The final days: Ireland

After a final day of exploring Nice and a night on the beach with a friend, I left Nice for the last time on a flight to Dublin Ireland.

Arriving around noon on Thursday, the first thing I did after getting my suitcase was find the bus to get into the city.  If you’re flying into Dublin airport, take the 747 bus line from the airport.  It’s 6 euros one way (or 10 for round-trip) and takes you into the city center.  The bus ride conveniently dropped me off a block or two from where I was staying, Isaac’s Hostel.

Y’all, if you ever need a cheap place to stay, STAY AT ISAAC’S HOSTEL!  The staff is friendly, they have secure luggage storage for only 2 euros per day, and they have free breakfast and a sauna!

After checking in and storing my things, i quickly googled some free things to see in Dublin, since I only had one day in the city itself to see things.  After finding lunch at a small café I decided to see Trinity College and Phoenix Park.

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The walk to Trinity was about a ten minute walk from the hostel.  I didn’t have any real goals while getting there, so I explored the campus a bit.

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They offer walking tours of the campus for a relatively cheap price, which takes you around the campus and to see the Book of Kells.  I didn’t do it, since I was feeling cheap and didn’t want to spend any money, but according to the man I talked to the tour is essentially the same price as the entrance fee to see the book alone so it’s worth it.

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After around two hours of exploring the campus and some academic buildings I walked along the River Liffey for about an hour and a half to Phoenix Park, with a quick stop in a gorgeous cathedral on the way (because I’m a sucker for that gothic architecture).

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The park is pretty huge, and though I didn’t see any there are apparently deer that roam around.  I did, however, get to pet an adorable golden retriever and had a great photoshoot with a persnickety mute swan who was trying to bite at someone’s shoes!

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I made my way back after a few more hours of roaming, stopping at a small Italian restaurant for a pizza, a glass of wine, and some time to journal.  Afterwards, because my friends kept telling me I had to, I headed over to a nearby gay bar that I found after a quick google search for a Guinness.  Despite my hesitations and general dislike of beer, I actually liked it!

The next day was my trip to the Cliffs of Moher!  I made a reservation through Wild Rover Tours after my friend recommended them to me.

The bus was around a ten minute walk from my hostel and left at 7:00, so I made sure to leave around 6:30 to give myself plenty of time.

The drive is around three hours to the cliffs, with a stop around an hour and a half in for a bathroom/coffee and tea pit-stop.  After that stop it was non-stop to the cliffs!

Before I talk about them though, let me talk about the Irish countryside.  A few days before my trip, my friend told me that Ireland is called the Emerald Isle, and now I know why.  I have never seen countrysides that green!  It was absolutely unreal.

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The stone walls that are characteristic of the Irish countryside were actually used to indicate property lines.

As we got closer to the cliffs, our tour guide had a moment of honesty with us.  He said something along the lines of “I have no idea if we’ll actually see the cliffs today or not since there’s no way to see how foggy it is until we get there,” so you can imagine how nervous I got that we would get there and see nothing but a wall of grey.

However, those worries quickly washed away upon driving up to the cliffs!  Upon arrival we all immediately began exploring with only two hours to see the area, and although that sounds like more than enough time, I could have used another few hours!

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The photos don’t show it but there are hundreds of seabirds and puffins that nest on the cliffs, so when you’re there you can see them flying around, which gives the enormous size of the cliffs some perspective.

I even got some pictures of some flowers and a really cute dog that was there!

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After two hours of exploration we went back to the bus for a quick ride to an area of the Atlantic coast that, apparently, used to be at the bottom of the ocean millions of years ago but is now at the surface due to volcanic activity!

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We finished the tour with a few hours spent in Galway City, a town on the west coast full of interesting history.

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After Galway we rode the bus the few hours back to Dublin, where I prepared my things to leave the next morning to begin my final weekend in Paris.

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