Saturday, January 7, 2012

An Irish New Year

So, instead of spending another New Years Eve at a friend's house or apartment, a few American friends and I decided it was time for something different. That being said, we decided to spend this New Years Eve in Dublin, Ireland, and it has been one of the best New Years' yet!

Temple Bar Area
All of us were coming from different places, as my other three friends were traveling, so we all came separately and met up in Dublin. In order to save money, as the price for a flight home on New Years Day was simply outrageous, I opted to take the train and ferry to and from Dublin, which took about 16 hours each way. Unfortunately the actual time it took to travel to Ireland was six hours, so I spent the other 10 hours waiting around at train stations in between trains and ferries. It was not fun, but I made it through.

The Spire

Dublin is a small, but really awesome city. The first night there my friends and I went out to a traditional Irish pub in an area called Temple Bar which, to my surprise, was actually quite different from English pubs: the crowd was a lot older and there was live Irish music performed there and in most other pubs around. I felt like I was in the film P.S. I Love You. On New Years Eve day we walked around to all the sites: we saw the lovely Trinity College, Christ Church, the Dublin Castle, the Molly Malone statue (as my Grandpa suggested), the Spire, the tallest monument in Dublin, and paid a visit to St. Stephen's Green, which is equivalent to Central Park in New York City. I was surprised at how tiny the Castle was, but I may have thought this because the only free area of the Castle we could see was a small church located inside. I was also surprised at how small Christ Church was in comparison to all of the famous churches in London, as they were a lot larger and more extravagant. Though I enjoyed seeing all of the sites,  I am not going to lie, my favorite part of the day was visiting a milkshake bar named Shakes. It had a vast amount of topping options, including, but not limited to, Nutella, Kinder Bueno Bars, and Digestive Cookies. If there was a place on Earth that could be Heaven, this would be it!

View from the Guinness Factory
That night, in order to ring in the New Year right, we went to an outdoor concert in the center of town that was only 10 euro, followed by going to an Irish pub. It was a lot of fun and I am glad I spent my New Year this way. The next day all but one of my friends left and we spent the day wandering the city and at the Guinness Factory. The Guinness Factory, in my opinion, was a lot more interesting and aesthetically pleasing than the Carlsberg Factory in Copenhagen: it was larger, more modern, and had more interesting displays. Just like at the Carlsberg Factory, my friend and I got a free pint and got to sip on it inside their bar which was on the top floor, giving us a beautiful view of the city. That night I left Dublin and made my long journey back to Norwich.

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