One thing I've learned from my study abroad experience, is that some of the best things come from spontaneous actions. Four weeks ago my friend Nina and I were discussing how we each had a free weekend and wanted to find some place different to visit. She told me that she has a friend that we could probably stay with in Dublin. As if Dublin weren't enough, we decided to squeeze Edinburgh into the trip as well! Within 24 hours we had booked our flights to Ireland and Scotland. Our flight landed us in Dublin around 5 and I have to say adding another stamp to my passport felt pretty great.
When we arrived in Dublin we met up with her friend for dinner, where I enjoyed my first hamburger in almost 4 years. We then walked around Dublin for a bit before calling it a night. Our morning started at about 7am, and our first stop was Trinity college. The campus was absolutely incredible with its green lawns and rich history. We got in line to see The Book of Kells and ended up skipping out on the 12€ ticket by pretending we were apart of this elderly French tour group. Once we were inside we marveled at the incredible history before us, and we starred wild eyed at the oldest books in the world. We then toured the campus some more before leaving to find keoghs cafe.
They are known for their gourmet muffins, so we ordered one each as well as some much needed coffee. Our route from the cafe took us by the Dublin Castle, Christ Church, the famous Molly Malone statue, and finally to the Guinness store house. In the store house we toured all seven floors and learned all about the production, marketing, and even the proper pouring technique. After our tasting we were starving and on the look out for an authentic Irish lunch. We came across a charming cafe where I ordered fish chips and mushy peas and Nina ordered the infamous bangers and mash. With our stomachs happy we decided to hop on the 20 minute train ride to the stunning peninsula of Howth.
We walked the coast and admired its green islands and icy waters. I felt so calm starring out onto the dark eerie waters. I honestly think I could have stayed there all day, but there was only so much we could take of the chilly wind. Our lunch was beginning to ware off so we headed back into the city in search of more Irish cuisine. We didn't realize there was a huge football match going on, so we were a bit surprised to find every pub packed wall to wall. We decided on a place called O'Neill's, and it was just as packed as the others. After stumbling around, for what felt like an eternity, a little Irish voice shouted in our direction, "you can sit here!".
Her name was Chevon, and like most of the locals, she was born and raised in Dublin. She had three friends sitting with her that were all tour guides in the city. They introduced us to a little game called "guess where that tourist is from" based on the stereotypes. It was quite fun and Nina and I even played a few rounds. We ordered shepherds pie and watched the game with our new friends. Once the game was over we left our new friends, and explored the city a bit more before calling it a night. The next morning we took a taxi to the airport ready for what adventures awaited us in Edinburgh.