Friday, December 13, 2013

That Time I Went To Ireland

Ireland 01
The Dublin airport bus stop at 5am
 More specifically, Dublin. For about 2 days. Airfare was cheaper to Ireland than it was to Wales, so I figured I might as well see a little bit of Ireland, then take the ferry over to Holyhead. In retrospect this was a horrible idea as I had never experienced the infernal HELL that is seasickness. Yes, I've been on ships before. No, I've have never experienced that. The water was a swelling, churning torment. But enough about that. Let's talk Dublin.

Ireland 02
Not Gogarty's, but close by.
I could easily spend a month getting lost on Dublin's twisting streets. It's ancient living side-by-side with modernity with a laid back ease. We stayed in Temple Bar at Gogarty's hostel which was a dream because it was so cheap. So cheap in fact that we rented a 4 person room for the 3 of us so we'd have privacy. It was still the cheapest place we stayed. And it had lovely breakfast. And you didn't even have to leave the place to get to the bar which was a couple floors down and to the side.

Ireland 03
A view from our hostel window looking out to the river Liffey

Ireland 04
A Dublin street.

Ireland 05
Wonderful soup from a place called Cornucopia. The whole place smelled spicy and amazing.

Ireland 06
After soup, we got homemade ice cream from Murphy's. The sea salt was delicious!

Ireland 07
We just did some walking around after that, which is my huge travel tip. Even though I haven't traveled much, if you over plan, or just even try to fit too many things into a schedule, you're going to be running around like a lunatic, and you won't be very happy. You find some of the best stuff just walking around. Anyway, we made it to Dublin Castle and walked around the grounds. This colorful bit was the first part we saw! The round stone tower in the back is the only remaining original part of Dublin Castle.

Ireland 08
This is Dubh Linn, or "Black Pool" as it translates, and is where Dublin originally got its name. Now it's a fancy lawn with swirly bits.

Ireland 09
The cooly named Chapel Royal at Dublin Castle.

Ireland 10
Christ Church Cathedral (it was awesome!). It was founded c.1028!

  Ireland 11
Inside Christ Church Cathedral. It's super pretty, and there are way too many things I could talk about, like the tiles floor, or the stolen reliquary, or the inconsistent roman arch, or the freakin' sweet medieval crypt with even more amazing stuff. If you ever get the chance, go here.

But now it's amusing story time. We're in the crypt where lots of artifacts are kept and I'm leaning over a book (in a glass case) and this high pitched DANGER DANGER alarm starts going off so me being me I immediately start thinking "ohmyholycowdidIjustsetthatoff!?" and we just kinda stand there dumbstruck for a minute. We caught some dudes who were starting to head back upstairs and asked them what the alarm was for. They said it was a fire alarm so now I'm like "Ahhhh!NOOOO!" but they laughed and said the cafe (which is in the crypt) probably just BURNED something AGAIN and that it happens quite often. So we waited for a few minutes by the entrance until we were given the all clear, and it was totally the cafe. The cafe that is in the CRYPT. This is normal.

Ireland 12
Now, Ireland doesn't have a reputation for great food (at least not among US folk), but I freaking ate like a king the few times I managed to eat (travel tip #2: Eat and eat often). This is the shining jewel of my Ireland/UK food crown (I did visit Eastern Wales & London this trip too). That salad is hiding a massive chunk of fresh goat cheese. And that melty thing on the right? Smoked goat cheese, I repeat, SMOKED goat cheese, and eggplant goodness. Goat cheese and smoked foods are some of my favorites, so combined like this, it was heaven.

Ireland 13
We took a little nighttime walk to Trinity College. We didn't get to see the Book of Kells though, unfortunately.

Ireland 14
My unexciting haul from Ireland. Well, to me the mead was pretty exciting. I bought it from a gentleman's tobacco shop that was so fancy and elegant. I don't smoke but wanted to go in anyway since the shopmen were dressed nice, and was relieved to see they had gentlemanly booze. The mead was fantastic, by the way. We had to get up early the next morning to catch the ferry over to Wales. I'll post about Wales next time, since it's packed full of Torchwood/Doctor Who fangirlyness. In the meantime I'll have some outfit shots though! Take care!
 -Aija <3

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