We left Thursday night for a ten day long spring break in Dublin, Galway and Paris with our friends Katie and Kristin. Arriving in Dublin we were incredibly happy to experience the lack of language barrier and we soaked in the friendly Irish people with their cool accents as they willingly helped us navigate to our hostel.
Our first full day in Dublin, we went on a fabulous day long hike through Wicklow national park. It was a less known tour with a small and intimate setting of 8 people and a very knowledgeable and amiable tour guide. We hiked beside the still and glassy ponds of Wicklow, where the mountains reflect so clearly into the lakes like a mirror. We hiked a path through old mining ruins and stopped for a sack lunch and watched as distant groups of mountain goats butted heads. The hike was filled with pretty tough terrain, but we just had a blast foraging our way through it! To finish a wonderful hike, they gave us Irish tea and chocolate- yum.
At night we enjoyed all of the live Irish music that echoed into the streets from nearly every pub. Stopping in at the pub that P.S. I love you was filmed in and enjoying some authentic Irish food, aka bangers and mash, we then headed to the famous “Temple Bar” in Dublin. We enjoyed the scene and atmosphere of the entire pub singing along with the band. It was a cheery top o’ the night to us. (what?)
Day two was the Guinness factory tour, which was fascinating. After taking the tour and sampling Guinness’ secret recipe, we instantly gained greater appreciation for beer. After that we walked around the city, stopping in enormous and ornate churches like Christ’s church, St. Patrick’s, St. Augustine’s and even saw St. Valentine’s bones!
Galway- our next adventure. Traveling by bus we arrived and met our hostelmates – girls from New York and Jersey. Hello accents. Then we got kicked out of a pub. For not drinking which may be the first time in history that this has ever happened. But things turned around as we traveled to the beautiful Cliffs of Moher the next day. We were left speechless and awe inspired by these beautiful cliffs. As we laid on our stomachs and peered over the edge we were taken back by the immense drop and beauty of it all. The Galway night life did not disappoint as we enjoyed the beer and live music again. We sang this song the entire time we were in Ireland:
Back in Dublin we said bye to our friends with every intention of meeting back up with them in Paris. (more on that later…) We decided to spend our last day in Ireland in St. Stephens park as well as people watching for hours in a coffee shop. Picturesque.
We are cheap people, trying to find the best deals, cheapest flights etc. Welp, 8 Euro plane ticket to Paris sounds nice and 10 Euro a night hotel rooms sounds like the cherry on top. Turns out they were in opposite middle-of-nowheres. Congratulations Jana and Adrienne for good planning. So… long story short we landed at 10 p.m. and didn’t find our hotel until 5. In the morning. After several long waits for buses that didn’t take us to the right places and metros that had shut down for the night and broken bags we had experienced our first travel flaws. But ALAS the trip turned around!
Our first day we scaled the Eiffel tower like stair climbing monkeys and picked up some cereal for dinner. We didn’t eat well in Paris. Not important.
So, remember how we said we were supposed to meet up with our friends in Paris? Well, the prolonged route to get to our hotel and the closing of an essential train prevented us from being at the Eiffel Tower at noon on Wednesday. We never saw any of our friends. Yet, through this difficult reality we happily sang this song and took on the city:
The rest of the trip we soaked in the FREE museums thanks to our 6 month Visas. We saw the famous original works of Picasso, Monet, Van Gogh, and Da Vinci along with the HUGE palace of Versailles. We enjoyed the beauty of Notre Dame and the Sacre Coeur. We were stair climbing monkeys again as we ascended the arc de triomphe and watched the Eiffel tower glisten in its five minute long night light show. We stopped along the way for multiple nutella crepes and realized that there is a limit to how much nutella one can consume without feeling sick, and that we reached that limit. We walked by Moulin Rouge and the plaza around it that was filled with local painters and artists.
We successfully beat the strict regulations of Ryanair and lived out of one small bag each for ten days. Smelly, tired and yet extremely fulfilled we are happy to be back at home- in Rome.