St Patrick’s Day in Dublin

Within 5 minutes of being in the taxi on the way to our hostel, I remembered why I had fallen in love with the city almost three years ago.  There’s just something about Dublin. Every time I visit I just feel home. It’s as if I was right back in Shelby, St Mary’s, Dallas or Erie, surrounded by all my family and friends.

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But let’s back up a few hours to our afternoon before arriving in Dublin.  We arrived at the Milan airport 2+ hours before our flight left.  Something always goes wrong when we travel so we like to give ourselves plenty of time to get where we’re going. This trip quickly became no exception.  We took the train from Genoa to Milan and a bus from Milan train station to the airport with no issues. We arrived at Malpensa and went through security only to find out that our flight has been delayed 2 hours.  Earlier in the month, we had heard that there might be a strike at the Dublin airport today, but earlier in the week we had read that it had been resolved.  Aer Lingus never sent us an email saying that there would be a disturbance to our flight, so we thought “okay, we’re good.”

We later realized that Aer Lingus had made precautionary alterations and cancellations to almost all of their flights in and out of Dublin in case the strike did happen.  However, our flight wasn’t on this list of changes.  So here we are sitting in the airport for what turned into a 3 1/2 hour delay, buying whiskey from the duty-free store and drinking in the Milan airport while playing cards.  It was at this point I realized my life had hit a new low.

Once we finally boarded the plane full of drunk, rowdy Italians we were off to Dublin, finally!  But wait, the drama doesn’t stop there!  Almost as soon as we were up in the air, the captain said we would be experiencing some turbulence and that we should stay in our seats.  Okay, fine-nothing I haven’t heard before. WRONG!  This was no casual turbulence.  I was sitting in my seat hands clenched to the armrest muttering the Rosary under my breath between gasps and screams every time the plane nearly fell out of the sky.  So when the turbulence seemed to stop and we were making our descent into Dublin, the flight attendants kindly reminded us to check where the nearest emergency exits were located.  I’m sorry, WHAT?!  THERE’S SOMETHING THEY’RE NOT TELLING US!?! (queue Bridesmaids quotes)

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Luckily we landed with no problems.  We booked it out of the airport and into a taxi.  By this time it was about 1:30.  We arrived at our hostel and checked in. Courtney and I went up to our room and opened the door, when we were started by a loud, terrifying sound.  It took us a while to realize that this was the sound of someone in our room, snoring.  But this was no ordinary snore.  It sounded like some snorting, snarling wild animal.  So after a solid 15 minutes laughing so hard we were crying out in the hallway of the hostel, we went downstairs to get earplugs from the desk and try to go back into the lair of the beast that was going to be our roommate for the next two nights.  After another 30 minutes of trying to make our beds in the dark between cracking up, we were ready for bed around 2:45.  We had decided earlier that we were going to meet up at 9:30 to go explore the city.

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After a night of little sleep thanks to the wild beast in our hostel room, we started our day by walking around Trinity College and then went to Dublin Castle, where we took a guided tour of the grounds.  Next we went to Christchurch and St. Patrick’s Cathedrals.  We stopped for lunch at a pub called The Hairy Lemon.  I had Irish Stew.  Everyone else had Dublin Coddle and fish and chips.  We all enjoyed our meals while watching the Italy vs. England Six Nations Rugby game.

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After lunch we met up with Brianne, and from there we went to do some souvenir shopping and bar hopping.  We ate dinner in the Temple Bar area and then we went from bar to bar listening to music.  Later in the night the bars were at capacity, so we ended up just hanging out in the streets, which was more fun than being in the packed bars.  We went back to the hostel for night two with the wild animal. He wasn’t there when we got back and he ended up checking out around 5 or 6 AM, so we got a little bit more sleep than the night before.

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Sunday we went to the Guinness Storehouse, which was pretty awesome.  In addition the all the cool stuff that a ticket usually includes, they were also having a St. Patrick’s Day festival. We got to hear live music, see Irish dancing, and they also had food pairings to go with all the beer samples. We spent the better part of the morning/early afternoon at Guinness.  We wandered back into the Temple Bar area and ended up near Dame Court where there was live music.  We listened to this awesome band called Amazing Apples, and afterwards we went to lunch at Trinity Bar.  This time I had bangers and mash.  We went back to the Dame Court area to listen to more music, but the next band wasn’t as good so we went back to the Temple Bar area to look for more live music.  The entire weekend we happened to come into every bar and pub just as the band was ending or taking a break.  Finally we found a bar called Buskers that had awesome live music, so we stayed there for the majority of the night.  I discovered a new affinity for Bulmer’s Cider, because at this point in the weekend I was way to full to drink any more actual beer!  We stayed out in the city until midnight so we could say we were there on actual St. Patrick’s Day.

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Monday morning we arrived at the airport around 5 for our 6:30 flight, only to print our tickets and realize our flight wasn’t until 7:30. Oops. So we had lots of time to get breakfast and do some more shopping.  Our flight back to Milan was uneventful.  I actually slept the entire flight from takeoff to landing, which never happens. We made it to the train station in time for our train back to Genoa, and made it to the Villa in time for our review of our 5th project of the semester.