Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Day Eighty One: IRELAND
PICTURES: 1) The Guinness Factory, by Allie. 2) Me and Allie standing in a Viking made bridge, by Allie. 3) The View of Dublin from St. Mark's (???) tower, by Allie. 4) Brightly colored buildings, "why did you choose those colors," "because I liked them," OH the Irish haha, by Allie. 5) A view on the Liffy River, by Me!
SO, I am not certain if you could tell how tired I was by my entry yesterday. From the day Seventy Six-Ten.... really... haha I guess I meant to say Day Seventy Six - Eighty, but Seventy Six-Ten has a nice ring to it. I am skipping class today, so I can write the paper for the class that I have to do for that class. It is due next week, but I am running out of time. I will be in Paris all weekend and I have to write two papers for tomorrow. I have decided to stay home today to write my papers, and figure out how to bring everything back home. I may have to mail things. Now here is my entry on Ireland, I hope it excites you!
I am going to start on friday, because that is when I left. Allie and I headed to the bus station in central London around 4pm. We had to take the train into Clapham station into Victoria Station where we walked to the Victoria Coach station. This is when the longest part of our journey. We were on the bus for 12 hours, yes 12 hours. There was a 2 hour ferry ride, but whats the difference. We left London at 6:35 at night and arrived in ...
... Ireland at 6:45 in the morning. When we got there we had suffered sleeping on the bus and the ferry. Dazed we walked off the bus, in Ireland to a beautiful old building and a giant stature. While I cannot remember what exactly the statue was of, I remember it being a good entrance into the city of DUBLIN. We decided that the best option would be to see if we could get into the Hostel now and get a few hours of sleep before exploring. Not to mention that nothing is open at 6:35am, so we got to see all the streets completely empty. It was lucky that Allie made a mistake in booking the Hostel for an extra night, so when we got there they let us have our beds. I slept for about three hours, but it felt like 10 after the uncomfortable positions I was forced into on the cold bus. After waking up, we decided that we were really hungry, so the first thing we did was look for a breakfast. We had found a place earlier that morning, and that is where we headed. The had breakfast with 4 items for 5 euros, it was great. While we ate we found the places we really wanted to check out in the city. We circled places on the map and made sure everyone would get what they wanted out of the trip. The first stop we decided on was a free tour, which are available in all major cities in Europe, which was going to take us all over Dublin. It was a three hour tour, yes I sang the song too, and it was the greatest tour I had ever been on. The tour guide was sooooo friendly and informative. The amount of information we learned was incredible, there is no way I can remember it all, but I loved all that I heard. To sum it up: Dublin means the Black Pool, which never existed but it was a name picked up when the vikings came. Dublin was taken over many time by the English, the Vikings. Our tour guide let us onto the secret of how the Irish "loved temporary solution." Basically in every story of their history this happens to be the under lying theme. The funniest of the stories was how they could not fit the safe for the Irish Royal jewels into the building through the door. So, one of the government employees volunteered their desk for the jewels to be kept in until they could get a safe to fit in the door. Seven years later they went to get the jewels but when the man opened his desk, they were gone. So, the Irish Royal Jewels are still missing, haha. We also saw how influential the Vikings were in the city. Their architecture and the artifacts left behind and the name. After the tour we looked for a pub for dinner, which we found in the Temple Bar area (which is bar, after bar, after bar and full of many drunk Irishmen and women, haha). For dinner I had a chicken ceasar salad and then I had an Apple Cumble for dessert, it was delicious. Afterwords we went into another bar and I got a Guinness, when in Rome... haha. On the walk back to the Hostel, we stopped to watch a bunch of Irish boys play their hearts out on the street. They could play any song that was requested, which was funny because all the people walking by were drunk, oh Irish people. They were really good at the instruments and they were really attractive = a really good time. We then headed back to the Hostel. We made plan to stay in a play with the cards I had just bought. However, plans changed drastically. In the lounge there was a crazy crowd of French kids who were drinking and celebrating one of their friends birthday. We had a singalong, yes Allie and I sang aloud in front of a bunch of french kids, it was awesome. It was best when everyone was singing. They soon invited us out to the bar which is where they were headed next and we decided to go with them. On they way one of the french boys got into a fight with an Irishman and the police came, it was really funny but i walked away with a few of the french girls. They were very very excited with the fact i was from New York. No matter how much I tried to explain I was from the state they would just say, "the city, the city!" over and over again. It was a lot of fun. We did go to a bar, but I did not feel like spending money on anything, so I just had a water. The night ended after we made a few more international friends and made it back to the beds in out Hostels. In our room there were 4 sets of bunk beds in a room about the size of Hanna's room back home.
We got our free toast and tea for breakfast and then headed back into Dublin. Its funny, but in one day I could kind of figure out where I was going already. Dublin is an easy and beautiful city to get down. The streets are wide and there is this giant spire statue which is basically like a giant needle pointing out of the ground. It is great marker to pick out where you are and where you need to go, you can see if from everywhere in Dublin. Allie and Erin wanted to go to church and on the tour they saw the one they wanted to attend, Christ Church. The service was a lot like mine back home and they were in the middle of advent, they had the same candles which made me really comfortable. The church was very very beautiful and old. It was constructed by the Vikings who had been converted to Christianity, so I really liked it. In the crypt they held a coffee hour after words, which was very interesting. We went and they had really good coffee. Also, they had a mummified cat and rat which had been found in the organ during one cleaning, it was gross but funny. Next we went to a Viking museum, because I really wanted too. At first it was very silly, but there was a lot of great information. It was also interactive which made it fun. I learned that Vikings did not have horns on their hats, they had many kinds of ships, how to spell my name with their letters and that maybe I should get my masters in Viking art. It was great. Then after that, we decided to become Irish and we took about an hour walk to the Guinness factory. It was time for lunch, but on Sundays nothing is open in Ireland, so we got food once we got to Guinness. Then we started the tour, I learned a lot here too. I learned that the beer is made from water, hobs, yeast and roasted barley. I also learned how to pour the perfect pint of Guinness, I was awesome at it too. It was a lot of fun. By the time we were done we had about 2 hours to get to the bus station on the other side of the city. We knew if we walked there was no way that we could make it on time. So, we got on a horse and carriage that would take us all the way to the Liffy, the river through the middle of Dublin. That was a lot of fun, and we did get to the bus station about an hour early. Which was fine because we got to chill before returning to the 12 hour bus ride. A bus ride which started at 8:35 and ended on...
The ferry ride was fun, we got food and played cards. I taught Erin and Allie how to play pitch and once they got it it was a lot of fun. We did have a few moment where we laughed so hard we cried, we were so exhausted. It was a fun ride across the Irish Channel. The bus ride, however, sucked because all I wanted was my bed and a shower. This bus was really fancy, but not well equipped for sleeping. They seats had a weird bump, and the window wall had a weird extended plastic piece which dung to the bone if you leaned on it. Also, the bus was really cold, so to stay warm you had to curl up, but that was not an easy position on this bus. Anyway, we made it into London around 9:30, so it was an hour longer than it was supposed to be. When we hit the traffic jam, I hit a drastic point of cabin fever and thought I would go insane, haha. It was great to make it back home and the first thing I did was shower and then I slept.
DUBLIN IS THE GREATEST PLACE EVER! I LOVED THAT CITY SO MUCH, AND I CANNOT WAIT TO GO BACK AGAIN! Maybe I will work at the Viking museum.
Now, I am going to write three papers. Awesome.