I’m very behind and am just now posting pictures from my trip to Dublin, which was about two weeks ago! Whoops. Let’s just pretend I really wanted to build up the tension. Anyway, I spent several days in Dublin, Ireland (clarification only added since my parents now live in Dublin, California). I went with a couple of friends (who went to MU actually!), and we had a great time. It was refreshing to see some green grass, the ocean, and hear some English. I have to say I really like the Irish accent though many other foreigners I met seemed a bit thrown by it. Dublin looked exactly as I pictured it, and the pubs were absolutely wonderful – plenty of pints, live music, and good food – and the countryside was even better than I imagined. Oh, and if you’re wondering, “craic” is just the Irish’s word for “fun.” No, it is not a play on “crack cocaine” but rather stems from Middle English (if you’re a linguistic nerd like me, here is a bit more info). Enjoy the photos. Maybe they’ll get you inspired for St. Patty’s!
That pointy thing in the background is called the Spire. It’s worth millions of dollars, and most everyone hates it.
Stopped for a donut and coffee before the free tour. Pretty good donut (and I’m a pretty good judge of that).
An entire bridge dedicated to Valentine’s Day. I avoided crossing it.
Not the most impressive castle, but it has its history. The Irish Crown Jewels were stolen from here and never found.
Past the castle is this cute little park. I also like the primary color buildings next to the more serious government building.
Once again, animal statues make an appearance. Guess Ireland likes pigs? Didn’t really have much of a chance to investigate during the tour.
Christ Church Cathedral. In its crypt, there are a mummified cat and rat, both of which crawled into the pipe organ and died… Unfortunately, I did not get to see them.
So there’s a long story about how U2 used to busker across from here, the once owner of the place shown got mad that they played so loudly, they proclaimed that someday they would own the place, and wouldn’t yah know, they do (on the left).
I kept seeing these around town. Are people really having horrible hair emergencies that they will pay to use a straightener in a bathroom?
The famous Temple Bar! Not to be confused with the neighborhood Temple Bar, which the Temple Bar is in. Really it’s a tourist trap, but it’s pretty cute.
Trinity College. The library contains the Book of Kells and was also inspiration for the Jedi library in Star Wars Episode II. Lucas wasn’t allowed to film there, so he decided to reconstruct it instead.
The Jameson Distillery. Unfortunately, by the time I got there all the remaining tours were sold out.
For anyone who has read the Hunger Games, this made me laugh. If you haven’t, well here’s a nice bakery.
Pop culture has ascended a new level.
A giant version of a game I used to play all the time during enrichment in elementary school.
So I missed out on Jameson, but we did make it to the Guinness Storehouse! Unfortunately, the woman who took this picture doesn’t know how to focus a picture.
This really creepy man led you on this virtual tour throughout the storehouse. At one point he was really monotone, then in the next room we entered he started shouting, and I may have screamed a bit.
Good ol’ advertising.
At the end of the tour we got our “free” pint and could pour it ourselves. Always remember to face the logo forward when serving!
Perfect pour! Well, it was good enough.
The Guinness Storehouse is also a great place to view Dublin from above while enjoying a pint.
We spent the night before drinking at some pubs, but decided to have a nice sit down dinner before we left. Felt really weird having to make sure places were still serving dinner since that basically never happens in Spain.
We all chose very Irish dishes: bangers and mash, fish n’ chips, and pot pie. We were so excited to eat.
Funny store about this musician (the guy on the right). The night before during our pub crawl, he played at one pub. He was really great, and we learned a bunch of Irish songs from him. Then, when we went to dinner the next day, he happened to be at this other pub.
I took a tour to the Cliffs of Moher my last day, and I highly recommend it! Before we really took off, we stopped at a gas station, and I was oddly comforted by it. You don’t really see places like this in Madrid, and it kinda felt like home (and everything was in English!).
I did look for a four leaf clover. For about 10 seconds.
The tour basically goes from the Eastern coast of Ireland to the Western. We made a couple of stops along the way. Here’s a small fishing village.
These are the “baby cliffs.” They really are small compared to the real deal. I had to explain to a French woman in Spanish (the only language we shared) what our tour guide meant by “baby cliffs.”
Sometimes you just gotta selfie a photo.
For lunch, we stopped at a pub. Had a nice bowl of vegetable soup, brown bread, and a cheesecake. Perfect for this chilly day.
HERE THEY ARE! This is my edited photo of the cliffs, but really it doesn’t take much editing to show off how beautiful they are.
This is zoomed in a lot. But those waves were reeeeeeally crashing into the cliffs. It’s a beautiful but very dangerous place.
Seriously, this place is beautiful from all angles. You can venture pretty far out, but the further you go, the more slippery and muddy it gets.
Then the fog started to roll in. Luckily, this happened just as we were about to leave.
I decided to turn around at this point. It was foggy, extremely slippery, and the right conditions for falling off the cliff. I tried to warn others, but they either didn’t care or didn’t understand me.
Sad to go. We spent a decent chunk of time there, but I could have stayed longer. It really made me wish I had a nicer camera!
Another little stop on the way back. I grabbed a brownie the tour guide recommended.
The only plus to a really early flight is getting to see the sky as the sun rises.
This was too funny to me. Basically everyone in this row fell asleep in some strange way. The couple next to me collapsed into each other. The woman across the aisle just rested her head on the seat in front of her, and the man next to her kept bobbing back and forth.
As you can see, I loved Dublin! In my opinion, the Cliffs of Moher are a must-see. My trip would not have been complete without it. I had a great tour guide, and I’m pretty sure I was one of the few people who understood his accent and jokes. He told us the history of Ireland along the way, the countryside is absolutely gorgeous, and I even got to listen to Ireland natives Enya and the Cranberries along the way. While Ireland certainly has its own culture, it’s the closest I’ve felt to home in awhile.
Also, I get to see my parents in exactly 1 month!!!