Dublin, Ireland

Cheers, blokes!

You would think after three and half months, 15 flights and seven different countries that we would have the whole traveling thing down right? But even after sleeping two hours past our alarm to leave for Dublin last Friday, Madison and I met our friend Taylor at the airport just in time. Definitely the closest we’ve come to missing a flight, just ended up forgetting a few essentials (toothpaste, phone charger, etc.). Oh well, details. After getting settled into our hostel we went to the oldest pub in Dublin, Brazen Head. I was surprised to find out how cheap and especially friendly taxis were around there, our adorable old Irish driver practically gave us a tour on the way. We each ordered a Guinness which became the move (@Gabby stealing your phrases) for the weekend since the famous beer comes from there. Then we went on to visit the Guinness Brewery where we took a tour of the original storehouse. It was more of a shrine to Guinness and museum of the famous beer’s history, which I didn’t mind one bit. We spent an ample amount of time in the gift shop and I made sure to hit the third floor, dedicated to the advertising of Guinness mostly so that I could see one of my favorite quotes. “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” @RyleeDawson truly understands the significance #wisdom. We drank our complimentary pints at the Gravity Bar which gave a lovely view of the city. After the tour we went back to Brazen Head to eat and I ordered a traditional Irish meal of Bangers & Mash aka sausage and mashed potatoes, so so good. That night we went on a pub crawl with our hostel and they took us to a number of different bars mostly around Temple Bar district. Before going, they warned us that Temple Bar is a tourist trap and drinks go up in price as the night goes on. I had heard this before “oh you HAVE to go to Temple Bar but keep in mind its super expensive!” and I now understand the reasons behind “having” to go. It’s an extremely lively place with live music everywhere and home to the coziest pubs filled with tons of Christmas decorations this time of year. We didn’t visit the actual ‘Temple Bar’ until our last night in town, but it was also packed even on a Sunday evening. If you like beer and super cheery people, Ireland is truly the place to be. Of all of the places I’ve visited these last few months, the people in Dublin are hands down my favorite. It might as well have been Christmas Eve with the way people were celebrating (one bar was handing out Santa hats and we even ran into a guy wearing one at the airport the following morning).

The next day we went to the Beanhive for a traditional Irish breakfast consisting of eggs, sausage, ham, hash browns, mushroom, tomato, beans and lots of toast. Now that’s my kind of breakfast. Quite a difference between the small portioned breakfasts they eat in Spain (their biggest meal of the day is typically lunch so they eat VERY little for breakfast) and it got me more than ready for big brunches back in the states. We spent the rest of that day at a bar we stumbled upon that I’m kicking myself for not remembering the name to…mostly because we spent a solid six hours there. When we first got there we were the first customers probably because it was only noon. As the day went on we saw people come and go but didn’t hesitate to move. It was a rainy day and we had a full day bus tour the following day so spending the afternoon at a pub only made sense, and we particularly liked this one. We found a number of board games next to a big booth so we set up camp there and began playing, determined to finish the game all the way through. We bought pitchers and a kilo of chicken wings, basically it was Super Bowl Sunday. Then our friend we met the night before at the pub crawl, Nicko from the Netherlands, came to join us and introduced us to a fun card game. We kept ourselves entertained for hours and left our awesome bartender a tip (tipping is again not customary in Ireland) for putting up with us for so long.

The following day we went on a Paddywagon bus tour to the Cliffs of Moher which started at 8 a.m. lasting all day until 8 p.m. Our tour guide and driver was a full-blown Irishman, red hair, thick accent and all, who took us to a number of cool spots before and after the main attraction. Dunguaire Castle and a precursor to the Cliffs of Moher that he referred to as “the mini cliffs” at Fanore Beach in Crumlin, Dublin were among the sights we stopped at. Once we arrived at the cliffs we were given an hour and a half to walk around and you’d think that is plenty of time, but I would’ve gone for about double that time it was such an amazing spot. The highest point of the Cliffs of Moher stands at 700 feet high and takes a full 9 seconds to hit the water if one were to fall. We had perfect weather for seeing the cliffs which have a chance of being so foggy you can barely see anything beyond the edge on a bad day. It wasn’t even all that chilly up there so I stood way too close to the edge (scaring the crap out of Taylor and Madison) and took it all in. On our way back we stopped at another castle, Bunratty, located near an adorable, quaint shopping district with a beautiful garden called “Buds”. Overall the bus ride was great, but I must say the twisted roads were even worse than the route we took in Morocco on the way to the Sahara. I would trade that 8 hour bus ride over this 6 hour one any day, I think the whole driving on the left side of the road thing makes me uncomfortable as well. Overall Ireland was absolutely incredible with its beautiful countryside, cozy pubs, live music and friendly locals… I will 110% be back. Cheers!!!