I never had much of a desire to go to Dublin. My boyfriend visited this summer and returned to our beach house after 48 hours with a bottle of Jameson. I prefer big, nearly manic cities full of people from every continent - like London and New York and Johannesburg. Dublin, as far as I could tell, seemed too quaint for my liking. But when I visited, quaint was exactly what I needed. I flew in early on Thanksgiving Day and was greeted by my friend Lauren and our host, Lauren's friend, Declan. As soon as we left the airport, I saw a sea of green. Green, green, beautiful grass (and to my utter joy, some sheep!) AND blue sky! I was in a state of near hysteria seeing a natural landscape after having not left the cloudy concrete and cobblestone mess that is London for nearly six months.
Day 1:We took the bus into the city center of Dublin and I was happy to see that there was still a lot more green than in London. We hopped off the bus at St. Stephen's Green and walked up Grafton Street, the main shopping thoroughfare. We had no agenda, except to have a few drinks and eat dinner. We briefly walked through the Trinity College campus and stopped at a nearby pub, O'Donoghue's, on Suffolk Street, for a pint of cider. I couldn't have been happier to be just hanging out with my college friend, forgetting about essay writing and being late for lecture because of delayed Tube lines for a few days.
Then, since it was Thanksgiving, we headed to dinner with Lauren's mom and her significant other and had a very non-traditional Thanksgiving meal - I had Guinness and beef stew - and lots of laughs. At dinner, we also met another Flagler College alum - talk about a small world! We were talking about our favorite St. Auggie spots over drinks when the man at the table next to us leaned over and said "Are you talking about Flagler College?" And just like that, I found myself feeling not so far away from home for the holiday! After dinner we set off for another pub (it's what you do in Ireland!) to meet up with yet another friend of mine from Flagler, Alex. I was really glad to introduce Lauren and Alex. Lauren was set to move to Dublin to begin graduate school in January and I thought it would be a great resource for her to have a fellow Flagler alum to help her transition (and to no surprise at all, they are now inseparable in Ireland!). We had a few drinks at a JW Sweetman's pub by the river and headed back to Declan's flat, as we didn't want to miss our next day's appointment at the Jameson distillery.
|Flagler College reunion in Dublin!|
With a solid buzz, we left for the Book of Kells. I'll be honest here, I had no idea what the Book of Kells was before we entered the gallery at Trinity College. It was interesting to learn a bit about Irish history and the artwork that comprises the manuscripts is beautiful (in a very medieval way). My favorite part about Trinity was the old library. I'm sure that people make this reference constantly, but I really felt like I was at Hogwarts! We then decided that we'd had enough tourist-ing for one day and settled in at a cozy pub with two of Declan's friends. After a light meal and some good conversation, we decided to head back home, despite the fact that it was only about 7:00 pm. We asked ourselves, "Are we getting old?" But we decided, "We're not old, we just started our day by drinking at noon!"