Life is getting busy! My 6 classes are now in full swing, although they’re manageable since I’m not taking any exams, just writing essays and doing coursework since I won’t be here for exams.
I went to Dublin last weekend! The whole trip went really smoothly I felt, from getting to the airport and onto the plane, to finding our way to the hostel and all of the tourist spots we visited. We stayed at the Avalon Hotel, which had a great location in the city center. It was my first time staying in a hostel, and I was impressed! It was a lot better than I expected – clean (as could be expected), computers, lockers, really helpful reception staff, and free breakfast every morning.
My bed! B for Betty, perfect.
Two days definitely was not enough for us, but we saw as much as we could. I’d say we covered the major spots to see in the city, but I really regret not having the time to see the countryside of Ireland. There was a bus tour but we just didn’t have the time to go on it. Seeing the city was quite easy though, we bought tickets for a hop on, hop off bus that had designated stops in front of attractions and came fairly frequently.
Here’s a photo essay of my trip:
My first sight of Dublin - the airport! Pretty sure they picked green for their accent colour on purpose
Central Bank of Ireland - this reminds me of a building in Vancouver!
The most fun place of our trip by far!
the 9000 year lease Arthur Guinness signed about 250 years ago
all this water from the Wicklow Mountains will be beer in a few hours!
I tried my hand at pouring a pint of Guinness - I never know there was so much technique involved!
the view from the top - it was horribly rainy all weekend
the Guinness factory!
Pheonix Park - the largest city park in Europe. It's almost double Stanley Park's acreage if you need a comparison. Too bad it was wet or we would have walked around more!
Collin's Barracks - a former army barracks converted into one of the four sites of the National Museum
a quick photo collage of the the Collins Barracks once inside the front entrance
the Irish High Cross exhibit was really fascinating
a late lunch at a cafe: bacon mushroom quiche and some side salads for me with a nice hot americano
the West Front of Trinity College
a close up of Campanile
even with the rain Trinity College looks gorgeous - maybe not in this picture but just take my word!
the River Liffy, which cuts Dublin into the North and South
there was a communal kitchen at the hostel where we made grilled cheese sandwiches and pasta for dinner the second night
the mess of things people kept in the kitchen
I thought this system was quite ingenious
we visited Dublin Castle, established in 1204 AD
part of the entrance to Dublin Castle
part of the tower and church
the inside of the church was gorgeous!
Christchurch Cathedral, built in 1030AD
a close up
I tried to buy some whisky as a souvenier but they wouldn't sell any to me, citing how it's illegal to sell alcohol before 12:30pm. I thought everyone had Irish coffee for breakfast!
we had lunch at The Church, a renovated church (obviously) that's now a bar/restaurant/nightclub. This was where Arthur Guinness was married!
the Dublin Spire, the tallest sculpture in the world
the Natural History site of the National Museum: my favourite spot of the day!
aka "The Dead Zoo", the Natural History museum housed thousands of stuffed animals - literally. A little creepy, but I loved it!
Next up was the National Gallery - the European art wasn't overly impressive but I enjoyed the contemporary art exhibit. This was my favourite painting.
Next up - St. Patrick's Cathedral! This is where Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver's Travels, was dean and was buried.
Where the well was where St. Patrick baptised many Irish people in the 500s, becoming the patron saint of Ireland
The exterior of St. Patrick's Cathedral. When we came out it was sunny, after having rained the entire weekend.
We ended the day with an amazing dinner at O'Neill's pub. I had Irish beef and Guinness stew with all the fixings. My plate was massive but I still wanted more even after I finished it!
We ended the night early on Sunday, returning to our room at 9pm because our flight was at 6:30am on Monday, meaning we’d have to be up at 3am to get to the airport in time. The flight itself only took half an hour (it was supposed to take 1 hour, so we got back early), and we were quickly back on our ways to our halls. Once Andree-anne and I got back we had a massive breakfast and took a nap before dragging ourselves to class. Great weekend overall! Lesson learned though: never again do a Monday morning flight.