Long Weekend in Dublin

Okay, so I haven’t written a post about my last travel break to Prague, Bratislava and Budapest. To be honest, it has a lot to do with the fact that I have over 200 pictures from that trip and it would be so hard to pick and choose the ones that sum up my time there. I really loved all of those places, and each city had its own character and vibe. In Prague, I said, “I want to live here.” In Bratislava, I said, “I could live here.” In Budapest, I said, “Oh. I really want to live here.” And at the time, those statements were absolutely true, and when I came back to Copenhagen, I was pondering how I could manage to live all of these places without becoming a wandering beggar.

And then I went to Dublin.

My friend Jordan and I had planned this trip to Dublin at the end of September on a whim, and I’m so glad that we did. Ireland was on my list of places to go, and I would have been so mad at myself if I left Europe without going. We left on Thanksgiving night, and had a comedic episode in the airport when we bought a six-pack of Christmas beer at duty-free, and proceeded to drink them secretly because we thought it might be illegal to drink in an airport. We started the weekend the Irish way, and it seemed like everyone else on our Aer Lingus flight had, too.

We arrived at our hostel, The Liffey on Litton Lane, which used to be a recording studio where the likes of U2, The Cranberries, David Bowie and Van Morrison have recorded. There, we met up with Jordan’s friend from her home university, Ellie. and got ourselves situated. That night started our weekend-long pub crawl, which was particularly special because that Friday was Jordan’s 21st birthday! We went to so many different types of bars and pubs that weekend, and had a great time at every one. While the live music and cozy atmosphere played a part, it was definitely the Irish people that we met at each place that made our time memorable; I’ll never forget the interesting characters I met that weekend.

Aside from drinking lots of Guinness and chatting with some of the friendliest people in the world, we did some sightseeing, too. (Of course, among the touristy things we did were tours of the Guinness and Jameson factories, so I’m not quite sure if those count as enlightening cultural experiences.)

Ellie, me, and Jordan bringing a Guinness poster to life!

Ellie, me, and Jordan bringing a Guinness poster to life!

The Millenium Spire, actually built in 2003, stands in the middle of O'Connell Street in Dublin. This was taken from the top of a Hop-On Hop-Off bus, which is how we did most of our sightseeing.

The Millenium Spire, actually built in 2003, stands in the middle of O’Connell Street in Dublin. This was taken from the top of a Hop-On Hop-Off bus, which is how we did most of our sightseeing.

Another view from the bus of an interesting building in the Docklands, and proof that the sun does shine in Dublin (sometimes).

Another view from the bus of an interesting building in the Docklands, and proof that the sun does shine in Dublin (sometimes).

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Wandering around Trinity College, I couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like to study there.

A beautiful spiral staircase in the Long Room, part of the Old Library that houses the Book of Kells at Trinity College.

Men playing field hockey. That’s not something you see every day in the U.S!

The Oscar Wilde memorial in Merrion Park. This is my favorite statue that I’ve seen in Europe by far.

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The backside of Dublin Castle. I loved the contrast of the old grey buildings and the (presumably) more modern brightly colored buildings.

The famously busty statue of Molly Malone on Grafton Street.

The famously busty statue of Molly Malone on Grafton Street.

Ireland is still on the top of my list of places to visit. Dublin was only a small glimpse of the country, but out of all the places I’ve traveled, it was definitely my favorite..I really wish I had the opportunity to see the countryside and all of the famous landmarks throughout Ireland, but that will just have to be a trip for another time. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to travel to Ireland at all, and one thing is for sure: the people of Ireland could draw me back over and over again.

“When I die, Dublin will be written in my heart.” -James Joyce, Irish novelist and poet

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Destination: Anywhere

In my attempt to make the time I spend in Copenhagen completely spontaneous, my fellow classmates are making it very difficult for me to stay away from planning for the time being. The facebook page for Fall 2013 students is filled with people discussing travel plans for study tour weeks and weekends and purchasing tickets for concerts they’d like to attend. It’s been very tempting for me to start thinking about where I think I’d like to travel, and I figure there’s no harm in that. So this is my list of places that are at the top of my list for potential getaway destinations while I’m abroad.

1. Eastern Europe (Budapest, Prague, Krakow)

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I have to admit that I am a sucker for the charm and romance of old European cities, and Prague, Budapest, and Krakow seem like the perfect ones to get lost in. The combination of beautiful architecture, ancient culture and friendly people pulls on something in my heart that makes me believe I would feel right at home in these cities. It also doesn’t hurt that I’ve heard that the food is amazing, so perhaps it’s my stomach pulling me rather than my heart.

2. Italy

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My reasons for wanting to visit Italy are very similar to my reasons for visiting Eastern Europe: beautiful cities, wonderful people, and fantastic food. I also imagine that after a few months in chilly Copenhagen and a study tour in Greenland, a quick trip to Italy will be a perfect sunny escape.

3. Ireland

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For all my talk of loving beautiful old cities, I am a country girl at heart (and an Irish one at that). The rolling hills and rocky shores of Ireland are a definite “do not miss” in my book. I’d love to visit the ancient castles and the Aran Islands, drive through small towns in the countryside and stop to chat with locals, and of course, check out Dublin.

These are my top three travel destinations at the moment, but to be honest, I’m open to anything. There is not a single place in Europe that I’m not interested in visiting; all I can hope for is that I come home with no regrets about where I did or didn’t travel. But in the meantime, it’s nice to know that I can put off all this planning…for now.

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