27.11.2009 - 29.11.2009
I went home after writing my last (whiney) blog and got a virus on my computer and had to sleep on the bathroom floor for an hour because I got sick. There’s something to really complain about. Talk about irony.
I’m well and jolly right now though, so I won’t torture you this time around.
Last weekend Marah and I went to Dublin. Straight off the plane, everyone was really friendly to us. Somebody gave us their map, the bus driver called us at our stop, and our hostel receptionist guy was more helpful than one would expect. Marah and I later joked when he stood up that he was our little leprechaun bringing us good luck.
After settling into our hostel, we ventured into the cold streets of Dublin in search of the Irish pride and joy – Guinness. We rocked the Guinness Storehouse for a couple of hours, and I was comparing it to the Heineken Museum which I experienced in Amsterdam. What won me over was the old advertising “Pregnant women should drink Guinness”, “Guinness helps build strong muscles”, “Guinness is recommended by doctors to cure influenza”-lawsuit waiting to happen.
After tasting Guinness for the first time, Marah and I both loved it! We were both pleasantly surprised but agreed that it could have been a meal supplement. I do feel pretty tough saying that I like Guinness though, I’m not gonna lie.
We decided on a pub crawl for the evening to get a taste for Irish pubs and meet some new people. We had an hour to kill before the pub crawl, so we decided to lie down in the hostel. By the time 7:30 came, we didn’t get up. Lying down was not the smartest idea. Marah and I were slap-happy and content with calling it a night after our one-hour nap turned thirteen hours. To be fair, there is a one hour time difference and we were up at 5 am Italy time.
The next day we were more than willing to compensate for our lack of energy the day before. We started it off right with a “jumbo breakfast” that included: eggs, toast, sausages, bacon, ham, hash-browns, tomatoes, mushrooms, o.j., and coffee for only seven Euros!!! I love Ireland.
We met up for a free tour at 11 am surprised to see how large of a crowd they brought in. It must be because of the key word “free”. Nonetheless, we split off into groups and away we went.
Our tour-guide rocked! She didn’t stop spitting out historical information for the whole three and a half hours that the tour lasted. I even learned some Canadian history which I found amusing in the context. It was an awesome way to learn some history from an Irish perspective. There were a lot of jokes referring to the animosity between the Irish and the British. She was working off of tips, and she really put on a quality performance in my opinion.
What a cool job- I bet she makes good money and meets so many different people.
About midway through the tour, we stopped at a coffee shop to warm up and take a break. My toes were colder than any day at Sun Peaks because I was unequipped with a mere single layer of long striped socks. I was eager to find refuge in the over-capacitated café.
Marah chatted with our guide outside while I fed off the temporary source of heat. In the mean time, someone came up to the guide and told her “The president of Ireland is in that coffee shop across the street”. Marah went with her to meet and shake the hand of the Irish president. She didn’t think to come and grab me!!! I swore to her after that if I spotted Colin Ferrell I wasn’t going to tell her, clearly a little bitter about the whole situation.
After our tour, we browsed Grafton Street. Marah found Claddagh rings, and I, once again, was excited to find an English bookshop. I also bought a sweater with a Guinness on it quoting “Tall, Dark, and Handsome” –yes, I would.
The street was marvelous in its Christmas spirit. Between the lights and the giant tree, it was very beautiful.
Europe sure knows how to do Christmas from what I’ve seen so far.
That night we actually made it to the pub crawl. We met three others and convinced a solo traveler in our room to join us. We already had a good group pre-pub crawl. I connected really well with a boy from Ohio, and I regretfully never got to say bye to him.
The pub crawl was a blast, until it ended with our guides being beat up and ditching us. A couple wasted Irishmen caught eye of some attractive girls in our group and decided to tag along. Being that they were peeing on buildings and acting like belligerent fools, our guides kindly asked them to quit following us around, although they clearly could go wherever they wished. I found them entertaining until it ended with our two underdog guides bleeding from the mouth and the nose. The clowns were arrested and likely sent to a drunk-tank. We thought they were ok until they checked out at our third bar.
There was a live band playing classic rock covers, and they had already fed us enough shots to keep us preoccupied. Unfortunately though, we all noticed that the group was gone at different times, and we lost each other among the crowd and the brilliant music. Marah and I danced it off.
We got about two hours of sleep before having to wake up to take a shuttle to the airport. We went outside and came face to face with the most intense rainstorm I have ever been in. We walked about 20 minutes to O’Connell Street trudging through the puddles splashing down on us. If we weren’t both still half-cut, I think we would have been in a lot worse of a mood.
We rung out our jeans at the airport, and we passed out on the plane ride home. We left the cold weather behind us, and we were extremely grateful that it hadn’t rained until we were leaving Dublin. I will miss the friendly people there. I feel like my family would fit in real well there; I felt very at home.
At first glance, the appearance of the streets resembled London a lot, but after getting under the skin of Dublin, the people are the heart of it. If I ever get real fed up with Canadian men, which is quickly approaching, I may just up and move there to recruit some poor bastard.
I am going to Athens tomorrow with Marah and our friend Ben, and the weather calls for 22 degrees Celsius. I can’t wait! I am getting very, very pasty, and the sunshine will do me wonders.
On a more important note, my parents are celebrating their 22 anniversary this weekend. I’m sorry that I can’t be there to give them a big hug. That’s really something, 22 years. Congratulations Mom and Dad!
Love and Miss you always,