On Saturday night, Michelle, Sarah, and I ran down the street to the London Center after returning from our few days in Ireland. We were certainly excited to be back in London, but Dublin was fabulous. We took tons of pictures and Sarah is an avid video-er, so that was fun. Here's my best description of our days in the land of the Irish.
We had a smooth trip over, and arrived at our hostel sometime around 8 or 9 PM. We had a room with three bunks, six beds, and so we opened the door to find a couple of roommates from South Korea. They didn't talk much, but were nice enough. After a trip down O'Connell Street to check out the area, we turned in to rest up for the next big day.
Thursday morning was certainly eventful. Sarah made the mistake of volunteering to be the first one to take a shower. After a few minutes, Michelle and I hear her say, "WOOOOW...AH! AH! Uhhhh...oh OW oW oOWWOWOoow, ok I'm getting out!" Basically, the shower had such high water pressure that it shot horizontally, and when she tried to decrease it the pressure by, get this, turning off the cold water...she was scalded by the boiling hot water that took its place. Poor Sarah.
After getting ready, we headed out to O'Connell Street to meet our day trip tour bus. This turned out to be one of my favorite things from the weekend. Our driver was named Martin, and was born and raised in the Dublin area. We also had a couple from France, Spain, a few women from Austria, and a few other Americans.
First Stop - Dun Laoghaire - I would pronounce it correctly for you if I could.
We then drove further South into Wicklow County, and drove by Bono's house. You know, just another day in the life of me...seeing Bono's house. Whatever. After we got more into the mountains (which should just be called hills) we stopped on the road where a scene in P.S. I Love You was filmed, and got a great view of Guinness Lake.
Some more driving and listening to Martin's Irish music, and we stopped at our main destination, Glendalough.
This is me participating in an Irish "tradition". If you can wrap your arms around the cross, then you get a wish. My arms weren't long enough. Oh well, next time. Then we walked over the Round Tower, and decided to hug that, too. Then we took a walk to see the lower and upper lakes, and also Poulanass Waterfall (we joked a bit about that name). It was gorgeous, and reminded me a lot of Oregon and Waterton, Canada.
After leaving the nature of Glendalough, we stopped for lunch, and had our pick of a few pubs and coffee shops for lunch. The three of us headed over to a little shop called Glendalough Fayre, and it was fabulous. The people were really friendly, and my soup was hot. Success. A few more stops on our trip to get more views of the hills, lakes and animals summed up our trip. We actually stopped near a field full of sheep, and they all full-on sprinted over to the fence to say hello to us. Although, once they saw that we had no food, the turned around and trotted back over to the other side of the field.
We took a break in our hostel to warm up and rest our feet, and then headed out to find some dinner before our pub crawl. We had dinner at a boxty house, and I had some fabulous potato dumplings with red bell peppers. Yummmmmm. The pub crawl was probably my favorite thing about our entire trip. Loved it loved it loved it. Basically a couple of musicians led us around to three different pubs, and we had our own room where they would just talk about their instruments and play music for us. There was a group of about six other Americans who were there celebrating Kevin's birthday. They even had matching I <3 Kevin shirts. A very entertaining bunch. It wasn't long after they found out that Sarah was from Utah that they pinned us as Mormon students. I guess the fact that we were only drinking diet coke tipped them off, too.
On our way back to the hostel we stopped in a little convenience store so Sarah could find some batteries for her camera, and the greatest thing happened - we found crispy M&Ms! Yep, we bought 2 big bags and proceeded to consume moooost of the when we got to the hostel. I think the last time I had crispy M&Ms was probably on a family drive to Canada when I was 12 or something. We called them our "happy pills".
The next morning we started off doing a "hop on hop off" bus tour of London. It was surprisingly entertaining, especially the live commentators. Stops of interest included St. Patrick's Cathedral, Guinness Storehouse, and Phoenix Park. Most of the time we just rode around on the top level of the bus and ate more M&Ms.
After we finished our time on the bus, we stopped into the Hard Rock Cafe, did a bit of shopping, and bought movie tickets to "Valentines Day" for that night. We took it easy for the rest of the afternoon, ate dinner in a pub, and then went to the movie. It was a good, relaxing day.
On Saturday, we had to check out of our hostel in the morning and carry our giant backpacks around with us all day. It was dubbed our Museum-ing day.
First stop: Trinity College and the Book of Kells.
Second stop: St. Valentine's remains at Whitefriar Church.
Third Stop: Dublin Castle.
Fourth Stop: Lunch at Bass Ass Cafe and some wandering around Temple Bar.
Fifth Stop: National Gallery of Ireland.
Sixth Stop: St. Stephen's Green and Oscar Wilde monument.
Seventh Stop: River Liffey to wait for our driver to pick us up for the airport.
Hanging out at the airport...typical.
The trip home was good, but long. By the time we got back to the center we were all really wiped out. Actually, by the time we got onto the Gatwick express we were wiped out. But it was a great weekend. It was one of those things that everyone had been looking forward to since before even coming to London, and now that it's over, I almost can't believe it. Two months from today will be our last day in London.