Our last two days in Ireland we decided to stay in Dublin and see the sights. Geno got us some tickets for the hop on hop off bus which turned out to offer a free second day so we were all set. We had a great time doing a whole loop around the city to get our bearings and then we did some sight seeing.
Dublin is a nice city but it is VERY crowded with American tourists. I guess that is because it is so easy to visit a place where there is no language barrier. We had to embrace being one of those tourists and then we felt better.
We spent some time in Trinity College which was founded by Queen Elizabeth I in 1592 and is Ireland's oldest and most famous college. We enjoyed some shopping on Grafton Street and some great food in the Temple Bar area. We visited Christ Church Cathedral and St. Patrick's Cathedral which is the National Cathedral for the Church of Ireland. Geno became an official whiskey taster during our Jameson Distillery tour, he even has the certificate to prove it. We also did the Guinness Storehouse tour and enjoyed a pint of Guinness in their Sky Bar at the end of the tour.
After we had done all the sightseeing that we could handle in two days we searched for internet, had some fantastic noodles at a tiny little noodle café and just enjoyed a little shopping around town. We never really seem to buy very much, but it is always fun to look.
Dublin almost seems like a blur. It came and went so quickly. This whole experience is going to fast. When we sailed in Fall of 2010 with SAS we had the luxury of being on the ship and decompressing for up to 10 days at a time. It was wonderful because you had a routine, you made great connections with the people on the ship and you felt like there was a real sense of community. We are still having a great time, but sometimes it feels like we are not getting that chance to really connect with other folks when you are only on the ship for 3 days at a time.
We did have a GREAT connecting time last night. I graduated from Elon University and I found out that there are 7 Elon students on the ship. Last night I arranged a party for the Elon students. I ordered them a HUGE ice cream cake that said "Elon University LOVES Semester at Sea". They all came at 10pm to the dining hall. It was so fun to sit and chat with them and hear their Elon stories about their experiences at Elon and about their favorite advisor JIM DONATHON, who was also my advisor back when I was there (what an amazing man). They ate that ice cream cake like they had never had anything to eat before. They all had huge pieces and then went back for seconds. I LOVED it!!! I didn't think they would stay very long after the cake was finished but they stayed for about 1.5 hours. We are going to get together again and have an appetizer party before the end of the voyage. I guess sometimes you just have to stay up late and eat cake to make a good connection HA HA!!!
Tomorrow we are off to Norway! We are traveling overland from Bergen to Oslo. We are doing an amazing trip, but I will tell you all about that soon enough.