Sunday, September 23, 2012

Ireland, Part 1: Dublin

a. Ireland is SO COLD! I have developed a dance to warm myself up. It is both completely ineffective and absolutely stupid-looking, and involves a lot of kicking and yoga squats, but hey, it passes the time when gale force ice winds try to turn me into an icicle.

b. The first two nights in Ireland we spent in Dublin. Dublin is the home of many things, but one of the most important is the original Guinness factory. I am a fan of good beer, particularly dark beer, so we made it a point to tour the giant pint-glass-shaped factory and sample a glass of the product in its hometown. We also did a bit of shopping (a good set of day dresses is a necessity, right?), sampled the local selection of stews and seafood chowders, and just generally enjoyed the accents surrounding us. I definitely, definitely cannot do an Irish accent. Do not ask.

c. Moate! Bridget's dad is fully Irish (I hear he still has an accent), and so most of his family still lives over here. For our third night in Ireland, we drove* to Bridget's cousin's house in Moate, where her hilariously blunt family took us in, fed us ridiculous amounts of homemade food, and entertained us with gossip and old family stories. We'll be going back there on Monday to hang out with Bridget's cousin Niamh, who seems to have a devilish twinkle in her eye when she says she's going to take us out on the town.

d. Galway...was kind of a fail. After driving(*) all the way from Moate and managing to get ourselves to the hostel without the benefit of a GPS or visible street signs, we learned that we'd accidentally booked the hostel for the previous three nights instead of the correct ones. Furthermore, it was a big sports weekend in Galway, and that hostel had absolutely no space for us. We did a speed assessment of our situation, borrowed the hostel's Internet and researched other hostels, only to discover that while there were two with space that night, there were zero in the entire city for the following day. Game changer! We booked that night, got ourselves to the hostel, and rearranged our week so that we'd get to Cork the following day. A twist in the beginning there, but we won the day. Champions.

*This verb deserves its own post.

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