Well I'm sorry I've been so slow with the posts, so to catch up this is post 1 of 2.
Two weekends ago I went to Dublin Ireland. It was an interesting experience. Six of us boarded my first Ryanair flight from Gatwick to Dublin. I felt like cattle being heard into seats of a massive 'room'.
We arrived and after waiting in customs, meet up with a seventh member of our group. We were greeted by kind Irish people who actually help you when you ask for directions. For example, the bus we took into the city was directed in a different direction because of a house fire and the bus driver dropped us off at a stop closest to where we were going.
At our hostel we checked in and dropped our stuff off in a 10 person room. It was a nice hostel, but the 10 person room was quite the experience. Then we went out to find classic Irish food, since everyone was getting hungry. We found a hotel pub serving classic Irish/English food, so we loaded up with potatoes and sausages.
Then we went back down to the first floor to start the tour. The self guided tour takes you through the process of how Guinness is made, transported, and marketed. And at the end of the museum part you get to pour your own pint of Guinness. At first I was like why do you need to learn to pour it, but it actually is a process. I was also surprised that I actually liked Guinness... I would never have thought I would like a dark beer but its not like regular beer, its much smoother, and the fact that I got to pour it probably made me like it even more! What a good strategy on their part!
While we were in Dublin, it happened to be the weekend of the Wales and Ireland Game so it was crazy packed... everything was booked and people were everywhere. So of course when we decided to explore the pub scene that evening, people were everywhere! It was pretty funny actually, because the first pub we went to was the Welsh supporters... they were singing and so excited. Then we went across the street and that pub was the Irish supporters who played and sang the exact same (3) songs that were played in the other pub! We also checked out Temple Bar because its the famous one but it was kind of over rated and just busy.
The next morning we woke up and got our free pancake breakfast at the hostel and began our day. The first stop was St. Patrick's Cathedral, which was a neat med-evil style church (just like the whole town). We didn't go in but explored the outside. After that we saw Christs Church which was the same kind of thing.
But we did get to go in the Dublin Castle. We did a tour there; it was really helpful because the tour gave us a sense for the Irish and more specifically Dublin history. Only part of the original castle actually still stands because of a fire in the 1500's, the current castle was rebuilt after that.
After our morning of history we went to a pub for some lunch. We finally got everyone to agree on a place, that is the difficult part of traveling with a lot of people. But this was a nice little place where I tried Irish coffee which was actually really good... just tasted like creamy coffee, as long as you don't take the last 2 sips!
Following lunch we saw Trinity College, which I've decided every town has a college named Trinity. But the college wasn't nearly as impressive as I expected, it was just average compared to all the other structures and colleges I've been visiting.
That was all the tourist stuff on our agenda, and it was only 3pm so we went to a park and walked around. It was amazing how green the park was, and that there was even some color... it was actually really pretty, even if it rained!
The rest of the day consisted of tourist shopping, trying to find a cheap place to eat, and hanging out in a chill pub. It was a fairly relaxing end to the trip.
The following morning we got in a taxi at 8am and the taxi driver asks where were headed, we tell him the airport to go back to London. Then he explains that they got snow and many flights are delayed or canceled! Luckily someone pulled out their internet phone and checked, not change in our flight :) We got to the airport and coasted through check in and security and waited for our flight.
After boarding our flight the captain announces that flights were be directed to Dublin and Gatwick because Heathrow was too back up and parts were closed, and we would have to wait on the plane for an hour. But luckily again our captain moved up or take off time and we were off to London.
We were all ready to be back. I was ready to be in London for a few weeks. But when we boarded our train back into London from Gatwick we saw inches of snow... we weren't expecting that much snow! At that point I missed Dublin!