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July 3, 2008

Dublin

Last weekend, me, my rommmate and two of our friends went to Dublin! We left on Thursday and got back late Saturday night. Now, I was really excited to go to Dublin just because I hadn't gone to a city outside of the UK since I got here!

Our flight was a little bit late, and I didn't like the way that they made us wait for the flight. We had our tickets checked and then went into a room that felt like a room in a police station or something! Anyways, once the plane came we all lined up and had to basically shove our way onto the airplane because there were no assigned seats and everyone was trying to get the best possible seat! I ended up getting an aisle seat, so I was happy.

The plane ride wasn't great, but I was just happy to get to the airport. Weird thing was, we got off on moveable stairs! I've never had to get off the plane right onto the tarmac, so that was certainly an experience! Getting through customs was not a problem at all, besides the 15 minute wait, and then we caught a bus into the city. We thought from the signs that the last stop would bring us to city center and then we could figure out where our hostel was from there. Boy, were we wrong! Luckily, the bus driver came back and asked us where we needed to go and ended up dropping us off at the top of the road where our hostel was. He was a pretty funny guy, telling us all about how an when he moved into the city and he told us where we should go and what we needed to see. Turned out that he was from South London too, so he even knew the area where our flats are!

When he dropped us off, we had to walk down about 12 or so blocks to get to our hostel, but it certainly felt like more because none of us were dressed for the weather! When we finally got there, we just paid for our rooms and went in to sleep because we were tired! That certainly wasn't helped by the fact that our room was on the very top floor and we had to go up 6 staircases to get there!

The next morning, we started out early and got breakfast at the hostel. We went into town and looked around in a souvenir shop first because we wanted to see how much their Guinness stuff was so that we'd buy our stuff there if the souvenirs at the storehouse were expensive. Ruth ended up buying a sweatshirt that said Ireland on it (very cute) and then we started off to the Guinness storehouse.

The storehouse was actually pretty cool. I was expecting to be bored and just biding my time till our complementary drink, but I really enjoyed it! They showed us how they make the beer and I ended up taking a handful of barley from this big display that they had and put it into a tic-tac box for Dad. On one of the floors, they even had a "tasting lab" where they gave you samples and they had a video playing that told you how to enjoy the beer, but we all just pretty much drank it right away and then kept on going. When we got to the top, we got our complementary drinks and enjoyed the view. The bar is entirely surrounded by glass, so it gives you a really good view of the city.

After the storehouse, we were pretty hungry (it was after 2) and so we wandered around the city and eventually stopped for paninis. It wasn't very traditional, but it was the cheapest thing we could find! Then we wandered around the city some more and looked into a bunch of shops before stopping to enjoy a park.

After the park, we started our night out and went to the Temple Bar. We ended up staying there all night. When we got there, they were playing traditional Irish music and later they had a dj. It was a really fun pub, and it had been recommended by my supervisor Susan at work, so I'm glad that we went.

The next morning, we were all feeling bad - my roommate actually lost her voice. We'd all gotten something (I assume on the plane) and so we didn't end up getting to all of our intended destinations. We were able to wander around and I was able to get some Guinness beer glasses, which I was pretty excited about! We then walked into the college a bit and explored but then it was time to go and we went to the airport. When we got there, some sort of alarm was going off and they it took almost an hour before they shut it off!

The airport was pretty nice and even though we ended up getting there early, everything worked out well because it allowed me to have time to journal. In getting on the flight back, we had to get on from the tarmac again, and I got a spot on the aisle again. We got home pretty late that day and just went straight to bed, because my roomie and I both wanted to sleep off our cold!