My first day in Dublin was quite a blur. My 9:36 PM flight was delayed for several hours and we didn't take off until 2 AM. But I finally touched down in Dublin and it was exciting to hear all the lovely Irish accents and see traffic on the opposite side of the road.
I met my tour guide, Darren, and my fellow travelers, and we set off to an area called Temple Bar, which is full of pubs and restaurants. I went to the actual legendary Temple Bar and had a pint of Guinness, listened to some live Irish music, and talked to Darren and a handful of people from my group. It was a nice, relaxing welcome to Dublin after a hectic day of traveling.
After walking around the area a bit, I went back to my hotel and showered and just relaxed in bed. I needed to recover!
The next morning we had a nice sightseeing tour of the city and got to go inside St. Patrick's Cathedral and visit Phoenix Park. After that, the day was our own to do what we wanted to. I went to Grafton Street, which is a strip full of shops, restaurants, pubs, and street entertainment. I grabbed a bite to eat at a restaurant called Baileys and then bought some cute sandals.
After that, a few of us wandered around the area and we eventually stumbled across Dublin Castle! That's exciting for Americans because that's not something you'll stumble upon in the US.
We then walked around a bit more and found a bar called Pygmalion and had a few drinks there.
After that it was time for our welcome dinner! We went to a town called Booterstowne, which was located on the coast and ate a restaurant called The Old Punchbowl. It was nice to get to know more people in my group while eating at an authentic Irish restaurant.
The highlight of that day was definitely going out for drinks. We went to a bar called Cassidy's and it was awesome! Full of graffiti, writing all over the wall, and just a real nice atmosphere. A large group of us stayed there for hours and it was great to just sit and chat. What's cool about this tour is not only am I experiencing different countries and cultures, but I'm also meeting people from all over the US and it's fun to compare and contrast things about where we're from.
The next morning, Darren set up an excursion for us to go out to the country to a town called Glendalough. It was GORGEOUS. Beautiful hills, sheep, horses, quaint houses, and a nice lake. I'm so glad I got to see a bit of the Irish countryside during my time in Ireland.
After that, we had the rest of the day and night to ourselves. I went to the Guinness Factory with two other girls and it was really cool. The top floor had a wonderful panoramic view of the entire city and I learned a lot about that beloved brew.
After the Guinness Factory, we walked back to Grafton Street for lunch. Dublin has been very, very HOT. I got to talking to one woman in the bathroom about the heat, and she asked me where I was from and why I was here. She was soooo incredibly nice! She was genuinely happy for me when I told we I was on the trip of my dreams and she had nothing but positive things to say about Americans. We exchanged emails so hopefully I can point her to my blog, hope you read this eventually, Jeannette! :)
I have to say the biggest thing I will miss about Dublin is how kind everyone has been. The locals seem to really like the tourists and take time to look out for us and talk to us. Many times we were approached by locals once they heard our American accents and they were so interested about where we were from in the US, what it's like there, what we study in school, etc.
I'm so glad we started our tour in Dublin because the locals really gave us a warm welcome and helped us feel really excited about our trip. But now it's time to say goodbye to Ireland and it's off to Wales bright and early tomorrow! I'll try to write soon!!
PS: Sorry about the image formatting, I can't fix it on my phone.