Luckily we made it to the gate, got on the flight, and when we landed in Dublin, we headed for the tourist information desk. Our plan had been to take a train up to Belfast and then spend the next two days in Dublin. We had our hostel in Dublin booked, but hadn't found a place in Belfast. The guy at the desk recommended we stay in Dublin all 3 nights and take a day trip up to Belfast since there isn't too much going on up there.
We decided to take his advice, mostly because we were tired and just wanted to relax without having to figure out things. So we hopped on a bus to the city center where our hostel was, hoping that we could get beds for that night as well. Luckily for us, they had room, so we dropped off our stuff, had breakfast, and then headed out on a walking tour.
We always bring our umbrellas with us, but for some reason, Kai and I both forgot our umbrellas when we left, so when it was raining when we landed, I was not looking forward to the walking tour. Thankfully Kai was smart and asked our hostel if they had any umbrellas we could use and they gave us 2 umbrellas to use.
The umbrellas seriously saved us because it was lightly raining when we got in, but by the time we started our tour, it was pouring. (**Random side note: Since my feet had been super cold in Norway when I wore my cognac boots, I decided I would be smart and wear my Uggs in Dublin -- pretty sure the rain soaked through them within about 5 mins and my feet were FREEZING!) We went to the City Hall, Dublin Castle, Trinity College, Christ Church, Temple Bar, and a bunch of other places.
After 3 hours, I was definitely ready to be done, and luckily for me, the best part of the tour was the end when we went to a place called O'Neils. It was cold, rainy, and windy outside, plus, I had been up since 3:30am, not to mention that all the walking had made me HUNGRY! The walking tour group had a deal with the place, so we got a HUGE plate of food for 10 Euro. Kai and I had a beef stew with mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, this cabbage stuff, carrots, and sourdough bread.
By this time it was about 3:30pm, so after we finished our food, we headed back to our hostel, checked ourselves in, and knocked out on our good old bunk beds and didn't wake up til about 5:30pm.
It was still freezing cold and wet outside, but we ventured back out and walked down Grafton street. We walked past a bookstore and stopped in where I got the second book to the Hunger Games series, Catching Fire. Kai had gotten me the first book for my birthday and I LOVED it, but more about that another time. Anyways, for dinner, we ended up hitting up all the American fast food chains -- Kai got Subway for dinner, I got Burger King for dinner, and then we went to McDonalds and got Ice Cream and Fried Apple Pies!
Foot Locker in Dublin (this one is mostly for my brother -- I take pictures in front of all the Foot Lockers we see in the different countries)
The next morning, we had crepes for breakfast, got ready, and then read our books for a while (I finished the second book in a day). It was a nice day, so we went walking around again.
Kai stretching after he killed a racoon and made it into a hat ;)
We were planning on going to the Temple Bar food market, but after leaving the park, we were both really hungry, so we gave in and got sandwiches and this fruit bread from Dunnes (which were really good). Then, when we actually got to the food market, there was a ton of good food, so we ended up sampling again!
Real hot chocolate with fresh cream -- apparently it is made from melting belgian chocolate -- Kai says it is the best hot chocolate he has ever had
We then walked over the bridge and relaxed eating our food, and reading our books -- and of course, while we were sitting, there was a couple sitting next to us who were on their way to being drunk by 5pm! The guy got up and peed about 5 feet from Kai, and then they argued about how he hadn't even given her a hug for the day!
Looking at the Ha'Penny Bridge (I had thought it was pronounced 'Hah-Penny', until the Irish lady corrected me and told me it is actually 'Hay-Penny')
Then we followed the river toward the Kilmainham Gaol. On our walk, we ran into two missionaries who told us that there is a member who works as a tour guide at the jail, so we should ask for her. Unfortunately for us, the map we had was completely out of scale, so we misjudged the distance to the Gaol. By the time we got there, after a LOT of walking, we had just missed the last tour, but, we ran into Rosemary, the lady who the missionaries had told us about, and she gave us free tickets for the next day.
A few sights on the walk to the jail
So we headed back, checked out a few churches, the Guiness factory, and then watched a rugby game -- or actually, Kai watched the rugby game, and I read my book.
By about 9pm, the streets started filling up with people dressed up for Halloween (I know, we were lame this year and didn't get costumes -- Halloween just came up out of nowhere), so we went to check them all out. Most original outfits for this year, in my opinion, were the group of guys dressed up as the Chilean miners who were saved. They were a huge hit and everywhere they went, people wanted to take pictures with them.
Being in Dublin, we also saw crazy drunk people -- the worst was the big guy with a huge gut who was wearing a red spandex outfit (no idea what he was supposed to be). Anyways, his stomache was hanging out completely and he was stumbling through the streets. At first I thought it was an act, but then he started reaching down his pants since apparently the kid needed to vomit and pee really bad. People started noticing and clearing the way for him -- and staring -- when he turned the corner up a small street, we didn't follow, but I can only imagine what happened to him.
Our final day, we were wanting to go to church, but no one knew how we could get there on the bus, so we ended up going to our tour of the jail (we were smart this time and took the bus).
The old side of the jail
The new side of the jail
We also went to the National Gallery (where we saw a painting called 'Omai', which is of a Polynesian boy who was brought to Europe...or something like that), and then stopped at another bookstore to buy me Mockingjay, the last book in the Hunger Games series.
To end our day, we went back to O'Neils and had more delicious food -- the beef stew and seafood chowder -- And Kai watched the 49ers play the Broncos (while I read my book).
Then it was back to the airport where we slept and caught our flight back. After this trip, we decided that we need to take a break with the weekend trips -- both of us are pretty tripped out at this point.
Saddest part of the trip was when we got back to our flat and realized that someone stole Kai's bike -- cut the lock and took it :(