Last but not least, Dublin, Ireland. This was my last trip of the semester. I went with the seven closest friends I made here in Barcelona. It was such a wonderful way to end our semester abroad. We had the best time together and all fell in love with Dublin.
All the girls got off the plane and first thing we did was head straight to the Harcourt Hotel. It was beyond freezing outside. Barcelona has been chilly, but nothing compared to the weather we were experiencing in Dublin. We all bundled up and then headed off to dinner at Gourmet Burger Kitchen. My friends were raving about their incredible burgers. I had corn on the cob, rosemary french fries and an oreo milkshake. I highly recommend the Gourmet Burger Kitchen. The waiters were so friendly and attentive. It was a very enjoyable experience. After that we headed home and relaxed for the rest of the night. We called it an early night because we had an early, and long day ahead of us the following day.
Day two, rise and shine at 5:45AM. We all put on layers of warm clothes and walked to the meeting spot where we were to catch the tour bus to the Cliffs of Moher by 6:50AM. It took about two or three hours by bus to get to the Cliffs of Moher, but once we got there, it was well worth it. We stopped along the way for a coffee and restroom break so the two/three hour bus ride was broken up into pieces and you did not have to sit for three straight hours in the same position. We finally made it to the cliffs and were greeted with extremely strong wind conditions and some rain. Though the weather was not great, we did not let this ruin our time at the cliffs. The view from the the cliffs overlooking the ocean was breathtaking. It was so beautiful. The girls and I had the best time taking pictures with the incredible background! The Cliffs of Moher are one of the world’s great wonders and something you must see if you visit Ireland.
We got home that night, freshened up and decided to check out the local bar scene. We wanted to go to the bar, Whelan, that is featured in the movie P.S. I Love You. This bar is so cute inside. It has such a homey feeling and it is so cozy and welcoming. There is a stage where live music is played, there are multiple bars and tables where people can sit and enjoy a drink. It was such a relaxing atmosphere and such a fun night.
Day three, a day filled with fun and adventure. We walked from our hotel to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. There is the vibrant park attached to the cathedral that was nice to walk around. We did not go inside St. Patrick’s Cathedral, but the outside was so pretty.
From there we walked to the Guinness Brewery. We went inside and toured the entire factory. It was huge and there was so much to see and learn. Prior to this experience, I never knew how much went in to making beer. Each floor was dedicated to talking about a specific element of the beer, such as how its made, manufactured, etc. After learning all about how the beer is made, the Guinness Brewery offers you a complementary beer so that you can try it. I personally was not a fan of the beer at all, but then again I do not like any form of beer. However, my friends on the other hand really enjoyed the free glass of Guinness. They said that Guinness is a beer with an acquired taste for sure, but that it is an incredible beer once you get used to drinking it. When you first purchase a ticket to enter the factory, upon paying and entering, the staff will give you a ticket that is good for one free Guinness. We went up to the top floor of the factory where there is the Gravity Bar and this is where you can get a full glass of free Guinness with your ticket. We then all bought souvenirs in the Guinness store and we spent so much time in the brewery that by the time we left, it was dark outside.
After the Guinness Brewery, we went to the Dublin Christmas markets. We got some great food and enjoyed listening to Christmas carolers. It was so festive and a great way to start the night. From the Christmas markets, we went to the Temple Bar area in Dublin. This area is filled with tons of bars and restaurants and has a lively nightlife. We had so much fun bar hopping. We went to Temple Bar first, which had live music and was packed with people. It was all decorated for Christmas and had the best energy in there. I was in heaven. It was my definition of my ideal place and ideal night. From there we went to Quay’s Bar which is right down the street and spent the rest of the night socializing there. It was such a great night and by far one of the best nights I have had yet while studying abroad.
Dublin was beautiful and so much fun. There is still so much to do and see there that I did not get around to so now I just cannot wait to go back and visit again.