Laundry day: When I got to the laundry room, there was a line of people waiting to use laundry facilities. It’s funny that this huge hostel that easily houses 150+ people only has two washers and two driers. I learned that these two washer and two driers were for hostel use as well. This meant that the line was going to last awhile.
Instead of washing clothes, I ran upstairs, got my iPad, and sat in the laundry line all morning. The WiFi was decent today, so I could stream some uplifting talks from the internet.
I found an Italian restaurant for dinner, then I found myself at a dance club playing bingo and dancing. Quit judging me- this was, after all, my very last day in Dublin. I wanted to have this experience while I was here. It was a fun evening, for sure. One dude actually won €1400 from bingo. I wish that had been me. Today rocks!
Earlier when I was walking around Dublin, looking for lunch, I happened to find a karaoke bar. I decided that I was going to go back tonight and see if I could get in on that action. When I got there, there were a few people there, but not a whole lot. At first I wondered why- it’s Saturday night, after all.
Then I noticed that there was a €30 entry fee! WHAT THE HELL?! So you have to pay to go sing karaoke or just to hear karaoke? This is outrageous! And that €30 is to listen to amateur singers as well! I’m pretty sure this particular karaoke joint isn’t going to be around very long unless they fix that. I don’t see myself ever paying that much. I can put on a whole concert by myself, for myself, in the shower.
I just finished breakfast and guess who sat next to me? Creepy French guy… see yesterday’s post, if you don’t know what I’m talking about. Today I tried to be more kind and understanding. I did more than the one-word answers and he, once again, mumbled while he ate, and asked me if I knew ‘the number for French’. I still don’t know the number for French. His nose was clean today.
I thought I would show you some picture of the hostel. As you may know, I love it when I stay places that are old and/or quirky. As long as the place is kept up, and this place is. As I explored, I realized that there are a bunch of areas that they don’t even use… like a hidden common room, etc. It was fun to explore a little bit.
It’s good to be back in Dublin. This is the second-to-last place on my journey, sadly. Since there is plenty to do in the city, I will be spending most of the rest of my trip here. Maybe some day trips out of the city, but we’ll have to see about that. All I know is that I’d like to learn so much about Dublin while I’m here.
This time I’m staying at Kinlay House, which is a hostel that is just west of the Temple Bar area. It seems to be older than the last Dublin hostel I stayed in, but it’s actually a lot cleaner and nicer. It’s a lot bigger too, and there are people everywhere. As long as the bedroom is quiet tonight, I have no complaints. So far, I’ve met one of my roommates whose name is Gaston. He is from Argentina, currently living in Spain, but is in Ireland studying English. He seems to be very nice.
This evening I saw The Cured at the cinema. Great twist on your classic zombie apocalypse film. I recommend seeing it, but probably won’t buy it when it comes out.
Tonight I had dinner at a Japanese restaurant. When I sat down they told me I had 30 minutes to eat and be gone, since the only table available was one that they needed for a couple who called and reserved it. My meal was some seafood ramen. It was really good, but from a late lunch of junk food on the train from Sligo, I didn’t really have a big appetite.
Today was an indoor day, for the most part. I got a late start because of the rains, and I even got a massage! It was amazing! I spent most of the day reading, and went to see the new Avengers movie in the afternoon. Sort of disappointed in this movie… luckily there is going to be a part two either next year or the following year… hopefully that will make up for the reasons I didn’t care for it (see how I’m trying to not give anything away for those who want to see it still? I’m careful like that.
There an extremely weird French guy at the hostel. He’s in his 50s or 60s. He sat down net to me during breakfast and I said hello. He looked at my iPhone in my hand and asked me, “Do you know the number to French?” In my mind, I think he meant do I know the international cold for France, but I really didn’t want to have a whole conversation with him. I told him I didn’t, because I’m as from the states.
All through breakfast he kept chatting with me, but the way he was slurping his breakfast cereal milk was really grossing me out. He would do this odd mumble while he ate… like a sound of trying to start a car, only quieter. He was ask me something and I would give him a one-word answer, hoping he would take the hint. This sounds horrible and I need to be a better person to those in need. But when we did finally make eye contact, he had snot dripping down his nose.
This morning I met a girl named Shannon. I believe she told me she was from Michigan. I could be wrong about that, however. Over breakfast, she told me all about bullet journaling. This is kind of a easy way to record your goals, and daily events. I really can’t explain it, but I think I want to learn more about it and figure out whether or not it’s for me. I think that it could help me in organizing my thoughts.
Today turned out to be incredible! I decided to book a day trip with a company called Wild Rover (http://www.wildrovertours.com). We left Dublin at 08:10 for the first leg. This was a 63 mile ride down to the medieval city of Kilkenny. There were some buildings and parts of the town that have been preserved since the early 1300’s! It was so cool!
Kilkenny is where Alice Kyteler was born in the year 1263. Kyteler was the very first Irish woman who was ever accused of witchcraft. Lucky for her, she fled to England in 1324 before they could burn her to death on a stake. This was all happened because her own kids accused her of using poison and witchcraft to kill her first three husbands (she was married four times).
Next, I walked to the far end of this small city, to St. Canice’s Cathedral and Round Tower. The tower was fun to climb, as the steep steps were almost like climbing ladders. The view from the top was the perfect 360 degree view of Kilkenny and the surrounding area.
Afterward it was amazing to walk around the cathedral, because there were so many graves! If this is our first meeting, you need to know that I love graveyards. They fascinate the hell out me!
The second leg of this tour was through the Wicklow Mountains to Glendalough. When we arrived, we all hiked through the most beautiful valley to the upper lake. On my journey, I recorded some live video on Periscope, but it would take me way too much time to upload it onto this blog (the last video took way too long, and it was only a five minute recording! This recording was over 15 minutes!).
This is one of those parts of Ireland that is so beautiful! I probably saw 37 shades of green! Perhaps I’ll return to this valley at a future date. It was very touristy, but that understandable because of the views!
The third and final leg of the journey was to visit Richard Cullen, an Irish sheep farmer and watch him herd sheep with his border collies, Bruce and Jerry. This was really cool to watch! I’ve seen this on TV before, these dogs are so well trained and disciplined! After watching this, Richard brought us all over to the shed where the newborn lambs were kept. They brought four of them out and let us all cuddle and play with them. The twins were literally born yesterday! They were so cute!
As you can see, today was perfect! The travel has wiped me out, and I’m going to sleep well tonight! Tomorrow I’m off to my next destination.
Dublin is such a great city! After breakfast, I just went out and explored. I didn’t want to pull out a map or any directions, so I just left the hostel and wandered in the city. I walked through the temple bar area, but just kept walking. I love doing this- I always try to get lost. Then when I do, I’ll usually just pull up the directions on my phone to get found. That’s what I did this morning.
When I was searching for dinner, I walked into a restaurant and found some guys playing traditional Irish folk music. I stopped and recorded one of their songs on Periscope. They did such a great job!
(I will upload my Periscope video when I have a better internet connection.)
After the performance, I found a great restaurant for dinner. The one with the players was so full and they didn’t have any tables available. I had some lamb shanks… at least I think that’s what I was eating. At any rate, I know there was some part of a dead, cooked lamb on my plate. It was very good!
Now it’s time for an unexpected turn. Back in October, I was perusing the internet, looking for a cheap ticket home (I’d already found a smoking’ deal on my one-way flight to Scotland). When I found a great deal, I quickly grabbed my credit card since I thought the deal wouldn’t be going on for long (it was THAT good!). It wasn’t until I received the confirmation email that I realized that I’d accidentally purchased the ticket from Belfast… yes- Belfast is in Ireland. No biggy- I just booked a flight from THE WRONG COUNTRY!
As luck would have it, I hadn’t yet booked the last part of my accommodations, so I decided that I’d spend the last part of this trip in Ireland. It’s been 11 years since I was last in Ireland, so it’s about time! Welcome to this next chapter of my journey. I am going to call it “Ireland 2”.
I managed to get a relatively cheap flight from Edinburgh got Dublin on Ryan Air. I can’t’ remember exactly how much it cost me, but I do remember it was a good deal. On future trips, I’m going to keep a better accounting of how much everything costs, that way I’ll know exactly if someone asks me.
Dublin is a great city! Since it’s been so many years since I was last here, it’s almost like I’m here for the first time. This is great because I plan on going out tomorrow and being a total tourist. It’s been raining today, and I had to go buy another umbrella because my last one was left at the flat in Edinburgh.
So far, I’ve had a chat one kid who is from Indiana. He is traveling internationally for the very first time, and he’s by himself. I think he’s a little bit overwhelmed because he’s decided to do the U.K., and parts of Western Europe as well. I told him to just relax and try to take one day at a time. I also told him he needs to start keeping a blog or at least record his experiences in a journal of some kind.
When I first got here, I was so hungry! The desk clerk told me that I needed to go eat at O’Neill’s Pub & Kitchen. This restaurant was a buffet style of service, but it wasn’t really a buffet at all. You walked to the line, and you could see all the food in front of you, and you just ordered. I had some shepherd’s pie and it was absolutely amazing!
Tonight I walked over to Temple Bar, which is not only a bar, but it’s a section of Dublin. I will admit that it’s a very tourist-packed area, especially if you like to drink. I don’t, but what I do love is the brick streets, and the lights at night, and the crowds that gather. People-watching is a whole different ballgame when the people you’re watching have had some alcohol.
Since I didn’t have any dinner (was still fine from O’Neill’s Pub & Kitchen), I thought the healthiest option would be to have a milkshake made with Kinder candy bars.