So we finally made it to Dublin, bright and early in the morning. We caught a bus into town and walked from the stop to our hostel, which was (while slightly sketchy looking) in a great location. The name of the place says it all – Abigail’s Budget Accommodations. The wifi didn’t work in our room, but there was a hot shower and beds and our door locked shut, and like I said it was in a great spot of town. Bonus! It was only 44 euros a person for three nights.
So we find ourselves in Dublin with about six hours until we can actually check into our room. We dropped off our stuff in luggage room at Abigail’s and began exploring. We wandered into a massive tourist trap of a souvenir shop which was fun (I’ve finally just embraced the fact that yes, I am a tourist), and then kept walking. We found Trinity College and walked around for a bit on our own, and ended up deciding to come back the next day for an actual tour. We found a book store where the shop owner told me that yes, fifteen euros was in fact a reasonable price for a very small book of poetry (lies). At my request we went to Talbot Street, and ended up finding O’Shea’s Hotel/Restaurant, which was cool because Shea is Ashton’s dad’s name, and then decided to stop in a promising looking pub called The Long Stone. The food wasn’t all that great, but the building was so cool! There was a huge mantlepiece that was of a man’s head, and his wide open mouth was the actual fireplace.
After this, it was about time for us to be able to check in, so we went back to Abigail’s, and at almost two on the minute I told them we were here, and we went up to our room after paying. (So far everything about Dublin [well, actually being in Dublin] has been pretty easy. The passport security check in the airport was done by the friendliest man I’ve met in an airport yet, and all he did was say “Good morning!”, look at my picture, and stamp my passport.) We got up there and decided on a forty-five minute group nap time before going back out. I set my alarm, and we all just passed out.
Forty-five minutes later, No Diggity (hey, it’s good for an alarm) started blaring, and I groggily sat up and announced that it was time to get up, and got no responses. So, I said “five more minutes then?” and immediately everyone just mumbled “yes!”
We ended up sleeping until about 5:30 or 6. But we needed it, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral would just have to wait for another day. We went out to O’Shea’s for dinner that night, and while it was on the pricier side, it was delicious! The Irish cook a fantastic steak & Guinness pie. After this we decided to explore some more and ended up at what is apparently a very famous bar, The Temple Bar. It was the best live music I’ve heard in a restaurant/bar/pub since I’ve been here! Elena asked them to play Galway Girl, which they did, and they nailed it. They also played Zombie by The Cranberries, and between those two alone I was sold. Jill got their last CD – I just wish I knew the name of the band! I’ll have to add that into this post when I figure it out.
The next day (Thursday) we did some more wandering. We went to a guided tour of Trinity College, and our our guide was awesome. He had us laughing a lot of the time – there was one point in the tour where he said that since he had to cover hundreds of years of history in just a few minutes, he was going to give us some topic choices and let us pick which two we’d like to hear about. Of those, our group picked women and the church. He laughed out loud and said something along the lines of “Women and the church? That’s a rather dangerous combination there!” We got to see the Book of Kells and the old Trinity College Library, and while the Kells was absolutely beautiful I was honestly more taken in by the library. I wish I could’ve actually read some of them, or at least could’ve taken some down from the shelves and flipped through the pages.
Thursday was also the day that we went to The National Leprechaun Museum. Parker decided to ditch on this little adventure, so it was just us girls. The man at the ticket desk (Later learned his name was Mark, thanks Twitter!) reminded me a lot of Mr. McGee with his kind-of hair and his dad sweater and his rather dry humor. After talking to us for a minute he said “OH, it’s Thanksgivin! Happy Thanksgivin!” and then went through our group, calling each of us by given nickname (he called me Half-Pint) and asking us what we were thankful for. Our actual tour guide, Chris, was really funny too. We’re pretty sure he actually is a leprechaun. When we told him we were from Texas he said “OH! My favorite TV show is Friday Night Lights! ‘Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose!'” That just about made Ashton’s day then and there. The museum was so much fun! There was a room where we were able to climb on furniture, but all of the rooms were really cool. Basically Chris just told us a lot of the old folklore, and we took funny pictures. That night we split up for dinner. Elena and Jill went to a dinner and a show type of place, and Jennie, Ashton, Parker, and I went to a pub right by the Temple Bar. We walked in and paused for a moment, questioning whether or not we should keep looking when we realized that that song that the band is playing that literally everyone in the pub is singing at the top of their lungs is Country Roads by John Denver. We just looked at each other like “Yes. This is where we’re staying.” Dinner here was really good too – the food in Ireland in general was delicious.
Friday morning we got up bright and early and got on a tour bus to the Cliffs of Moher, or the Cliffs of Insanity, or that place in the Half-Blood Prince. Our tour guide, Bud, was adorable. He would just talk into his little mic at the front of the bus and make dad jokes and laugh at all of them, and he didn’t say “specific” he said “pacific”, and his “th” sound was a “t” sound, so he would say things like “Tank you kindleh” and “If you’re tinkin”. It was so incredibly windy at the cliffs – a day I was thankful for the fact that women can wear pants and a day I wished I had short hair (well, wished more so than usual). He told us a story about how one time when he took a group out there, there was a woman and two of her guy friends who went together. The woman decided to wear a dress. “Tey were out on te cliffs, and te two guys remembered what I’d told ’em, if te wind gets too strong get down behind a wall, but she forgot. So te two fellows duck down, but she didn’t, and te wind blew her skirt up over her head, and when she reached up to grab her skirt and pull it back down, te wind blew it completely off her body and over the towards the edge. She just had to decide, and she wannt about to ask tose two men for help, tey were annoying her rolling on te ground laughin so ard, and ten she started to go back to te visitors center for help, but realized ‘Oh, tere are people down tere!’ My jacket came in handy tat day.” We also went to Mainistir Chorca Mrua (Corcomroe Abbey) which was breathtaking. I was the last person back to the bus – I didn’t realize it until I noticed that I was the only person still standing in the graveyard, and that I was probably about to get honked at by Bud. When we got back into Dublin, we went to a place called O’Reilly’s for dinner, then went back to the Temple Bar for some more fantastic live music. It was a different band that night, but they were just as good, and we knew most of the songs they played which was really fun.
Saturday morning, we got up, checked out, then did last minute “I wanted to go here and do this!” type of things that we hadn’t yet. My favorite part of this Saturday in Dublin was the fact that it was just very relaxed for the most part. We went to the Dublin Castle (but didn’t go in), we went to St. Patrick’s Cathedral (I didn’t go in, I went to Marsh’s Library next door and talked to some really sweet old men and wandered about the area), and we did a little bit of shopping.
The way home was on the tame side. Parker, Ashton, and I all got patted down (or at least that’s what Jill told me) and we were ready to fly an hour and a half before our gate even opened. I also learned that either RyanAir employees are completely oblivious or they are completely hilarious, because when selling scratch cards 5 for the price of 3, the man on the speaker actually said “Who says RyanAir doesn’t give you something for nothing?” Um, everyone, RyanAir. Everyone says that. You suck every single penny you can out of every possible extra fee you can make up. The landing was pretty rough, but we got the fun little trumpet sound and the “Congratulations, you’re on one of the ninety percent of RyanAir flights that lands early” speech. Yayy. For the first time when coming into the UK from another country we didn’t have to go through some kind of passport security check, we just went to the exit and bought tickets back to Oxford. We met some rather interesting characters along the way, one who acted like we were completely stupid for not just taking a taxi (I think he thought we were stupid tourists trying to get to Oxford Circus rather than Oxford the city. Either way, his sass was completely uncalled for and unappreciated. I was completely short with him, and finally just said “Okay, thanks, we’ll remember next time” and kept walking as he continued to give me the “Are you kidding me? You spent that much on a ticket?” face.) and one who was obviously having a really rough day who sat next to us on the train and said dropped his favorite four letter word multiple times within the first ten minutes.