Ireland is literally my favorite place on earth. The cafe I'm in right now doesn't allow USB access so I can't upload my pictures, but when I do, you'll see what I mean.
Dublin is such a great city. There was so much character and so much to see. I went to a couple different churches, my favorite being St. Patrick's Cathedral. Even though it was under construction, it was absolutely breathtaking. It had this great little park behind the church with some great fountains and a wall devoted to famous Irish literaries. I sat there for quite a while and managed to get some great pictures of the fountain with the sunrise in the background as well as the cathedral which was very medieval. After this, I walked to the Guinness brewery which I didn't have time to go into, but I did down a Guinness real quick and move on. I went to another great church in the middle of nowhere called St. Augustine & St. John's. It was a Catholic church and it was HUGE. Right in the middle of this little residential neighborhood.
After that, I went by the Jamison Whiskey distillery (thanks fo rthat newspaper article about that dad) and then to what I thought was the Dublin Castle. I'm not exactly sure what it was but, it wasn't the Dublin Castle. It was still beautiful though and had a nice park as well that a bunch of people were sitting in reading the newspaper and what not.
After this, I went down to Mary Street where the main shopping area is. It's kind of like a 6th street of shopping. They have the street blocked off for most of the day so people can walk accross it while they're shopping. There are vendors in the streets with their little booths selling fruits and sweaters and blankets and homemade toys. Anything you can think of. All I bought was a sandwich (a sweet corn, chicken and cheddar cheese toastie :) cute name... I thought it sounded interesting so I tried it, it was wonderful!!) Right in the middle of the center is this HUGE spear thing. It looks like a 50 story flag pole. I can't even begin to guess how tall it is, but it is literally the tallest thing in the entire city. I believe it's called the Spire. The base of it is about as big as a car and it just gets smaller and smaller until it goes to a point at the top. Not really sure what the purpose is, but it sure does look cool!! :)
After this, as advice from the the hostel owner. I got on a train to go to Bray. It's this small coastal town south of dublin and I really wanted to get out of the city and see some country side. He had told me it was about a 30 minute train ride, and I had mapped out my timing based on this so when I had been on the train for 40 minutes, I started to get worried. Suddenly, we rounded a corner and there was the beautiful beach. I didn't know where I was, but I just got off. Turns out I was in this tiny little town called Killiney. I went through the town a little and then went down to the beach. The weather was fantastic (it was 10 degrees C which I'm not sure exactly what that translates to, but I do know that it was -3 in Liverpool yesterday, so this feels like summertime). The beach was all polished pebbles and the sun was setting over the mountains. I sat there for a good 30 minutes watching the locals walking down the beach and playing with a couple of dogs that were running with their owners.
After this, I went back to Dublin, visited Trinity college and then picked up my bag at the hostel and headed to the airport. My plane was delayed slightly, but I got in just in time to run into Kimmie and Mike heading to my hostel to meet me. I dropped off my bag and then we went and had a beer and watched the first half of the Liverpool vs. Chelsea football game which was really fun. It felt so good to have some meaningful conversation. Afterwards we went to this cute little Chinese restaurant that Mike really loved from when he was a kid and it was so much different from what I was used to. We had fried duck which was AMAZING. They were so great to take me out and I was so glad to see them.
After that we just walked home (since all the bars were closed at 11... so interesting... and people were okay with it?). The hostel I stayed at last night was wonderful. The rooms were much smaller, I just shared with three other girls and we had our own bathroom. The girls were all asleep by the time I got home and had left when I woke up so I never got to chat with them. But I'm not sure either, that they spoke any English. They were all from China (atleast that's what the cute guy at the front desk told me :)
Alright, it's off for another day in Liverpool. The family comes in tonight!! I'm so excited and I'm sure I'll have much to update about tonight.