• Jena Prystowsky

Ireland

After finding myself stranded in lovely London, I finally made it to my final destination: Dublin. Although I had been wanting to visit Ireland for years, I had only a vague idea of what I wanted to do there and for some reason, I was obsessed with seeing those large, green drooping trees and the emerald hills and hedges that one always sees on Irish tourism sites. Unfortunately, my trip was at the beginning of March and during one of the worst snow storms that the UK had had in a long time. I'd have to trade in my fantasies of greenery, put on my boots, and brave the cold.


Unlike in London, I didn't hop on the subway system to explore the city- instead, I did a lot of walking. (Next time, I might rent a bike since there are bike shops which will rent bikes out to sightseers.) I met up with my friend and we walked to a restaurant. Unfortunately, we arrived close to closing time, but the waiters inside encouraged us to stay as long as we liked. One thing I learned that night (and continued to learn throughout my short stay in Dublin) is that the people are generally quite hospitable.


I was a lot more laid-back in Dublin than I had been in London, taking the day as it came instead of making concrete plans of what I wanted to do or eat. I would suggest buying tour tickets ahead of time, because my laisez faire approach did cause me to miss going to the Kilmainham Gaol- they ran out of tickets by the time I got there.


As to nightlife, there are several places where you can listen to music. My friend and I went to a few pubs, which I would highly recommend doing. There's nothing like sipping Guinness while listening to an Irish band play live music.


I visited Dublin Castle, which was lovely. A few rooms were closed for an event, but I was able to walk around other areas and read about Irish history. I also took a trip to the Leprechaun Museum- I would go there if you like a good fairy story told by friendly and entertaining storytellers, but aside from giant furniture and creative displays, there isn't a lot going on there.


If you like art, I would recommend taking a drop-in class at the Trinity Arts Workshop. I had a grand time learning to paint with watercolors. The teacher was very knowledgable and patient and I definitely learned a thing or two.


In the future, I'll visit in the late Spring or Summer so I can spend more time exploring. I would like to take a tour out to Newgrange or to the Giant's Causeway. We'd booked a tour out to the Causeway, but our flights were delayed due to weather. Despite some initial obstacles, Ireland was truly a lovely place to visit (even in the cold).


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