This past weekend, seven of us went to Dublin, Ireland from Thursday night until Monday night. Caitlin, Brooke, Mallory, Jennifer and I all were able to fly on the same flight, which was nice because we got to find our hostels together. Eric and Greg met us over there and we actually got into the airport around the same time as them so we all ventured off to find our hostels together (Mallory and Jennifer were in a different hostel). The rest of us stayed in the four courts hostel. It was apparently ranked one of the best hostels in the world, so we couldn't give it up! It was a really nice hostel.We only had roommates one of the nights, so that was nice. There were bathrooms in every room and we were only a few blocks away from the Temple bar area (the popular spot full of various pubs). Thursday night we flew in and got situated in our hostel. We waited for Mallory and Jennifer to find there hostel and then they came back and met up with us. We walked down through temple bar and went into a pub/club that had live music playing. It actually was a 4 level club, with each level playing different types of music. The basement was more of a club, with dancing and techno and all of that good stuff, the main floor was a live band playing, the second floor was more of a sports bar lay out and the third floor was a really nice roof-top restaurant. We spent most of our time in the basement and the main floor. We didn't get there until late, so we were only there for about an hour or so. Either way it was a lot of fun.We all got to go out together, which rarely happens because we always somehow fail to meet up. It definitely was filled with some weirdos but we stuck together and so it helped a little bit
Friday morning we were able to sleep in a little bit. It was something we definitely needed! After we got up and got moving, we just started walking through Dublin. It is really easy to get around because the river runs through the middle of the city and so you just navigate from there. We walked around, went to a few shops, saw a few cathedrals and mainly just wanted to see what all was in Dublin. We were told the best thing to do in Dublin is to walk around the city and look around. So that's exactly what we did. We went to shops and walked around and then came back to our hostel. A girl from the night before told us to go to Harcourt street and see more traditional Irish pubs and students and less tourists. So we tried to find it and ended up at The Bleeding Horse pub. It was pretty authentic and very crowded. We were there for a while and I ended up leaving early because I was sick with a sore throat (yes, I know mom and dad, its due to my lack of sleep). But it was a really fun pub. They had music and lots of people so we met a lot of people there as well. It was quite the walk away from our hostel but it was pretty cool.
Saturday morning, Jennifer, Mallory, Brooke, Caitlin and I did a tour of the Guinness factory. It was pretty neat to see. They had all the stages that the beer goes through, with the history and different fun facts. For example, did you know that the Guinness book of world records came from the Guinness factory? Crazy, I know! We were given a free pint at the top of the factory, but we had tasted some in the tasting lab, and thought it was gross so we all went with diet coke. After that, we went to the bankers pub and had some beef and Guinness pie. It was a lot similar to a pot pie. It was actually really good, it was much better than Scotland's haggis, that's for sure. We went to Trinity College to look around. It was a beautiful campus. It was right in the middle of Dublin and seemed like its own little town. Inside, they had all old looking buildings, and lots of stone paths. Apparently, in the library, is the Book of Kells. We didn't end up going in because we didn't want to pay for it, but I am sure it would be very cool to see. We also walked by Christ's Church cathedral, which was HUGE. It was beautiful. It was a church but had like a little overpass that went over the street. It was beautiful, there are pictures in my album and you can see for yourself. We also saw St. Patricks and many more huge churches. Saturday night, Brooke, Caitlin and I went on a pub crawl. We have been wanting to do one since we got overseas, but we never get around to it. They are advertised everywhere so we figured that Ireland would be the place to do it. The guide took us to four different pubs outside of the temple bar area, so they would be more authentic and Irish. We actually met a bunch of Americans, and hung around them most of the night, but it was still fun. The whole pub crawl group was probably 25 or so of us. We had a lot of fun. It was nice being able to see four very different places and have someone show us where fun places to go were. But it was a good time, and once again made for a late night.
Sunday morning Brooke, Caitlin and I went to Christ's Church for mass. It was a beautiful church, not quite as beautiful as West Minster, but still pretty. The service was nice and afterwards we went down to the crypt to have coffee and tea with other parishioners. I have never been in a crypt before, but it was very cool. It was almost like a secret tunnel. It was dark and lit by very dim lights. There were monuments everywhere of significant people in history, such as surgeons, generals, etc. It was really pretty. All of the parishioners were really nice too. Lots came up and introduced themselves, or asked about what we were doing overseas. But it was very nice. After mass, we, imagine that, walked around again .We hit up a few more souvenir shops and walked around some more.We went all over town again and wanted to make sure we saw everything. Dublin was a lot bigger than I imagined it to be. But it was a better big city than London, Chicago and all of those. Sunday, as we were walking back to the hostel, we happened to come across the IFTAS. Like in London, btu they were the Irish Film and Television Awards. It was so funny because we turned the corner and there was a red carpet and a lot of cameras. We asked what was going on, and they said Mel Gibson would be there in about an hour. There wasn't much of a crowd, so once again we stood and waited, front row seats and right at the beginning of the carpet. This time, we got to see Mel Gibson, Renae Russo, and the rest of the people are in my pictures so just look there:) but we found it pretty funny to be standing on yet another red carpet, exactly one week later, and in the perfect spot once again. But it was a lot of fun. Mel just kind of got out of his car and waved and then went inside, but he looked really old and wrinkly. But anyways, Sunday night, we went to a comedy bar. We wanted to have a somewhat relaxing night, so we thought it would be fun. It was really fun, a lot like Whose Line is it Anyway. It lasted about two hours and then we came back to the hostel. It was a lot of fun and something different to do. We called it a night early because we were tired and wanted to get the most of Monday since we had to leave Monday night.
Monday morning we woke up and went on a four hour costal tour. We wanted to try to see more of the country side since we had only seen the city. When I think ofIreland I think of the country, so we thought this may show us a little of that. We got to see the coast, and little towns. Our bus sopped and gave us about an hour and a half at the Powerscourt gardens. They were absolutely wonderful. There was nothing but gardens, and little "secret gardens" , and gates, and hills and ponds. They were such a site to see. The pictures don't even do justice. But we were able to see more of what we wanted so that was good. But we got back form our tour and walked some more through Dublin and then had to rush to catch our flight. Somehow, Caitlin and I manage to always make it last second, but we always make it there so it works out just fine! But Dublin was amazing. I am so excited to go back in April with my family. It was a big city, but also didn't feel so big. And it definitely comes alive at night. I had so much fun and would love to go back. But it was a good weekend, with lots of walking, lots of pretty sites, and very little sleep. It was great!