I survived my first on-my-own trip to Ireland. Its was a blast!!
The trip there went really well. I stayed the night on Monday with my cousin Sandra and her family. Ben cooked a delicious steak in a sauce with salad meal after we brought Lilly and Tom back from their swimming lessons. I want to go swimming!!
When I got to Dublin, I checked in , and headed out for a walk to see what this city has to offer. I Walked SO MUCH over the time I spent there. I got lost of course, and Indulged (a bit too much) in some of the foods they had to offer. No, it wasn’t a full Irish breakfast (eggs, toast, bacon, sausage, black pudding, and chips) but a very good bakery where I had hot chocolate and a massive dark chocolate raspberry brownie. I also had a panini and pizza….oops. I think I walked the majority of it off, and the taste leaves me with no regret.
Dublin is a huge college town, and has a lot of tourists. But it is still a great place. There are plenty of pubs and nightlife to keep you busy. But my favorite part is the fact that people here are very active. People running around everywhere. It looked like there was a race, and everyone was celebrating with a pint of Guinness afterwards. There were bike shops galore, and a huge park where half the city was either at tennis/rugby/football practice. I was so jealous.
The parks in Dublin and Belfast were so green and very well landscaped. Walking through wooded areas with monuments or statues, and plenty of people taking advantage of the nice weather. There was one day I did not bring my umbrella and the rain let loose on me the whole day. I was pretty much exhausted each night because I walked so much.
The train to Belfast was quick, considering the fact that you are almost spanning the length of Ireland. I made conversation with an Irish couple that were taking the train to the dentist that they have been using since the beginning of time.
The hostel I stayed at in Belfast was way better than the one in Dublin. Yeah, Jacobs Inn was nice, but it was meant for large groups I think. Everyone there already had their group and was not as eager to make friends with you. I stayed at the Global Village in Belfast, and immediately I was talking to several different people. The hostel itself was more homier. The staff would arrange what you wanted to do that day, and they would invite you out to the pubs at night, or even have a bbq. Even though everything in Belfast closes at five, there was still a few pubs that stay open fairly late.
I took the black cab taxi tour that brought us to the murals of belfast and the peace wall. I had a hard time understanding the accent that the cute little Irish man was telling us. You can tell, even with the many times he has brought people here and told them the history, that there is a little pain in his eyes when he is talking about it. I asked him what it was like for him being a taxi driver at this time, and he told a sad story about a woman he knew that was killed in a bomb explosion, and he blames himself to this day for stopping and letting her cross the street. I can’t imagine all the rest he went through, and its hard to get over the fact that this is all so recent, and still going on.
I also took the day tour That brought us up the scenic Ireland coast, stopping at the rope bridge, the Bushmills whiskey distillery, and the Giant’s causeway. I fell off the bus. Cool. I am now also known as the girl who ate a can of sardines at the Bushmills distillery restaurant. Would it kill then to sell vegetables or anything? watever. Giant’s causeway was by far my favorite part. SO PRETTY. and there was a bit of hiking that we did, while trying to not get blown over. The countryside is breathtaking, so is getting hit by rocks that the wind just blew at you. coool.
On Monday since my ferry out of Belfast was at ten (check in at nine) and the checkout from the hostel was at 10:30 AM I was able to still leave my bag there and hang out until I needed to leave. I walked around the city and went to the titanic museum with a few people at the hostel. We didn’t do the tour but I did see the port and the cranes that were outside. the building is also pretty cool.
I stuck around at the hostel talking to people and watching hot tub time machine and snatch. I left at six, and walked 4.1 miles to the ferry port. I had my printout of directions from google maps that was pretty intimidating, but I was celebrating inside everytime I saw that I was on the right street (when they actually labeled the roads…) The last half of the walk was through the shipyard. it was a wee bit creepy. especially since it was starting to get dark. But I made it, obviously. I didn’t book a cabin, so I slept on the couch in the lounge. Well, I tried to sleep, but It was freeezing and there was nothing I could do about it!! Then I made it through the rest of the train rides, got the bus, and walked up that steep hill back to the grandparents house.
I can’t Wait for my next trip. For now I need to make more progress in finding a job. I keep running into roadblocks with the whole vet clinics and I am getting more attracted to the thought of working at a whole foods store.