Sorry it’s taken a while to post anything, it’s been busy here.
I thought I’d quickly tell you about my trip to Dublin, I say quickly because it was only one weekend and it rained the entire time, so there wasn’t much time to do anything. This trip had already been set up by the group I came to Ireland through. We were to meet up with all the other American students from the group studying at different schools in Ireland, eat a traditional Irish meal, and go see a play.
My group and I left by train at 6 on a Friday evening. The train was nice, it was clean and comfortable, and didn’t move as fast as I thought it would, so you could look out the window and see the view (until it got dark anyway).
When we finally arrived we walked to the ATM because now that we were in Dublin we had to switch over to Euro’s instead of the British Pounds we had been using. After that we walked and tried to find the hostel and see as much of the city as we could in the pouring rain. After about 40 minutes we finally found it, dropped our stuff off and went off to look for a place to eat since it was now almost 10 at night. The only problem we had there was that a lot of places were closed, and those that weren’t were rather expensive. We finally found a place that served pizza and pasta for around 10 eruo, which in Dublin is a pretty good deal. After that we went to a pub nearby for about an hour before running back to the hostel because it was pouring rain again.
When we got back to the hostel we realized there was a problem. Maura (one of the girls in my group) found out that her bed had been double booked and so someone was sleeping in the bed she thought she had been assigned. Since there were 2 open beds in my room Maura and another girl in our group, Maddie decided to use those beds instead, even though technically it was supposed to be an all boys room, and none of the other boys were awake, so they would have to wait until morning to find out why 2 seemingly random girls were now sleeping in their hostel room.
The next day all of the students decided to go see the Book of Kells, it was really interesting, but they won’t let you take pictures so unfortunately I can’t really anything from seeing that, but the best part was probably the old library that had probably 50-60 busts of famous authors and philosophers lining it. After that we all got something to eat and some people went off to the Guinness factory (I decided to skip that, since it was pretty expensive to get inside) and the rest of us just walked around until it started raining again.
That night we all met in the upstairs of a nice restaurant for a traditional Irish meal. I had cod and finally tried black pudding. I wasn’t very hungry so I wasn’t going to order an appetizer, but the guy next to me said he would eat some if I got the black pudding. I asked him what it was and he said he would tell me after I ordered it. Turns out its blood sausage and “some other stuff thrown in”. Basically it looked like a sausage patty burned black. Pretty good though.
Afterwards we went to the famous Abbey theater and saw a showing of “Araah Na Pogue”. Araah is the name of the main female and Pogue is Irish for the word ‘kiss’. It was pretty good and funny, if not slightly hard to understand at times. Afterwards a few of us went to a pub where they played live rock music and some of the girls danced with a guy who looked just like Frank Zappa, unfortunately none of them knew who Frank Zappa was, so my excitement was lost on them.
The next morning we got up fairly early and I went to a Catholic mass with Chelsea (the third girl from my Belfast group). I had never been to a mass so I didn’t really know all the steps of things I was supposed to do, but it was interesting anyway. The Cathedral was very beautiful and held the ashes of St. Valentine. After that we found a cafe to hang out in (because it was still raining) until we had to walk to the station to catch our train back to Belfast. I plan on going back, hopefully when the weather is better, to experience Dublin a little more thoroughly.
Here are a few pictures I managed to snap in between the rain.