I woke up still full (although not in a good way) from my mini-thanksgiving last night. I spent the morning packing and researching for Dublin and updating this blog (I'm finally up to date). I also started to upload some pictures from break onto facebook.
After that I made way to the Palace of Westminster where I met up with my architecture class for our tour of Parliament. This was really cool. Even though the building isn't that old (having sustained two fires, like everything else in London, large portions were restored/rebuilt about 200 years ago) it is all gothic. We got to see the throne room, house of lords, house of commons, Westminster hall and all the corridors, anterooms, lobbies etc. that are in between. Some of the areas are always accessible to visitors while others, such as both houses, can only be accessed with a guide. Any member of the public can come and watch sessions of either house if they wish to. I had to leave early but I only missed one room of the tour.
I left Westminster and rode the tube to baker street where I caught a bus to the airport. Luckily there were no problems this time around and I arrived at the airport at 7 (for an 8:15 flight). I got through security by 7:15 and had to wait a little while before the gate was announced.
The flight was pretty smooth. I got a window seat and the seat next to me stayed open. The flight only took an hour. Upon arriving at Dublin Airport we were greeted with a scene of Christmas trees, Santa and some deer set up near the arrivals area. There were also little white and blue trees periodically throughout the long hallways that you always have to traverse to get out of airports. I caught the next bus and was in Dublin within a half hour.
Dublin, from the little I've seen so far, is very festive and lively. In spite of the cold there were many people out and about (about 10 pm at this point) and all of the streets were all decked out with christmas decorations. I walked down O'Connell Street (big main road) then along the Liffey until I got to the hostel. The hostel is nice, with free wifi and breakfast and a large common area with a very lively atmosphere. I didn't have too long to wait before Ellie, Dawn and Erin got back.
We did some planning for tomorrow (we're all doing separate things in the morning then meeting up to go to the Guinness Storehouse in the afternoon) then got ready for bed.
It's amazing how tired traveling (and I simply mean the whole bus/train/plane experiences) makes you.
Sleepy time. Lots to do tomorrow.