressure to do anything except lay around and watch tv.  I think this is exactly what I need.  I did discover that my friend, Carolyn, from Alicante is in Dublin so I'll have to meet up with her soon.  

20 April 2011
We took the Dublin walking tour today.  Again, we did it in Spanish.  Way better this time.  The tour guide was from Rioja, which I don't know much about except that it's up north and that's where wine comes from.  We went to Dublin castle, which is kind of a downer, and then to the viking portion of the city and then Temple Bar.  We left the tour in the middle because we wanted to go help cook lunch - stir fry (more vegetables.  Yay!)

The rest of the day was more lounging around.  At one point, I fell asleep and when I woke up, I thought I had slept through the night.  Fortunately I did not.  I watched an awesome episode of CSI (in original English) and then we went for drinks at Temple Bar.  When I was in the bathroom at the bar, there was a sign announcing that they were now open until 1:30 am on Fridays and Saturdays!!  Wow.  Other countries really don't do the nightlife thing quite like Spain.  On Fridays and Saturdays in Spain, we sometimes don't even leave the house until close to 1:30, and lots of places don't open until 3.  

21 April 2011
Today we slept until lunchtime and then had more stir fry.  I found a fabric store, so we walked there and then to Phoenix park, the biggest park in Europe apparently.  On the way, we stopped at the National Museum, but it wasn't that interesting, so we didn't stay long.  The park was really pretty and the weather was awesome again.  People were acting like they were at the beach.  Some people in swim suits and all.  

This afternoon, we washed laundry.  It was the first time in 3 weeks and the first time my clothes have been in a dryer all semester.  I feel so spoiled.  

Felicia's boyfriend's cousin, Kristine, is in med school in Dublin, so she found out about a lecture for the med students with free pizza.  So yeah, we crashed a party at the Royal College of Surgeons tonight.  At the end of the party, they even gave us an extra pizza and some bottles of wine.  

We planned to go to Temple Bar again tonight because everything's closed tomorrow for Good Friday, but we started watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and then it was all over.  We're getting so lethargic and it doesn't bother me one bit.  

22 April 2011
Wow.  When they say that you can't buy alcohol on Good Friday, they mean it.  In the grocery stores, the wine racks were covered in plastic wrap and all of the bars were closed.

I met up with Carolyn and her friend, Molly, today.  We went to The Queen of Tarts for lunch.  I got a spinach and brie tart and for dessert I had the best cupcake of my life.  Afterwards, we walked around St. Stephen's Green for a little bit.  It was one of my favorite parks ever, and I've seen some of the best.  

Carolyn and I wanted to go to the Evensong service at St. Patrick's, but it's not offered on Good Friday.  That seems weird.  Oh well.  We went and got some more Butler's hot chocolate instead.  So good.  

After I said goodbye to Carolyn, I went home and Felicia made shrimp curry for dinner.  We watched an Irish dating show that was pretty interesting.  There are some wild accents that are still considered English I guess.  We joked about turning on Spanish subtitles so that we could understand better.  After the Irish show, we saw the new episodes of Glee and American Idol.  I was a little too excited about the tv.  I'll admit it.  

23 April 2011
Today was an eating day.  Kristine, Felicia, and I got macaroons from Ladurée.  I can't believe I hadn't tried macaroons yet.  My favorite flavor was rose.  We went back to St. Stephen's Green to eat them.  

Afterwards, I realized that I have had Guinness in Spain, Italy, and Germany so I couldn't leave Dublin without getting a pint.  We went to a bar and sat outside (seriously, the weather has been unreal).  An Irish boy at the next table told me I would be quite a catch in Ireland because I ordered and drank a whole Guinness.  I bet my parents are so proud.  

After beer, we went back to the apartment and ate cinnamon rolls and the pizza from the doctors party.  I'm justifying the amount that I've been eating by reminding myself that I always eat like this around holidays.  Also, I've been walking 5 or more miles every day for 3 weeks.  Even with all of the sleep I've been getting here, I don't think I've quite required.  

After dinner, we went to the airport for a flight to Bristol, England.  We had an overnight layover.  It was my third time sleeping in an airport and probably the most difficult.  There were just so many people there.  I think the sole purpose of the Bristol airport is for layovers between more exciting places.  They must have a lot of over-nighters because they had 2 coffee shops that were open all night and they even had tvs.  Unfortunately, it seemed like they were pumping cold air into where we were all sleeping, so I only got about 2 hours of rest.  I did finish a John Grisham book though.  The Confession.  It's my least favorite so far.

24 April 2011
Woke up, checked in for our second flight, went through security, sat down on comfortable couches, and knocked out hard.  Thanks to an Easter Miracle, I woke up to the announcement of final boarding call for Alicante.  We sprinted about 10 miles to our gate and got there with plenty of time actually.  We probably didn't really have to run.  Oh well, we made it and I'm now safely back in Alicante.  

Unless something incredibly remarkable happens tomorrow, this will probably be my last post from Europe.  Thanks for reading, and I'll see you soon!          
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Dad on

St. Stephen's Green really is nice. And yes, your parents are proud of you, despite some, um, interesting choices . . .

Dad on

I should have told you my favorite Irish math poem, so that you could have used it in Dublin.

A graduate student at Trinity
Once found the cube root of infinity
But it gave him the fidgets
To write all the digits
So he dropped Math and switched to Divinity.

On my last trip to Dublin, I went to the bridge where Hamilton wrote the equations for his discovery of quaternions, but some morons had spray painted all over the plaque marking the spot, and also over much of the bridge. Very disappointing.

Maria Puhl on

I don't know what I am going to do when I'm in Spain, if nightlife doesn't start until that late... I guess I'll get used to it but dang... I'm ready for bed at the absolute latest by midnight, and that's forcing myself to stay up haha.

No alcohol on good friday? Holy crap! Is that a rule or something - like, churchy wise? (come on, we know how religion-dumb I am).

And so what is this hot chocolate that is mentioned many times? It it a certain place that has awesome hot chocolate, or what? I love me some hot chocolate...

Glad you made it back to Alicante! I can't believe you'll be back so soon! Crazy! I can't wait to see you :)

elaine74104 on

Maria, just make the siesta a part of your life. In the middle of the semester, I did about 4 weeks with 3 hours of sleep at night and then a 2 hour siesta. You're lucky because you don't have to worry about class and stuff.

You're supposed to fast and not drink alcohol on Good Friday and Ash Wednesday and a little bit during all of lent.

Butler's is kind of like Starbucks, except it's a chocolate shop. Therefore, it's all over the place, including in the airport. You'll find it.

Grandpa on

Here in Panama, no alcohol from Thursday thru Sat. night. For some reason the bottles are resurrected on Easter. But, as I discovered, there are "work arounds". At a nearby hotel the beer is simply poured into a glass and served. Perhaps the officials consider it cider.Recently I have begun to enjoy Guinness. As it turns out, it is a real chick magnet. I am sorry I waited so long.


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