Warning: These travel posts might possibly be long winded and a bit of a rant filled with far too many photos. However, they are taken by this beautiful girl and her equally as beautiful sister and are full of character at the very least.
After a difficult experience getting our bus tickets, we took the number 16 through town stopping at all the regular stops while observing a regular morning for the Irish. We got to our hostel, but couldn't check in yet. We ended up sleeping in the common room for about 2 hours. We succumbed to our sleep deprivation!! Following that, we ventured out into Dublin 1.) to see if we could get a feel for the area and 2.) to search for lunch. My stomach was eating itself. We returned to the hostel, and finally got our rooms which were not bad at all (to Sammy and Krisit's relief). Another nap followed that, and by the time we were able to wake up Sam, we began our real exploration.
Trinity College, Dublin Castle, and O'Connell Street were among the stops we made for the afternoon. We called it a night as soon as we ate a very American dinner which included burgers and pizza.
We set our alarms for 6 AM. Now, I slept about 5 mins more and then another 5 mins, but at 6:10, I GOT UP, went to the restroom and started getting ready. I should remind you that I didn't have the alarm clock. Kristi did! She turned it off many a time to snooze, and yet, neither her nor Sammy got up. Remember I'm in the restroom for about 10 min. I started thinking that I should get out so they could use the restroom as well. I put aside putting on my make up to let them get in. At this time, it's 6:22 and THEY ARENT UP. Next thing I know, Sammy pops up and says WHY DIDNT YOU WAKE US UP?! I replied with "I didn't know I needed to wake adults up!" How am I supposed to know when I'm in the restroom!
This is purely my point of view, and I'm assuming that if you read Sammy's journal, it paints me out to be in the wrong. Sigh. We could care less though. If anything, it was something we laughed about later when comparing the journals.
Anyways, after a struggle to hurry them along and a sprint that was at least 400m long, we got to our tour bus. On to Galaway and the Cliffs of Moher!
In a short three hours, we made it to Galaway and began learning about the culture and history of the city from a very spunky Irish girl. She was super sweet, and the town didn't disappoint either. We walked through streets full of people and listened to ancient stories from times when Ireland was overruled by monarchies. I'm sad I can't quite remember all the details, but I do remember the vibrancy and life that this tour guide had while telling these tales. It is known that the Irish are one of a kind story tellers and are often known as the best in the world. Although she described these story tellers with incredible respect, I couldn't help but think she deserves the same amount of reverence for the amazing job she did with us.
At this point, it was noonish, and our tour bus picked us up in route to another small little town right outside the Cliffs. The drive from here included many castles, farms with sheep and cows, rolling hills, and the coast. Simply amazing! We stopped for lunch in a quiet little town, and then finally arrived on the Cliffs.
We were told if we wanted to see birds, venture left, but if not, right was just as nice with possibly better scenery. So right it was. Of course we took one too many pictures here, which I will definitely be showing you! Also, Sammy and cookie (and after much persuading, me as well) took a cliff picture! It was safe, I promise! Indeed, it was nerve racking though.
On the way back, we slept the entire way, which maybe why we had left over sandwiches and Burger King for dinner once we got back to Abrahams Hostel and didn't sleep a wink until about 2:30.
We got lost trying to find the Guinness Brewery after the library. Completely uncharacteristic of me, but I was directionally disoriented after having lunch at the beautiful St. Stephens park. I took us in circles!! We walked a bunch to get there, but Sammy got is there in one piece.
Get ready for a small lesson. While in the brewery, I learned that Guinness is made from barley, water, hops, and yeast. And they mold, roast, mash, boil, ferment, and then mature the ingredients. Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000 year lease for this property...he had set his sights high! And rightly so! 10,000,000 people a day drink a glass of Guinness!! I did pour a glass after what they want you to believe is an extensive course and finished it! I've graduated from the Guinness Academy! Alright, alright. I won't lie to you. I didn't end up finishing it. I didn't too much like it. It's rather dark and heavy and as I don't prefer beer anyways, it was a long shot. But when I Ireland...do as the Irish do. A little side bar: I don't know if anyone has thought of this catch phrase, but I'm pretty sure #gotguinness is the best thing I've ever come up with!
Continuing on, we walked back through Dublin Castle and St. Stephens Cathedral before making our way to the bar from P.S. I Love You!! Oh how we wanted to sit down where Lisa Kudrow sat looking at Jeffrey Dean Morgan with complete goo goo eyes, but a road block occurred then and there. It was pitch black. I mean the atmosphere at this bar was crazy gloomy, so we bounced and instead, ate at the Bleeding Horse. This is where our dinner was and where we started our pub crawl.
We didn't get crazy at all! We stopped at Vat House and Gogartys after (super fun place where they actually played the song from P.S. I Love You and people were dancing everywhere!!)
The night ended, a new day began, and there I was on the plane trying not to forget any details as I typed this up. :)