wow! what a day.
Jed and i both arrived at the airport around the same time, so we were able to get seats next to each other on our planes. after saying our goodbyes, we headed through security and towards our gate. we had just enough time to grab lunch, and then it was time to board the plane. the flights went smoothly — we only arrived 15 minutes late in Dublin. we waited for our bags near the baggage claim area, and started to get a little nervous once our baggage claim terminal shut off, indicating that there were no more suitcases to be claimed. slightly panicked, we started looking around and saw a cart with four bags on it — our bags! we had no idea why they were separated, but at least an airline employee helped us out. we walked towards the exit, and luckily, Jed spotted our friend Flo right away. we had been a bit worried since we didn’t know Flo’s phone number or address, but things worked out anyway!
it was so bizarre to see Flo over in Europe, when it still felt like he had just left Baylor a few weeks ago. he helped us with some of our bags, and we hopped on a bus to the central area of Dublin, where he lives. once we got off of the bus, we still had to walk about ten minutes to his apartment. with all three of us pulling luggage, it wasn’t too difficult. his apartment is absolute adorable — right off of the street, you take stairs down below ground level which leads you to his front door. once we got there we met his friend Michel, who was also here visiting Flo for the weekend. they had both gone out the night before, so we relaxed for a little bit before heading out to explore.
Flo took us towards the center of town, where we wandered around the River Liffey, Trinity College, and the shopping center. it was especially cool to go back to Trinity College, since I had visited it back in 2006. we decided to grab lunch at a little shop (Jed & i split a sandwich, so we only had to pay about 2 euro each) and take it over to St. Stephen’s Green, where equal numbers of people, pigeons, and ducks hang out. after giving away half of our sandwiches to the ducks, Michel met up with us at the park and we all took a bus to the Kilmainham Gaol (Jail) of Dublin (this bus eerily reminded me of the Knight Bus in Harry Potter; i felt like we were running over every car we passed!). Since we had to reserve a tour, we did that and then walked over to a nearby park and just sat around and chatted for a while. some of us even took naps! we headed back to the gaol so start the tour.
with a group of about 50 people, we were given information on the history, building, and people of the gaol. although it was very interesting, Jed & i were both so exhausted that we fell asleep numerous times. i couldn’t keep my head up while we were sitting in the pews of the chapel, or even when i was standing and leaning against a wall. the jet lag isn’t nearly as bad as i thought it would be, but i was still exhausted! one of the things i do remember hearing is that in the large three-story area of the gaol, films like the Italian Job and shows like the Tudors have had scenes shot there. pretty cool! the tour was also free, which was great.
we headed back to the apartment to shower and eat, so along the way home we stopped at a small grocery store to buy some cheap food and cheap wine. by the time we had all showered and eaten, it was definitely time to head over to the Guinness Storehouse! we took a bus, but had to walk at least 8 minutes to get to where the visitor entrance was — we made it inside at 7:56pm, just 4 minutes until the last visitors are allowed inside. the tour was absolutely fantastic; it included things like so was the pint of Guinness that we all enjoyed in the anti-gravity bar at the end of the tour, giving us a full panoramic view of Dublin to enjoy. the people working there were also very nice — when Jed accidentally knocked my untouched pint of Guinness over, they poured me a new one and even put the design of a shamrock in the foam (don’t ask me how they did it, but it looked great!).
we meandered our way back to the apartment, happy kids with a full pint of Guinness in our stomachs. we met up with Michel at the apartment, as he had already been to the Guinness Storehouse on Friday, he hadn’t gone with us. we all hung out at the apartment to drink for a little bit, but Jed fell asleep. after convincing him to man-up so we could go out, we headed out to walk to the Temple Bar area. Flo knew of a great place called Fitzsimon’s, which is a two-story bar with an open second floor. i talked with a few Irish people, who told me that i looked Irish. how strange!
before we headed out, i went to the bathroom and said that we could all just meet up outside since the bar was closing soon anyway. somehow, i ended up alone outside with no friends! i stood with the bouncers and explained my situation, but they were annoyed that i didn’t know my friend’s address or phone number. i told them i was only here for two days, i don’t have a phone, etc. finally i made it back inside and of course, there was everyone, waiting. yay!
we grabbed some Irish fast-food on the way back to the apartment, and as we continued to walk, my ankle began throbbing for some reason. anytime i would put pressure on it be stepping, a sharp pain would shoot up my foot to my ankle. i convinced the others to take a cab with me, so we did that and made it back home. overall, it was an absolutely fantastic day in Dublin and i’m so glad to be back here, especially with great friends.
this morning i woke up and my ankle was even worse. i tried to walk to the train station with Jed so we could take a train to Belfast, but after two blocks i knew it wasn’t happening. i’m pretty bummed that i didn’t get to go today, but i figured it’s better to let my ankle rest today so that it can (hopefully) feel a lot better. Flo was nice enough to go to the pharmacy and get me some joint cream, and i’ve been using Jed’s ace wrap. hopefully by tonight i can go out and explore some more, and if not tonight, then definitely in the morning before we take the ferry to France.
well, that was a lot longer than expected, but if you made it all the way to the end, leave a comment and let me know what you think!
pictures: (1) Jed & me at the River Liffey (2) me at the Book of Kells at Trinity College (3) courtyard at Trinity College (4) shopping center (5) lunch at St. Stephen’s Green (Jed hand-fed some ducks) (6) more ducks (7) inside the shopping center (8) our view from the crazy bus (9) a long stretch of park that we relaxed at before the tour (10) chapel at the gaol, where i took a nap (11) view through the peep-hole into a cell (12) where the Italian Job and the Tudors have filmed scenes (13) me in a cell (14) entrance to Guinness Storehouse (15) barley (16) water (17) an old Guinness ad (18) with our pints at the anti-gravity bar (19) just me (20) the view (21) goofy friends (22) all done with my pint! (23) an old wall we found on the walk home