Two weekends ago, I made my journey to The Emerald Isle. Now, the fact that Ireland is called that, it REALLY does live up to that famous nickname. This weekend was filled with beauty and treasure. To be completely honest, I came to Ireland with very low expectations. Dublin was never a destination at the top of my “must go to” list but I’m glad I went.
Alyssa and I arrived in Ireland on Friday night and WE WERE HUNGRY. After going through customs and buying a bus ticket, we headed on into downtown Dublin. Our first stop was checking into our hostel, getting our stuff all situated and then making our way to some FOOOOD. We stayed at the Kinlay House Dublin hostel which was a few blocks down from the ~*hip*~ center of Dublin (where all them 20-somethings go out and have a grand ‘ol time). We first ate a restaurant called Nando’s. This Portugese chicken style restaurant is also known in the United States. Since I was ready to eat a piece of the restaurant, I thought the food was delicious no matter what and it really hit the spot.
After that, it was raining (in Ireland?!?! shocker!!!!) but we stopped to meet up with one of Alyssa’s friends at The Temple Bar. This is the very popular bar that every American tourist HAS to make a stop at. Besides being the shortest person there and having to duck under everyones arms in such a crowded space/feeling claustrophobic, I got to try my first pint of Guinness beer. YUM. Dublin is the best place you can get this beer because the storehouse(Um, did you mean brewery?) was across town (duh). The Temple Bar was fun, we met and talked with some Welsh guys who were in visiting for the weekend as well. One thing I’ve noticed about Europeans is that whenever I mentioned I’m from America, they all never fail to ask me about the infamous nutjob of a joke, Donald J. Trump. HA even the Europeans hate him too and find him completely ridiculous! After all the fun at The Temple Bar, Alyssa and I headed back to the hostel and get to bed since we had an early start the next morning.
Day two, we boarded the Paddywagon (yes that was the name of the actual bus tour/company) at the crack of dawn en route to the Cliffs of Moher. Since Dublin is on the eastern coast of Ireland and the cliffs are on the complete opposite end on the western coast and it took about 2.5-3 hours to get there. Everyone pretty much slept on the bus since there was nothing else to do besides admire the beauty of Irish countryside. After our roadtrip was complete, I was then awoken by our character of a tour guide, *forgot his name*. Some of the quotes said by our interesting tour guide include:
“You get the cheap, really low quality kind of cocaine in this country”
“In a few weeks (referring to St. Patty’s day), things will get mental”
Okay then haha.
We made one stop and had some coffee and scones at this cute little breakfast cafe. All of the other people on our tour bus were all American students studying abroad all over Europe so this place was filled with annoying Americans. After breakfast, we got back on the bus and completed the actual trip to the Cliffs of Moher.
To say that Cliffs of Moher were beautiful is an understatement. Luckily we had sunny but somewhat windy weather so we were able to catch great views of the ocean from the cliffs. CLIFFS CLIFFS CLIFFS. No picture does justice to this place. It was so serene and peaceful. Although you had to be careful taking pictures because one klutzy fall and down you go 400 ft and then splat at the bottom. Alyssa and I mainly just walked around, admired the Irish beauty and took millions of photos on my GoPro.
After the Cliffs, we joined the Paddywagon again and stopped at an Irish restaurant for lunch. We waited in line for about 45 minutes for our food since there were about 4 other Paddywagon buses at that same location stopping for lunch as well. I had nothing to exciting for lunch, just some soup and a piece of pie. We were only given a short amount of time at the restaurant since our tour was on a tight itinerary so we snarfed down the food then went back on the bus.
A few stops later, we arrived at the mini cliffs and explored there for literally 10 minutes. Pretty anti-climatic. I was expecting those cliffs to be like the Cliffs of Moher but smaller and not as high up but these ones were pretty much just a bunch of rocks on top of each other. Still a pretty view though and it also started to rain (again! shocker!) so that’s why we spent about ten minutes there. Back onto the Paddywagon we went and then a stop at Corcomre Abbey which is an old monastery. I was amazed by all the old headstones. We even got a chance to look at an old casket that had a hole underneath where you can see a real skull peaking out at you! Eek, creepy! Our last stop was a pee break at a small local grocery store in this small village called Kinvarra. After that, we made the 3 hour journey back to Dublin.
Once we got back to the city, Alyssa and I rested and freshened up at the hostel then had some delicious pizza at a nearby restaurant. After a long day of traveling from coast to coast you think we be exhausted (well we were) and would call it a day but nope, not us, we still went out! We met up with Alyssa’s friends again at a pub in the Temple Bar district with a live band playing Irish music. We gathered around the band, sipping on our beers and enjoying the entertainment provided by drunk Irish people dancing. After awhile, we left and went to another bar called Flannery’s. This one was more fun since they played more upbeat music that we could sing along to. The music were ranging from Top 40s to some 90s throwbacks to random songs that were popular circa 2007.
After a few drinks, we decided to finally call it night at around 1:30 and made one last stop at Eddie Rockets (an Irish equivalent to Johnny Rockets) a few doors down. We enjoyed some milkshakes and/or fries and lingered awhile. Twas a great night on the eve of my 21st!
I’m not a huge fan of birthdays to begin with so when I woke up the next morning, I realized I was 21, then went on with my day. I wanted to enjoy the rest of Dublin since our flight was leaving mid-day. Alyssa and I checked out of the hostel, then had some nice breakfast at a cute little cafe along the River Liffey. We walked around the Temple Bar district and downtown Dublin, exploring at the different kinds of shops (including Urban Outfitters tehe), street art and O’Connell Street. We also headed over to Stephen’s Green Park and walked around a bit. It was very green and plentiful with pigeons and birds. To end our Irish excursion, we had one last Irish meal at a restaurant in Temple Bar. Alyssa, in honor of me becoming legal worldwide, paid for my beer (thanks girl). I enjoyed a nice ham sandwich and chips. YUM.
That pretty much sums up the weekend in Ireland for me! The end of this week is the start of my spring break and for ten days, I’ll be traveling to Copenhagen then to several cities throughout Italy. Stay tuned 🙂