Crossing Country; Ending the trip in Dublin

Posted on January 29th, 2014 by

On this, our last morning in Ballyvaughan, my cottage mates and I pack up our suitcases in preparation for our last few days in Ireland. “What a sad day!?” says my roommate, Leah, as both of us are collecting our belongings. “I don’t want to leave!” We eat whatever food is left in the fridge, and climb aboard the bus to go on an adventure with Brian, our tour guide, one last time. It is a bittersweet feeling, I admit. We are sad to be leaving Ireland. The place has been such a beautiful and welcoming temporary home, but we are also excited to see our family and friends in a few days and share with them the many adventures Ireland had in store. We bid farewell to Robert and a cook from the café as they hop on the bus just before we take off for Dublin.

Most of us doze off during a large portion of the 3 hour bus ride, but once we get to Dublin, we wake up for Brian’s insightful tour. He drives us all around the city and points out destinations that are worthwhile to visit. We cross over a bridge, and Brian points out that the body of water below us is the River Liffey. “So, the Irish have a tendency to nick-name certain things like landmarks,” Brian explains. “For instance, when the water in the river is low as a result of the tide, it lets off a sort of smell on hot summer days. Hence, it was dubbed the ‘Sniffy Liffey.’” Brian never fails to fill the bus with laughter. He also drives us through the Phoenix Park, which is Europe’s largest enclosed city park. We pass the Dublin Zoo, and monuments that are scattered about the bright green, well-kept lawns. The president of Ireland and the U.S. ambassador have houses inside the park behind elaborate gates which are sometimes open to the public. Brian circles around most of Dublin to give us a quick view of the city. Dublin is by far the largest city we’ve been to on this trip. Amanda and I are worried we might get lost, and Jessie reassures us. “We are bound to get lost a few times, it’s all part of the adventure!” she says.

Brian drops us off near our hostel and says his final goodbyes. After a group lunch where we received complementary fish and chips and Dublin maps, we stop at the James Joyce museum and then are set free for the evening to explore. With few euros on hand, I am in need of an ATM, so I find the nearest one and enter my debit card. For some unknown reason, the ATM WITHOLDS MY CARD! I try calling the number on the ATM. No answer. I call my dad and tell him what happens, and he calls my bank. There is not much we can do because with the time difference, banks are near closing time, and I will have to wait until tomorrow. In the meantime, one of my roommates and I find comfort in the Supermac’s (Irish version of McDonald’s) down the street for a cheap meal, and treat ourselves to some chocolate from the vending machine before we retire for the night. My other roommates did, however, go out on their first night in Dublin, so I collected some insight from them. They went on a pub crawl that was advertised in the hostel we are staying in. Kailee told Jessie and me that “The pub crawl was fun! We didn’t go to all the bars, but we got some free drinks and mingled with people from the states. We will definitely do it again.”

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Studying the map of Dublin

 

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