Why Wales? Entry #7: Ireland Adventure.
Ireland. was. amazing.
Reading Week. It is a week given to the students so that they have extra time to prepare for exams, and catch up on their reading, etc. Needless to say, ‘reading’ was not going to be a part of my Reading Week- except for maps, street signs and menus. My reading week was going to consist of an Irish adventure… with 3 of my best friends whom I only met less than 2 months ago. Go Figure! I received this message from Christine, which opened the invite up to everyone and further confirmed that this trip was happening.
OKEY so for those who want to go to Ireland during reading week, we should start to book flights. I was thinking we should go Saturday February 27- Wednesday or thursday March 3rd or 4th! Sound good? I wanted to leave thursday or friday but they are expensive because they all have extra fees and taxes and they are at 6am which would be ridiculous to try n make. So Saturday has a 8:25pm flight for 35pounds total and then for leaving wed or thursday there are no fees and it is only 8pounds! Lemme know cuz we gotta start booking!!!
That was only the beginning. As it turned out, the only people able to come were the same people who went to London weeks earlier. As sad as we were that the others couldn’t adventure with us, we were happy that the four of us were traveling together again. 🙂
We decided to fly into Dublin. I bought a new suitcase that I can test out and see if it will work for the Italian adventure to come over Spring break. Anyway, we flew into Dublin via Ryan Air, and took the bus to our hostel. This was our first hostel where we didn’t have a private room. It was definately an experience being in the room with strangers and trying to avoid awkward situations. The Shining Hostel was actually really nice! The people were really friendly, and the rooms were clean.
We were delighted with a plentiful breakfast of bread and butter. 8 beds in the room, 4 of us. The first night we met 2 really nice girls who were studying in England I think. We actually saw them the next morning when we were leaving for our bus tour.
We also met two girls traveling from outside the UK- it’s so cool to meet so many different people. So as I said, we started day one with some delisious bread and butter. But since bread and butter isn’t filling, we had to go elsewhere and get some real food.
This was the day we were set to discover Dublin. We bought a bus ticket that takes you around the city and provides you with an audio tour. These tickets were valid for 24 hours, so we could hop on and hop off the bus at any time and spend time at a museum or whatnot. We didn’t do too much the first day besides the bus tour. A lot of the things that are typical things to do didn’t seem worth the money once we got there. We ended up walking around the city taking a lot of pictures and enjoying eachother’s company.
We did some shopping (I bought some doughnuts, as usual) and went out for the night. We went to a club called Sin, where some Irish boys were telling us (over and over again) how amazing Ireland is. Ireland is amazing. 🙂
The second day was the most adventurous, and is tied with the third day for different reasons. We were set off to try to find the location where ‘P.S I Love You’ was filmed. It was in this park with a waterfall and whatnot. We never made it to that location, but where we did end up made the entire trip so worthwile.
We took the bus to Eniskerry, which is the small town that was supposed to lead us to the scenes of the movie. We got off the bus, and our good friend Christine led the way with her wanderings. We went down a small path to a beautiful church and cemetary alongside a field with ponies. We then headed back on the road up the random road. We knew we were headed in the right direction for the Wiklow Park where the movie was filmed- we just didn’t know the distance.
The air was so crisp, and it was so nice to finally get out of the city for a while and see the green green grass of Ireland. We veered off the road and discovered a stream and collected unique rocks.
As we were walking down the road, we came across our only sign of human interaction. Along the side of the road, a coach bus driver was stopped at a station of some sorts and was washing his bus. We chatted with him for a while and the asked him for some directions. Since we were wandering about for such a long time, we were sort of hungry. He told us that the closest place with food was a gas station that was pretty far, but not nearly as far as our original destination. So, we headed to the gas station, which the man also informed us is right by a bus station to take us back to Dublin.
Along the way, we kept the same leisurely pace, and took lots of photographs. We passesd a house where a little boy was in the front, and he was singing the “mama mia” song. It was adorable. Then as we’re walking, we here a car coming, and to our surprise it was our friend with his coach bus. He offered us a lift, not only to the gas station- but to a great city on the coast, Dun Laoghaire. We accepted. On the way there, he pointed out several points of interest including Bono’s house. He suggested a few things to see in Dun Laoghaire and also reccomended to take the train to the peninsula of Howth.
We decided to do that, and immidiately fell in love with it. Howth is a small fishing villiage on a penninsula of Ireland. We ended up spending a good part of the last day there hiking. We hiked up a tall mountain and saw incredible views.
Ireland was one of the greatest trips, because my experience was so unique. It was the first trip where we left the city and explored some of the country. It was nice to see some of the country, because it really made it special. The city attractions are nice too, but the balance of city and country on the Ireland trip made it extra special!