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Luck of the Irish, I Suppose

Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
2 Kudos
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Oh, Dublin, Dublin, Dublin. I’ll be back for you.

I’ve been excited for Dublin since it showed up on the itinerary, but I was even more excited when I found out that my wonderful, wonderful friend and sister would be studying there this semester! So essentially we’d both been counting down the days until Dublin and our reunion.

The first day we arrived to Ireland, Wednesday, we took a free tour-just as I always do. The tour was 3 and a half hours long, so Lord knows we learned enough about Dublin to write a small book. But perhaps the most interesting fun fact was that the name “Dublin” is derived from words meaning “dirty water” or “black pool.” Ew? Thankfully the city is much prettier today. After the tour, we wandered around and visited Trinity College, one of the oldest institutions around. Everyone about it was amazing. As classes had just started, the campus was bustling. While DePaul isn’t nearly as old, Trinity’s urban campus in the middle of Dublin reminded me a lot of home and I loved it. After lunch/dinner, we did some shopping around and I headed back to the ship to pack my bags and meet my friend, Rose.

Rose and I came back into the city on the shuttles that Semester at Sea provides, and then proceeded to lug our bags across Dublin-almost a mile- to our hostel. At check in, we have our first experience with Generator Dublin. Rose’s booking “doesn’t exist.” LIES. I’M STARING AT THE BOOKING CONFIRMATION. But this guy continues to insist that he can’t find it. The whole process takes around 15 minutes, then he finally finds her booking and checks her in. We’re in separate rooms, so I check in and we head up to her room first. Except we run into a little issue: the key doesn’t work. She runs down, gets a new key, comes back, still not working. Sigh. We decide to cut our losses and head to my room to start the night and agree to handle her key situation later. So we arrive to room 122 and we start getting ready to go out. My room isn’t exactly bumpin’. There’s a 40 year old business man who refuses to put a shirt on and a kid around my age who refuses to take out his headphones and engage in conversation (much like my freshman year roommate.) Then we hear a knock at the door. Confused, BusinessMan answers the door to find a young, too-happy, foreign kid holding a suitcase. We ask if we can help him (because why else would you knock?) and he, through his giant grin, exclaims that he’s our new roommate! Okay…. Cool. We asked if he had a key, he said he did, but since he heard us talking he figured he’d introduce himself via knocking? Some cultures are a little strange…

So ChattyCathy enters the room and peppers us all with questions and actually gets FreshmanYearRoommateTwin to speak. HOW?! He seems nice enough, but for the life of me, I cannot remember his name. He was from Brazil, and Rose and I called him Brazil. from the beginning. We asked Brazil if he would like to come out with us, and he pretty much jumped out of his boots. The best way I can describe this kid is to say he was a human version of my puppy. So. Happy. All. The. Time.

So Brazil, Rose, and I head out to the infamous Dublin bars. As we float around the room, we quickly lose Brazil. No idea when he went home, but we waved a quick goodbye and headed to the next bar. Essentially the next few bars are uneventful. No amazing stories. Sometime around 1am we head to some club with a few locals and some other SAS kids. Walking in, I experienced what is easily the strangest club experience ever. Rose and I headed to the top floor with a few of our guy friends from the ship. I couldn’t name a single artist they played. Not because it was Irish-because it was heavy metal. Being a few drinks in and in a generally awesome mood, we made the best of it and worked on our rock star dance moves. At one point I headed downstairs to get a drink and they were playing Missy Elliot down there. I’m wildly confused on the theme of the club, but we spent a few minutes downstairs at the end, dancing to music we actually knew.

Then we headed to our hostel, making complete fools out of ourselves trying to get into the building (Ugh. Hostel security!) and then drunkenly deciding that we will, logically, want to shower in the morning so we should, logically, get our towels now. At 3:30am. Rose tells them to charge the towels to our room, I try to pay the 0.8 euro fee on my credit card, and I think the lady ended up just giving them to us for free. I changed into pajamas and came back to the lobby to make some calls back home. About 5 minutes after sitting down, two wonderful guys from Belgium wandered in, sat down, and we chatted for awhile. 2 hours, actually. Finally, around 6am, we all decided that we were extraordinarily tired and the French that they were trying to teach me was just not getting through my sleepy little brain. Sometimes I meet some really awesome people while traveling.

The next day, Rose and I nursed some gnarly hangovers. We met up with my friend from home for lunch and made plans for the cliffs the next day. Essentially, the day was uneventful.

The next day we started the day extra early and hopped on a 3 hour bus to Gallway, a city on the other side of Ireland. We got incredibly lucky with the weather and I can’t put into words how beautiful the Cliffs of Mohr were. I mean absolutely incredible. I can proudly say that I’ve been a lot of places and seen a lot of things (Nowhere near enough places or things, but definitely more than I had a year ago!) but the cliffs were easily one of the most magnificent. We spent a few hours dangling our feet over the edge, taking pictures to send to our parents to keep them on their toes. Pictures will never do this place justice. All I kept thinking was how much my parents would love Ireland. As much as my dad hates flying, Ireland would have made up for it. The countryside (basically the whole country aside from Dublin) was everything you’d expect, and more. I would 100% go back.

We spent our last day in Dublin doing a tour of the Guinness brewery! Not a huge beer drinker, I was still amazed by the brewery. And while I hadn’t been a huge fan of beer back in the states, travel seems to have changed me (Imagine me saying that in a super pompous and annoying voice.) But really, I took a pretty keen liking to Guinness in Ireland At one point, I’m pretty sure my blood was essentially dark beer. I also have a certificate to prove that I have officially poured the PERFECT PINT.

After eating pizza from our favorite spot one last time, we headed back to the ship. Usually, I’m at least somewhat ready to go back “home” to the ship. This time, I was essentially a small child being dragged to the dentist. If it was at all socially acceptable, I would have started kicking and screaming in the security line before boarding the ship.

I love Ireland.
Story Details

Bars and nightlife

Dicey's Garden Bar
So much fun!! Led to one of the most fun nights I had while abroad.

Hotels

Generator Hostel Dublin
Not my favorite hostel due to their service, but definitely big enough with good food and a decent bar! Barely close enough to walk to places, but I would've rather gotten somewhere even closer.

Points of interest

Cliffs of Moher
Give yourself two days in case the weather is bad-but an absolute MUST DO.
Guinness Storehouse
Even if you aren't a huge beer drinker, this is a must do!

Restaurants

Flanagans Restaurant
The soup was delicious and we could mooch off of McDonald's wifi!

On The Map

1 Comment

by jwudiamond

02-13-2015

I miss Dublin!