Tales from Italy ch.8: SPRING BREAK! Part 3- Dublin, Ireland
40 minutes is such a short amount of time to sit on a plane. Normally, the only reason I’d ever consider flying anywhere is because it is too far to drive. Ah but you see, the good old Irish Sea makes it okay to not care about short flights.
Janelle and I arrived in Dublin in the evening. Our first dosage of culture shock came with all the Irish we saw on signs. Prior to this semester I wasn’t aware of the popularity of the Irish language that still exists. Our Irish friends told us that children in Ireland grow up learning Irish in schools, but I never really thought much of it until I started seeing Gaelic all around me. My favorite by far was at the bus stop where I saw the route map with all the stops written. At the very top of the chart was Dun Laoghaire. Normally, I’d assume to pronounce this “Dun- la-owg-hair” but in Irish-speaking reality, it’s pronounced like “dun-leery.” I learned this handy-dandy lesson thanks to the movie, P.S. I Love You.
The actual journey to our hostel involved a 30 minute bus ride from the airport and then some hiking on foot. Once we found our street, we had the hardest time looking for address #82. This was due to the fact that the numbers on the street went down from 53-1 and then up from 54+. In the time we spent walking in circles, a drunken Irish teen waddled up to us and attempted to speak. Honestly, I was just surrounded by stereotypes on this trip.
By the time we got to our hostel, it was past 11 and all our roommates were already asleep. We attempted to quietly set up in the dark as best we could and slept in our day clothes to avoid causing any extra noise involved with opening our suitcases. It had been a rough start that night, and I thought it’d be done once we were in bed and asleep, but I was wrong. That night I had a horrible sore throat that woke me up whenever I swallowed. I had gotten sick somehow and it wasn’t very pleasant.
The next day we slept in, but I was still tired because of waking up so often from my throat; it was killing me. Throughout the rest of the day, a stuffy and runny nose would be added to this luxury illness of mine, and I wanted to kick my antibodies for failing while I was on vacation.
During the day, Janelle and I took a free 3-hour tour that showed us many of the main areas of Dublin. Of these sites included the castle,
a converted Catholic church that was still unrecognized by the Vatican, old Viking home outlines:
…the O’Connell Bridge and ha’ penny bridge, the famous Temple Bar:
…Trinity College, Parliament (the building actually served as the model for the US White House):
…the “Spire of Dublin,” and St. Stephen Park.
While at the castle, we were also presented with the following statue of Lady Justice:
The funny thing is that this Lady Justice has several flaws. For one, she is not blindfolded. Second, her sword is tipped upwards. Finally, her scale actually works, meaning that when it rains, it is unbalanced.
That night, we were both tired and Janelle decided to call it an early night. But despite my sickness and lack of sleep, I wasn’t ready to call it a night while in Dublin. So, I went out for a walk by myself and encountered a lot of things I wouldn’t have come across otherwise. In addition to learning my way around (a general skill I usually have difficulty acquiring) I heard this really cool live band, saw the the sites around the Liffey River lit up for night, and eventually came across a Penny’s (The Irish equivalent of Primark in the UK or Target in the US). The latter worked out well since I was now running low on socks and managed to grab 5 pairs for 2 euros.
(Above in order from left to right: Band, Ha’Penny Bridge, and O’Connell Bridge)
When I got back to our hostel that night, Janelle was still awake and she had befriended one of our roommates, Chloe. Chloe is from France, but currently living in the UK studying English and Art History. The next day, she accompanied us as we took a stroll through St. Stephen’s park and a quick drink at a local pub (I had hot chocolate of course 0:-)). It was a lovely ending to our day. Earlier, we saw Clash of the Titans in 3D in a theater that closer resembled a Broadway theater than a cinema theater, complete with plush velvet red seats, curtains, and ushers in ties.
Janelle got her tragus pierced and we also did a bit of shopping after she learned that there was a Penny’s nearby. On the way to Penny’s, we were stopped by a guy close to our age who was collecting donations for PAWS- a puppy organization. After I apologized for not being able to make a donation, the guy confessed his love for me and said “Don’t leave me, everyone I love leaves me!” He was obviously kidding, and it made us laugh. In the end he offered to buy me a drink that night, but like the puppy donation, I politely declined. As I turned away, I could hear him saying “I knew it! Everyone I love leaves me!” Oh well lol
At the end of the day the three of wrapped up at the pub (me with my hot chocolate). I ended up leaving early longing for a hot shower to help my runny nose and to get a head start on packing for the next day. On the way home I bought a 6-pack of pocket tissue packs and some breakfast for the next morning. When I got back to the hostel, my shower was as delightful as I had hoped, I packed, and was in bed early. Unfortunately my stuffy nose wouldn’t cease to exist, and it was gonna be another long night.