Day 1: Arrive Dublin
So after a nice seven hour flight from Chicago to Dublin by way of Aer Lingus I arrived in my first stop of the trip. The flight was as one would have expected-long and unforgiving to my height. Not only did the woman in front of me insist on pushing her seat back but I was conveniently situated near two screaming babies and a man with what sounded like whooping cough. Oof. All in all it was fine although I was a but jet lagged when I finally got into the city. I dropped my bag at the hostel, Paddy’s Palace. The Palace is part of a chain of Irish youth hostels that specialize in accommodating youth on a budget. After I dropped my stuff I caught a quick train outside of the city to Howth Pennisula, which Let’s Go Europe listed as a nice easy day trip outside of Dublin. Howth is a beautiful small fishing village twenty minutes outside of Dublin center by Dart, Dublin’s equivalent to the ‘L.’ The village provides beautiful scenery, lots of cool fish mongers to check out and a pretty wicked medieval castle situated in the hills. I hiked around the city and the shore for about 3 hours then decided I had seen enough and caught a train back to Dublin center. I spend the rest of the afternoon and late evening walking around the city, which is totally doable by foot. I saw Trinity College, Ireland’s prestigious old university, checked out Dublin Castle, got lost in Dublin’s ghetto, checked out
St. Stephen’s Green, which is Dublin’s Central Park, and then basically worked around the many neighborhoods and areas. Food here is expensive so I got some cheap stuff from a local grocery store and ate in a park near some bums who were enjoying their 40oz Carlsburg. When I returned to the hostel I talked with a South African mother and daughter team who were staying in the same ten bed mixed dorm. They had some interesting tales of living in Africa and showed me some cool photos of the two of them relaxing with the likes of lions, rhinos, and meer cats. When I told them that in Chicago we have a bit of our own distinct wildlife including squirrels and the occasional opossum they laughed. I ended up crashing while trying to read my travel book at around 10:30 (mind you the sun started to set at 10). In the middle of the night we were all woken up to the sound of the young traveler in bunk #7 falling from his top bunk and then running out of the room to vomit. The guy, who i later found out is named Spike after he climbed in his travel mate’s bed and got verbally reprimanded, was either coming off some sort of jet lag infused binge or high or just had a nasty bit of sleep walking/falling. Later Spike turned on the lights and then ran out of the run giggling. A French girl in the bed next time called him a son of a bitch. Nothing like a drunken American to wake an entire room of backpackers.
Today I meet Paul at a new hostel just down the road. It’s a bit overcast so we might hit up some of the museums and perhaps the Jameson distillery. Tomorrow either a day trip to the mountains nearby or another day in the city.
From Dublin I’ll leave you with a Slainte!