In short, last weekend I saw Cork, the Ring of Kerry, Galway, and Howth. I loved the city of Galway - it reminded me a lot of a college town. Howth, which is right above Dublin, was also pretty and had a very cozy pub where we relaxed before the work week started again.
Because I’m behind on post, and slightly short on time…I’ll give you some favorite moments:
1) Sleeping in a “cinema room” – Yes, I have mentioned this in a few pictures, but it’s just such a “European travel moment” kind of story that it deserves repeating. About nine of us had made reservations at a hostel in Cork. Somehow the dates had been reserved wrong, and our group was booked for a different time. There were not a lot of options for housing because it’s the height of the travel months here, so the hostel offered the cinema room for us to crash in. And we literally just crashed it in – there were some random mattresses, and a few beanbags, scattered pillows, and heaps of sheets and blankets.
But honestly…it was great. Best sleep of the weekend, right there on the floor of a cinema room curled up in a beanbag.
We were gouped with luggage...
2) French food in Galway – YUM. So everyone I’m with knows Italian, French, and English (I feel so uncultured!) and are mostly from Italy. For part of the dinner, I had no idea what people were saying. But it really didn’t matter because for the first time in several days, I was not eating a gas station sandwich or a convenience store coffee with a cheap banana. It was REAL food. Of course there was a real price tag, ha-ha… (nervous laughter here because parents are reading the blog) …but you know 15 Euros for a three course meal was the cheapest item on the menu and well worth it!
As they say over here, "Brilliant!"
3) Random rain – Ok so this was not a favorite moment at the time, but looking back it was actually very humorous. It was a beautiful day, and after all the rain we had endured while traveling through the Ring of Kerry, everyone was soaking up the sun. Our group walked to the furthest point on a pier and relaxed happily surrounded by blue skies and water. I felt a slight chill in the air and grabbed my rain jacket. The instant I put it on, three or four fat rain drops splashed me. Within 30 seconds it was raining hard, and pounding us at a horizontal slant. We began to run back towards land, but by the time we reached shelter, the storm was over and it was beautiful again. All of us were completely soaked on the front and dry on the back…lovely!
Calm before the storm in Galway
4) Town and Seal hunting – On our way home to Dublin, we wanted to stop at some town near a lake. I don’t really know where because everyone was yelling directions in Italian. But even though we found two lakes, we never found the town we were originally searching for.
Finally we wound up in Howth for some dinner and a drink at the local pub. I had my first real European “fish and chips” experience (couldn’t tell you which was worse...but then again maybe I was just being a food snob after my delicious French dinner and from being tired of cheap chips). We also strolled along the docks searching for these seals that Alex swore he had seen before.
Let me tell you – there were no seals in Howth that night. We looked everywhere, and even began to make seal noises, which was extremely humorous because they are very hard to impersonate with a straight face. At one point we thought we had found them and Alex said in an Italian accent “Look Britney…follow my finger! You can see the seals!”
No Alex. Those are birds.
Still, the weekend was great. I will just have to go back to Howth and find the seals on my own!
Howth minus the seals...