First Days in Dublin

I arrived in Dublin, Ireland for my study abroad experience last Sunday. Seeing all the airlines and their tail wings made me excited that I was finally here; the possibility of travel is such an adrenaline booster.  After getting off the plane and going through immigration, I went to search for my bags.  Fortunately, I saw both of them going around the carousel.

It was still dark when I got outside.  Luckily, a whole line of taxis were waiting. As the friendly cab driver drove me to my new apartment, I noticed something unexpected: there are palm trees in people’s front yards! Who would have known that palm trees are popular in Ireland?

After the 30 minute drive, we arrived in the heart of Dublin.  Being Sunday, very few people were out on the streets.  As we drove along the Liffey, the river running through Dublin, it almost didn't seem real.

After I got settled into my apartment, I went out to find somewhere to get food.  The Head Resident showed me around, and we walked everywhere! The one thing I noticed and love about Dublin is the fast walking pace people have here. This comes in handy, as the walk to the Academic Centre is a good distance from the apartments. Walking around Dublin, I also noticed that tons of streets are dedicated to shopping. I had to refrain myself from splurging on clothes and cute boots so I can afford to travel to other places in Europe.

This week, I headed down the road to visit The Brazen Head, the oldest pub in Ireland. It has been around since 1198! I entered through a stone archway, and was greeted with a patio filled with bar tables and locals drinking and laughing. The first room is filled with old woodwork and paper bills from all over the world, along with little tables and a bar.  In the next room, a live band plays traditional Irish music every night as the locals sing along.

I also visited the Guinness Storehouse. After walking through the marble gates, I was instantly teleported back to the 18th century when Guinness was started.  I walked around the cobblestoned streets of the factory until I came across the museum section and the souvenir store.  Larger projections of Guinness beer surging and settling made it feel as if I was in a pint.  When the tour began, a guide explained that the storehouse is designed to look like a pint and is the largest in the world. It can hold 14.3 million pints of Guinness! At the base of the factory is the lease signed by Arthur Guinness himself. The lease is for 9,000 years, so have no fear if you’re not planning on visiting soon.

I honestly thought we'd be in a factory and then getting a free drink, but as soon as I got there, I realized that I was wrong. I learned so much about their advertising, and how there is far more involved to get that famous taste than I imagined. At the end of the tour, we were invited to head up to the Gravity bar the top of the pint, where we all got a free pint of Guinness and enjoyed a beautiful view of Dublin in this 360-degree lounge. 

This was a great way to kick off the semester in Ireland.  Until next time!