I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m SOOOOOOOOOOO sorry. I’ve been home for about a week now and I haven’t told you about my last 2 weeks abroad. I promise the updates are coming. They’re just a tad overdue.
Alright so we last left off at the pillow fight in Trafalgar Square. The following Monday I started my week of traveling. I had planned this trip at the very beginning of my study abroad experience and I was oh so excited to finally go. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the very beginning. 3 a.m. on Monday morning.
That morning I dragged myself out of bed and met my friends Becca and Sheri downstairs in order to grab our scheduled taxi to take us to Heathrow airport. From Heathrow we took a 1 hour flight to Dublin, Ireland. After landing and grabbing our stuff, we hopped on a bus that took us into the heart of Dublin. The three of us got off at a stop in Dublin and then attempted to find the hostel where we were staying. After a few wrong turns and a couple complete turnarounds, we found our hostel, and dropped off our luggage.
We then met up with my friend Sheri’s boyfriend, who happens to be studying in Dublin this semester. He showed us around Dublin and we stopped for lunch at this delicious restaurant called KC Peaches, where we ate sandwiches and refreshing smoothies. From here we headed to Trinity College to see the amazing library and the Book of Kells.
First, anyone who knows me understands that I love books. I love to read. I could spend all day reading, and one of my favorite places in the whole wide world is a library. So much so that in high school I worked as a page at a local library. The Trinity Library was one place that was on my bucket list because it’s an absolutely gorgeous library. Honestly, I would like to live there. There were just rows and rows of books. I felt like Belle from Beauty and the Beast when she’s given the library. I just didn’t want to leave. But don’t take my word for how beautiful the library is, look at the pictures I took and see for yourself!
From there we wandered to a nearby park where the lack of sleep began to become obvious…leaping, hiding in bushes, basking in the sunlight that is almost non-existent in London. It was great to be surrounded by trees and flowers. It reminded me of home.
We wandered around Dublin for a little while longer, before we headed back to my friend’s boyfriend’s flat. There we all took a breather, which was definitely needed. My legs were sooo tired from the amount of walking we had been doing. All of us were pretty exhausted after the crazy day we’d had along with the lack of sleep so we all decided to turn in early.
We headed back to our hostel in order to get some sleep. However, I feel as if I need to describe what it’s like to stay in a hostel. Many people know what they are, but not many people have every stayed in one. So please, allow me to educate you.
The hostel we were staying at was enormous. There were two floors of rooms to stay in, and there were probably about 10 rooms on each floor, and each room held 12 beds. Upon check in, we were given a room number as well as a bed number. The beds were set up as bunks bed, so underneath the lower beds, there were baskets for each person to put their stuff in. There was also a bathroom attached to the room. It was almost like living in a dorm again, except with even less privacy.
I woke up the next day to very loud Spanish girls yelling at each other across the room, yet another adventure that comes from staying in a hostel. After getting ready, we ventured out into Dublin and bought tickets for the hop-on/ hop-off bus. The bus goes around the most famous sites in Dublin, and with the ticket you buy you can get off and on the bus at whatever sites you like. The tickets are only good for two days, but it’s definitely a great way to see Dublin. Some of the stops included were Trinity College, the Dublin Zoo, Temple Bar, and of course the Guinness Factory, which is where our story continues.
The Guinness Factory is huge. It’s 7 stories and at the very top of the building you have a clear view of the whole city. But before you get to the top floor, you get to learn everything about Guinness. You first start the tour by learning about how the drink is made, then about how it was transported around the world since the time of its creation, next was advertising, and then another floor was all about “drinking knowledge”. At the seventh floor, you were given you’re complimentary Guinness and then you could enjoy the view. I’m not really a Guinness drinker, but I’m definitely glad I went and it was a lot of fun to experience.
After we finished, we headed back outside to wait for the bus in the freezing cold. In case anyone was wondering about the weather in Dublin……COLD. It was really cold, windy, and wet. But then the weather kept changing in the blink of an eye….a lot like London actually. So to anyone planning to visit Ireland in the next few weeks here is my advice: dress in layers, ALWAYS carry an umbrella.
Anyways though, once we were back on the bus we drove through Phoenix park and actually saw where the Irish president lived. I didn’t expect that, so it was a pleasant surprise. We eventually got off the bus around Temple Bar and went searching for a restaurant to enjoy a late lunch as well as some places to do some shopping. Later that evening, we headed out to a real Irish pub for some drinks and to watch some soccer, before calling it a day.
The next day, Becca and I enjoyed our last few hours in Dublin by hiking all over with Sheri and her boyfriend, grabbing breakfast, and then heading back to the airport to head to the next part of our journey. Dublin was definitely a great experience. The town wasn’t what I expected at all; it had much more a small town feel than a big city feel. The town itself is small, and you get the vibe that everyone knows everyone else. I’m definitely glad I went, but I think if I were given the chance to go to Ireland again, I’d like to explore the Irish countryside. I think that would be a nice change.
And this is where I will break off the update. Stay tuned for part two of Josephine’s week of adventures: France.