Ireland, The "Friendliest Country", Part One

Hello internet people! Some of you are aware that I am an official Harlaxton blogger this semester. As it just so happens, this week’s post is mine–so the comprehensive, witty, and scholarly detail of my trip to Dublin will be appearing there on Thursday. To tide me over, though, I figured I’d give the detailed, rambling, probably sarcastic account of my days in Dublin over the course of the next three days. We spent three days there, I’ll spend three days telling the tale. Seems fair.

To begin, I have now flown (and survived) three times. I’ve discovered I quite like take-off but I still hate landing. I’ve also discovered that for five girls of 20 (and my 19) years, we are pretty amazing at planning travel. We managed to choose a nice, no frills airline (by name of Ryanair, I recommend it), book a really nice hostel, get ourselves to and from the airport using public transport (trains and buses), and find said hostel upon arrival without incident.

We bravely navigated the city streets, including the slightly shady area about which locals made a hilarious face, and found ourselves in a nice, clean facility by the name of Mount Eccles Court. I recommend it if you ever stay in Dublin, because even though the streets nearby are shady, the hostel itself is secure, clean, has friendly service, and is excellently priced. Additionally, the receptionist the first night was both attractive and helpful in recommending where we should eat dinner–both glorious things for tired girls who’d been traveling all day.

Dinner, at the recommendation of said attractive reception-guy, was at a nice pub called The Oval, where we sat down to a nice meal served to us by, you guessed it, ANOTHER ATTRACTIVE IRISH GUY. He was every bit as friendly as our receptionist and spent a lot of the time chatting to us about life in America and being generally friendly and glorious. You know, the way men ought to behave in the presence of lovely young ladies. After so much attention, I am now convinced my singleness does not in fact result from some horrible fatal flaw in myself, because clearly I am not terrifyingly unapproachable as I previously feared, and I have just enough confidence to skip happily past Valentine’s Day without a hitch. Ireland–it’s the secret cure for your lonely heart.

Anyway, returning to what actually matters, I had seafood chowder and brown bread; both delicious. Also downed my first half-pint of Guinness, of which I wasn’t a huge fan. Lesley and Gina had some delicious pear cider, and Shannon had a lighter beer, all of which I naturally tasted. The amount of calories in said meal were probably alarming, but it was a CELEBRATION as it was Lesley’s birthday. She even had the luxury of finding a squid in her seafood chowder, which she dubbed her “birthday squid.” Our waiter informed us that Ireland is the “friendliest country,” and I have to say my experience has led me to agree with him in at least so far as to call Dublin the “friendliest city,” because every shop or restaurant you went in to, you were likely to have a nice conversation with the owner or employee.

All in all a glorious first night, as we trudged back to our hostel for a bit of relaxation and then collapsed happily into bed for the evening, refreshing ourselves for the next day’s adventure, about which you will learn TOMORROW.

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