On Friday, I left work early (around 12:45) for those exciting weekend plans I’ve been hinting about so much. Ivo picked me up, and he, Lara and I met Shawn at the airport in Amsterdam. We flew to Dublin at around 4 o’clock! After the one hour flight and being unreasonably hassled by the Irish passport control, we got in a taxi (the driver was on the “wrong” side of the car. So weird.) and headed to our hotel in the heart of the city, The Morgan.
We dropped our bags and went to dinner in search of fish and chips. I’m not a huge fan of fried fish, so I got a burger which was okay, but Shawn, Lara and Ivo weren’t particularly impressed with their fish. The atmosphere was cool, though.
After dinner, we started walking with plans of just taking a look at the city. However, we ran into a guy promoting theatre tickets to a musical called Once. The four of us decided it would be a cool experience and got really good seats!
We got into the theatre and went to the bar for some pre-show beers. I tried an Irish cider called Orchard Thieves. It was really good and perfectly sweet.
The show was pretty good. It was about a vacuum cleaner repair man who writes songs on his guitar. He meets a girl who is a Czech immigrant and also writes songs on her piano. Both are heartbroken over lost loves but end up falling for each other. They then team up with other musicians to record a demo and the story ends kind of bizarrely. However, despite an average and somewhat confusing storyline, the transitions, acting and Irish folk rock music were in my opinion phenomenal. It is apparently based off of a movie from 2007 with the same title, so I want to check that out soon.
After the musical, we wandered around the city center a bit more and stopped for some ice cream before heading back to the hotel to bed.
The next morning, Lara and I woke up around 8ish. We wanted to sleep in but also take full advantage of the short amount of time we had in Dublin. We met Shawn and Ivo in the lobby and headed to one of the many, many Starbuckses in the area where we discussed the plan for the day.
We started out with sightseeing. First to the Dublin Castle, then Grafton Street, Trinity College and their famous library. Throughout our little walking tour, led by the “head duck” Ivo and his many maps, we passed through many cool streets and alleyways and a really beautiful park. We also just happened to see an advertisement that said the world famous Riverdance which is originally from Dublin was back in town and jumped on the opportunity to buy tickets for that evening.
We had lunch at a really cute place called “The Pig’s Ear”. There, we had some of the best food I’ve had all trip and of course more beer–we’re in Ireland so it’s okay, duh. I had Irish beef (which was basically fancy beef roast with gravy) and the best mashed potatoes in the whole world. Then we shared cheesecake.
After lunch it was time for a “little nap-y” for Shawn and Ivo, so Lara and I hit the shops. We found a super cool shop that was actually underground, where we both bought adorable world map necklaces. We went into a few other souveniere shops and a super cool record store.
At 7:30 it was time for the Riverdance! I didn’t really know what to expect other than fiddles and a bunch of people wearing green and tap dancing, but I was in for so much more than that. It was honestly one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen in my life. I was thinking the whole time, “how the hell do they do that?!” and the music was incredible. If you ever have a chance to go, I would highly recommend it.
We went to a pub for a beer, then we hit the hay to prepare to wake up wayyyy too early the next day.
Yesterday Lara and I woke up at about 6 to get ready and pack so we could be downstairs in the lobby at 7. A tour guide, Jim, picked us up at the hotel at and we headed out of Dublin into the beautiful Irish countryside. We stopped at a hotel on the Irish Sea to have breakfast.
We then continued on into the mountains, and stopped at the Glendalough Monastic City (click on the link to read more in depth about the history) which was founded in the 7th century and has ruins of 7 cathedrals and an extensive grave yard. It is nestled in between the beautiful green mountains characteristic of Ireland and was an amazing setting for photos.
Our tour guide then dropped us at the airport. We had a seamless time going through customs and security (other than a security officer joking with me that my camera and favorite sweater had acid residue on them and would have to be destroyed and the mini heart attack that ensued after). We sat in our plane for about an hour before take off, but the 45 minute flight went without flaw. When we landed, Ylenia, who works at the airport escorting VIPs and unaccompanied minors, surpised us at our gate!
When we got home, we had some of Shawnie’s famous tacos for dinner and relaxed for the rest of the evening!
I feel like I cannot do Dublin or the Irish countryside justice with my writing, and you know what they say about a picture being worth a thousand words, so here are about 936,000 words for you in the form of pictures I took on our mini vacation to the land of beer, sheep and leprechauns…