I went to Dublin on a quick jaunt about two weeks ago, and because the computer that Eli sent me still has not arrived (it has been over a month, just give me a french phone number I’m ready to play ball) I’m just now getting around to writing. Dublin was absolutely wonderful, but far too short. Natalie, Maddie and I flew out of Nantes on Friday evening and met up with my dear friend Stephanie at the airport before heading into the city. It was so amazing to see such a good friend on the other side of the world! After walking around Temple bar and checking into our respective hostels, (which took a bit longer than anticipated) we signed up for a pub crawl and literally ran through Temple Bar in order to catch the group before they left the pub. We downed our first demi pint of Guiness, and we knew that we had made a good choice. Our first night consisted of a lot of pubs, and a lot of drinks. Hey, beer was one of my priorities while in Dublin, and I can’t say I’m ashamed. The best part about Friday night? Talking to the happiest but drunkest Irish man I will probably ever meet in a pizza shop that was recommended to us by some locals. This man was in such a good mood, and the only thing I could really understand of him through his thick accent and slurred words were “fantastic, you girls are just so..fantastic!”. He raved about how great the pizza was before buying Steph and I a slice to share.
My other priority however was getting outside of the city to see some of the indescribable Irish landscape. On Lauren’s recommendation, Natalie and I decided to take a bus tour of Wicklow. Think P.S. I Love You, Braveheart, Excalibur… it was absolutely stunning. We had the sweetest Irish man as our guide, and with Guiness stew for lunch, plenty of walking and hundreds of pictures later, I’m pretty sure it was the best 25£ I spent.
That night, Nat and I met up with Maddie and Steph to make a plan for drinking. After spending too much money at the pubs the night before, we decided to buy beer/cider and drink a bit before heading out. We returned to one of the pubs from the pub crawl, and didn’t really need more drinks but somehow all ended up with free ones. We crashed a birthday party, I took shots with some Irish guys and spoke only in french whenever a guy I didn’t want to talk to started hitting on me (success!). After lots of beer, and a very long conversation with Eli after returning to the hostel, I finally toppled into bed around 6am.
My alarm started going off two hours later, way way too early. Luckily, I actually managed to set an alarm, only to have ‘Latch’ blasting in my ear. I was too drunk to turn it off, so I proceeded to wake up the entire dorm with my favorite song. Maddie finally got me up and we headed to breakfast, where the guy sleeping in the bed above me repeatedly told me how much he liked the song and was ready to start dancing. I on the other hand, was not on that level. We packed up our stuff, checked out of our hostel, and headed for the Guiness Storehouse. I was really excited to see this, especially because of the beer brewing that Ellen and I do back home, and the dimmed lights fared very well with my screaming headache. The gravity bar was by far my favorite part, but since Maddie doesn’t like beer, (we’ll get you there eventually!) I drank her taster as well as part of her pint at the top. This, combined with my free pint of Guiness and the amount of alcohol already in my system, cleared my hangover right up-suddenly, I was in a fantastic mood. So fantastic was my mood in fact, that we ended up staying in the gravity bar a full 45 minutes later than we were supposed to, which gave us a little less than an hour and a half to catch the bus to the airport (which took 45 minutes) check in, get through security and run to our gate. Don’t worry-we made it (we are a very determined group of girls) and that was probably the most entertaing bus ride of my life.
All drinking stories aside though, I did have a very unique experience in Dublin. I was honestly very surprised at how out of whack I felt being in an Anglephone country again. Sure, the accent was different and strong, but SO many things made me feel weird. I could understand absolutely everything that people were saying, and people smiled at each other and at us when we walked by. Steph and I were approached by multiple guys while we were out on the street, and she even commented on how tense I got when I realized that she was going to stop and talk to them. I was always ready to go running for the hills, but Steph is the nicest person that I know, and she did a really good job of talking to the guys and getting local information out of them. None of these conversations lasted long, and they were all obviously harmless, but I still couldn’t shake how uncomfortable I was with the entire thing. Culture shock because I’m not in France? I have no idea what I’m going to do with myself when I get back to the US.
All in all, Dublin was absolutely wonderful, but our time was WAY too short. I think Eli and I need to go back and bike through some of the back roads, I can’t believe that I just left and it’s already back on my to-do list. Well, when you have the opportunity to go away for a weekend…
And now more photos!