For our four free days Catherine, Laura, and I decided to head to the Land of the Leprechauns. It will probably be one of the highlights of my semester here. It was that amazing! I loved Ireland more than I ever thought I would. We made the most of every day, traveled all across the country, and took advantage of every second of every day. I was sad to leave on Saturday night.
Between the three of us we took about 600 pictures so I've decided to do a blog per day, plus I have so much I want to say! This first blog is about our first day in Dublin...
Well we started our day on Wednesday, October 21st super early. The three of us woke up at 4:15am and were out the door by 4:45am. It was still dark outside as we made our way to the bus stop. Surprisingly I wasn't super tired at this point so it wasn't too painful. We hopped on the 5:02am bus to Victoria Station and from there boarded our ever-faithful EasyBus! It was about 5:30am by this point so when we got settled in our seats the tiredness kicked in and I slept the whole way to Stanstead. We made it through security without a hitch and to the gate in plenty of time. While we waited to board our favorite airline, Ryanair, I texted my dad to have him call me 30 seconds later. I laugh at it, but it really wouldn't feel like traveling without him. The plane wasn't full so Cath found a row to herself and Laura and I shared. I didn't realize it at the time, but the flight to Dublin is only 45 minutes. It seriously felt like we took off only to land a few minutes later. When we arrived we had to get some euros out of the ATM in order to get anywhere, and then we had to buy smoothies to break our 50's to get change to get on the bus. It was quite the process. Then to add on to that it was pouring rain the second we stepped outside. Luckily, we did manage to get on the right bus and get off at the right stop. Next step...finding our hotel. It actually wasn't too difficult--just up O'connell, left on Parnell, and there at the top of the street was the Maldron Hotel. Choosing to stay in a hotel over a hostel was the best choice we ever made. Seriously, it was so nice to be able to leave our things, have our own room, own bathroom, and just be in a clean environment. We decided to take a power nap because we had been up for quite a while now. Don't worry, we only slept for an hour and then we headed out to explore the city.
Dublin is a really fun and charming city. It had a little bit of London in it, but on a much smaller scale. We found our favorite Irish treat on our way to Temple Bar...home made, hot donuts, either dipped in sugar or chocolate. They were delicious and only cost 60p! Such a steal. Another thing I learned quickly about Ireland... You're umbrella is your best friend. It would honestly be pouring one minute and suddenly stop the next. Then it would start all over again. Anyways, we decided to head to Dublin Castle. We figured it was probably a must-see. We ended up going on a guided tour and who did we run into, but 4 missionaries! It is such a small world. I said hi and mentioned that we went to BYU. I think it was probably nice to see some people who know exactly who they were and exactly what they were doing. The castle was pretty cool. I didn't realize that the Vikings had lived there at one point.
After our visit to the castle we decided to eat an early dinner. Our unfailing friend Rick Steves recommended a place called "Bad Ass Cafe". It was so good, plus they had a great deal going--1 starter and 1 main course for 9.80 euros. We decided to get a french onion soup and garlic bread as our starters and a margherita pizza and caesar salad for our main courses. It was a very satisfying meal. We finished it off with some gelato. I had hazelnut and it was very tasty. When our stomachs were full of food we went and looked at Christ Church Cathedral. Our plan was to go inside, but it was closed so we wandered around the outside for a bit. Eventually we made it back to our hotel. We had fun taking a bunch of self-timer shots in our bed. They were pretty funny. Last, but not least we watched P.S. I Love You. A large part of it takes place in Ireland, specifically in the area we were going to the next day!
It was a great first day in Shamrock Land!