Trip Start Dec 27, 2009
Trip End Jul 21, 2010

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Flag of Ireland  , Dublin,
Monday, January 25, 2010

I'm sorry sorry sorry I have been so delayed with the updates. A lot has been going on here, and I’ve gotten pretty sidetracked planning Mel and my June adventure.

But anyways...

Olivia and I went to Dublin last weekend! (Well I guess 2 weekends ago now)

We got the train ride there for €10 and the return for €20 which in comparison to the €66 for a regular (student) round trip was pretty sweet.

We left very early on Friday morning, well 9:00 (which is very early for a Friday morning) had the best hot chocolate ever at the train station, (there was no real food though which is what we really wanted) and when we got on the train, our names were on a little screen above our respected seats! It was really cool, and I was going to take a picture when we got off, but it was gone by then. Three hours of snoozing on the train later, we arrived in Dublin.
Getting off the train, we really had no idea where we had to go, but we started walking towards the city centre, and eventually found a cheap pub for lunch, and then carried on to our hostel. The guys at the check-in were a lot of fun. We got to choose what music we'd like to check into and everything (we had Kaiser Chiefs). We stayed in a 12 bed mixed dorm, which was actually weirdly connected to another 12 bed dorm and shared a bathroom. It was €9,50 a night which was very good and it was really clean. When we got there, we were the only people in our room and there was no one in the next room either, so I’m guessing it was a pretty quiet weekend.

After we put our stuff down and explored the hostel a little bit (there was a huge breakfast/chill room, a big living room with a big TV and even a little library-esque reading room where people would leave books) we decided to buy a 24 hour hop-on hop-off bus tour ticket and see some stuff. We validated our tickets at around 4:30 so we had a good 2 hours that day and then another 5 hours the next day of running busses. We decided to go see Kilmanheim Gaol, we got there about 10 minutes before the last tour of the day so we didn’t have much time to look around the museum but it was alright. The jail itself is massive and has two completely different wings, the original jail had isolated corridors with small cells lining the inside walls which were meant for only one person in each (in order to promote a isolationist 'think about what you've done' type of prison) which housed much more than one person at a time. The other wing was more of an open layout in a horseshoe shape, allowing the guards to stand at one end and see every prisoner.

it was a really interesting tour, we saw the cells of many of the 1916 rising leaders and the church where one guy was married, 4 hours before he was executed (whose wife was later held in the same jail for rebellion), as well as the execution sights, both the ones that were outside for public hangings and the locations for firing squads.

After the jail, we went back to the hostel and then to dinner. We went to a bar called o'sheas merchant bar where Olivia got literally a boat full of lamb stew, and I got basically an Irish breakfast, but it had a different name. The amount of food we got was crazy, we sat next to this old man at the bar and he kept trying to get the bartenders attention in order to get another Guinness and eventually clapped at him to get his attention. It was very funny.

We decided we were going to call it an early night so we could be up to get on the first bus the next morning but of course, right as I was falling asleep, our lovely roommates decided to show up. There were 6 people from Essex and they were celebrating one guys 30th birthday.  They were very loud, but apologized for it the next morning, and the next one.

Saturday we went back on our bus tour, first stopping at the Guinness factory, where we learned all about brewing Guinness and saw all the different advertising campaigns they used. (My favourite was them throwing I’m not sure how many bottles of Guinness into the ocean with the advertisement on the bottle because they are still washing up on shore!) We had two options on where to have our free Guinness, 1. Up at the rooftop bar with a panoramic view or 2. We could pour our own at a different bar. We opted to pour our own because it was super cloudy. It was interesting. Some people had such difficulty which I just don't understand I mean he gave pretty clear instructions. But anyway we got our Guinness' and our lovely little certificates saying we are pro-pourers and everything.

We continued on our tour and stopped at the Dublin Castle, which was cool, there were remains from a Viking building underneath it and did a tour of the house which was cool, just kind of like every other mansion-esque building you've ever done a tour of. It is a pretty important building though. We also stopped at Christ’s church and Patrick’s church, they’re such pretty buildings.

Saturday night we went to the temple bar area, which wasn't everything we thought it'd be. Being broke college students we were not paying €15 to get into any clubs so we went to the bars with live music. It was fun though, until these creepy French guys came over to take pictures with us and tried to start conversations. It was very hard to understand them, especially that we couldn't really hear them. Overall it was a pretty fun night; I just thought temple bar was going to be so much more exciting.

Sunday morning we checked out and walked around O'Connell Street, could not find anywhere to eat lunch, and ended up walking all the way back to our hostel and in the other direction because everywhere was closed. After lunch we went back to the hostel to meet up with a girl we met and go on a walking tour with a guy who lived in the hostel. The tour was really interesting and he took us to some cool places including the archaeology museum where they had bodies that were found in the bogs and were over 2000 years old, but still had hair and skin! The guy was really knowledgeable, but he kept telling us about past tours, and lies he told them... and said we'd have to figure out what he lied to us about on our own! So I'm kind of sceptical. The tour went to Christ’s church, a museum with manuscripts from the gospel writers among others trinity college (which has can compactors on campus! and solar powered garbage compactors) and the national gallery. After the tour, he invited us to come make dinner at the hostel, so we did and for €2 each, he made us this olive marinara sauce (from scratch) pasta with garlic bread. Minus the olives it was delicious. I and Olivia are trying to make our own sauce, but we need a good recipe, because our last attempt was far too sweet. After dinner we walked back to the train station, and came back to cork.

Overall I think it was a pretty successful weekend away.

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Mel* on

Sounds like fun, I especially like the part about trip planning :)

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