Thursday, April 11, 2019

Travel Series #1: That Time I Went to Ireland

First of all, I fully acknowledge that this post is coming at you a good four months late, but I figure, better late than never! I don't know what it is, but I'm having the hardest time sitting down and blogging, no matter how times I promise you that I will be better about it! That being said, I am snuggling up and getting cozy in my local Pret A Manger, ready to tap furiously on this poor keyboard of mine until I have a post or two ready to go!

Also note, this post is about to get real photo heavy, so be ready!





Anyway. So, Ireland! I was there for a solid ten days over the holidays this year, visiting my best friend, braving the bitter temperatures, and drinking more beer than I probably have collectively in my entire life (which isn't actually saying much, to be fair).

I would also like to point out, they have Pop Tarts in Dublin. At almost 7 euros a box (of four), they were no bargain, but I was still happy to have that taste of home.

My aforementioned best friend, Kasey, is currently living in Dublin, which is where I spent most of my time while I was there. We did plenty of exploring in the city, that is, when things were open and operating. Since I was there over Christmas and New Years, and this is Europe, a lot of things were closed for the holidays. So while I did manage to see and experience quite a bit of Dublin and Irish culture, there was also a good amount of chill time on the docket during this trip. I gotta say, I didn't mind one bit. Especially given the gloomy skies and freezing temperatures!






When we did get out and about, we spent our time wandering around Dublin, eating and drinking our way through several cafes and bars, and doing a few touristy things here and there, like the Jameson Distillery Tour! Since I had been to Dublin before, I didn't feel the need to go crazy trying to fit in all the tourist attractions. I had managed to see a lot of those things the last time, so this time was more about being with my friend for the holidays and enjoying a much needed respite from Paris. I think the thing that stuck out to me the most was how colorful people had made the city, despite the gray stone buildings and the even grayer sky.






Christmas Day was very chill and casual for us. We spent most of the day hanging out at Kasey's apartment, where I put a lovely virtual Christmas scene on my iPad, complete with twinkling tree and crackling fire. One of Kasey's friends joined us and we ate food, drank gin and tonics, and had good conversation over knitting (as we do). In the evening, we went into the city for Chinese food and a very holiday-themed photoshoot in the street that very nicely featured my ugly Christmas sweater. It was probably the least traditional Christmas I've ever had, but it was exactly what I think we all needed, being away from home and family for the holidays.



New Year's Eve was also particularly calm, as Kasey and I headed to a local pub and rang in the New Year with some whiskey and good wishes for the year to come. New Years Day, the entire city was practically deserted, and we walked the entire city just looking for food. We finally found a fish and chips joint that was open and that was our first real meal of 2019!


The other big highlight of my time in Ireland was our road trip out to the Rock of Cashel. We took a whole day, braved the wrong side of the road, and made the trip out to the beautiful, gigantic, slightly eerie castle. The fog that settled over the Irish hills and clouded the tiny town surrounding the area made it feel like there just might have been spirits among us. What was left of the place was mighty, intimidating, and gave the impression of strength, despite the crumbling walls. The graves outside the main structure were stoic, but the sheep in the background made it serene, and there was a deteriorating abbey off in the distance that we managed to explore. We even got to tour the chapel, with its better-preserved frescoes, and learned quite a bit about the whole thing. Did you know that in medieval times, when structures like this were built, the faces of the wealthy who paid for them were literally built into the walls? I would be lying if I said it wasn't creepy to see all these eroding faces staring down at us as we walked through. All in all, though, a great experience that I'm so glad we decided to take the day to do!














You know, I'm not so upset I waited this long to post this. It's been really great going back and remembering the trip, and looking back through my photos, I'm so happy with how they turned out and how they represent what I saw while I was there. I hope you enjoyed them, as well! Have you visited Ireland? What was your favorite part?

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