We landed safely after a long day of travel after 3 hours on a bus and a total of 9 1/2 hours in the air. The travel wasn't so bad, the bus was comfy and had free wi-fi, and the plane was (for the most part) a fun time had by all.
The overnight flight was pretty fun. We started out watching a Ben Afflec movie called "The Company Men." I thought it was alright, but it wasn't Heather's cup of tea. Since the flight was gonna be long, we had the option of watching another movie after the first one ended. Heather and I elected to pull out my laptop and watch episodes of "The IT Crowd" and "Freaks and Geeks" over "Country Strong" (aka, Always Be Crying, seriously, why is Gwyneth Paltrow always crying in the movie?). I feel as though we made the right choice. When we arrived in London after our first flight, police entered the plane and possibly arrested some dude. No one knew what was up but it had to be serious, otherwise they wouldn't have needed 8 police officers!
The flight from London to Dublin was shorter than expected, meaning that we'd have more time to be tired and wander the city before we could check into our hostel. We landed, hopped on a shuttle bus, and quickly made our way to the Globetrotters Hostel. Since we had arrived so early we couldn't get into our room, but the receptionist was nice enough to let us sign in and drop off our heavy bags in their baggage room. Free from the awesome weight of our backpacks, we walked the streets of Dublin around our current home base. The lack of sleep eventually caught up with us as we made out way back, and we decided to spend the last hour before check-in in the breakfast area watching shows.
It was 2 o'clock, we got our key, went to our room, and slept. Even though it was only an hour and a half nap, it felt (to me at least) like an 8 hour slumber. I woke alert, and filled with a lust for life I was finally ready to seize the day. We wandered the streets again, this time leaving the comfort of our block to go see the sites.
Full of seafood and Guinness we shuffled our way back to our hostel. It wasn't late, but the long day and lack of sleep took its toll. We tried our best to stay up though, fighting a losing battle against sleep with the first seasons of "the Wire" and "the IT crowd". We put up a good fight, but at 11, it was finally time to sleep.
Today was our first full day of Dublin with some amount of real sleep. We had lots planned for this day, big plans to see the entirety of the city on one day. Our first stop was Trinity College, which was a short walk from our hostel. We got a short tour from an adorable Irish undergrad with a sweet sweater and the most pinchable cheeks I've ever seen in my life. The tour was short, about 30 minutes, but we did get to learn some fun things about the campus. The main attraction was the Book of Kells and the giant library they have at Trinity. The book was cool and all, but the best part of the exhibit was the faces of all the illustrations; the eyes seemed to stare into your soul. The Long Room was also amazing, over 200,000 books all in one giant 2 story tall hallway lined with busts of famous philosophers. It was absolutely stunning.
The next stop was Dublin Castle, it was not exciting at all.
The cathedrals, though, were all beautiful. For a small admittance fee, Heather and I got to walk all through the grand halls of Christchurch and St. Patricks' cathedral. Both were stunning, filled with beautiful stained glass windows and the most incredible architecture I've ever seen. Christchurch was our favorite. Not only was it cheaper (always a bonus), but you also got to go into the catacombs beneath the building.
After a terrifying lunch surrounded by the bravest pigeons in Ireland, we made our way to the Guinness Storehouse for a pint. We thought we'd be able to make it there easily enough. I mean, there are signs pointing in the general direction of the Storehouse, but Heather and I panicked and ducked into a nearby ally way. I was the one who brought us there, seeing a giant sign reading "Guinness served here!" in a window, and another one reading "Guinness Storehouse", but alas, the door we walked into was not the fabled Storehouse. After a short and confusing talk with an old man inside the building, we finally found our way to our final stop.
We bought our tickets and made our way into the main building. After a short introduction by an employee who gave us fun, but utterly useless facts about the building, we walked into the actual museum. The first floor went over the brewing process, the second was history, the third went over advertising, the fourth talked about Guinness around the world, and the fifth floor was a bar. Admission to the museum meant that we got a free pint of Guinness that we could either pour ourselves in the fifth floor, or that we could go up to the skybox, called the "Gravity Bar" on the very top of the storehouse. It gives you a beautiful 360 degree view of the city, which was half spoiled due to the rain storm that seemed to follow us from Madison. Heather and I got our pints, found a seat, and drank em down. It's true what people say about Guinness, it's much better to get them on tap in Ireland.
The final stop of the day was the magical, and highly entertaining "National Leprechaun Museum". I may have been more excited for this stop than anything else Heather and I had seen, or were going to see. The tour starts with a trippy hallway that makes you appear to grow, and makes everyone else left behind look tiny. It then leads to the underbelly of the Giants Causeway, which was a maze like room of hexagonal pieces of wood that you had to work your way through to get to the next room. The next room was simply called "the Giant Room." It couldn't have been more appropriately titled. The room pretty much consisted of 3 giant chairs and two giant tables. This was the room that made me realize that this museum was built for children, but that didn't stop everyone on our tour from climbing on the chairs, drinking from the giant tea cup, and giggling like children. There's nothing like a room full of giant furnature to make a group of adults feel like kids again. The next few rooms weren't nearly as exciting. There was a rainbow room where string was hung from the ceiling in the, which formed a rainbow that you walked through. Than we learned about faeries and a brief history of the Otherworld. This entire time, we only saw our guide once, so I was kinda shocked when she showed up for the last half of the tour. She told us tales of leprechauns, faeries, heros, and wishing wells. The last stop of the tour brought us to a room were everyone got to draw something dealing with whatever we learned in the museum. Heather and I drew a fat leprechaun riding a Scottish Terrier, for our efforts we received a sticker and were sent on our way.
Next up, the Aran Island, and the most terrifying fort ever!
btw, internet everywhere is terrible, so we're trying to keep up as well as we can!