My train, ferry and bus to Ireland wasn’t easy. I had just said goodbye to a place I’ve fallen mad for and left behind a few great friends; I felt absolutely rotten. My breakfast wouldn’t stay down and my tears weren’t holding back while I took in Tottenham Court Road for the last time (I was on my way to buy Cadbury chocolate at 7am). I also became “that girl” with two suitcases. Those cobblestone streets don’t get along with rollers too well either. I had it in my head that if I couldn’t be in London, then I might as well be in Austin, not freezing in some bus queue while it pours on me. But it always gets better.
I took a free walking tour in the morning, realized Galway is itty bitty and met my bestie Rachel in the afternoon for tea and cake! It’s always better with good company. Kaleo arrived in the evening and we all went out for fish and chips at McDonagh’s, the cod was a wee bit disappointing for me. I had my first (and my second) pint of Guinness this same evening. I had been holding out to have this stout first in Ireland. Although, now I’ve been told no pint of Guinness will compare in the US so I guess I better enjoy it while I can…
We did a day trip to the Cliffs of Moher and Burren on Sunday in one of those obnoxious tour guide coaches. We stopped at castles, an Abbey, Doolin, saw a car flip over, climbed the Cliffs of Moher, made Mr. Zacchea nervous with our daring peeks over the edge, and saw some unimpressive limestone wedges. Our guide’s tendency to say “relatively shortly” every fifteen seconds got to my head, but really it was a good way to see some of Ireland. The cliffs were my favourite for reasons the photographs can begin to explain.
So I had a few more pints of Guinness, found plastic wrap in a fancy gourmet salad (free dessert!), laid awake as a hostelmate vomited alcohol for far too many nonrefundable minutes, and went for a walk along the coast before heading to Dublin via bus with Kaleo.
I was a mess my first day in Dublin. I had nothing together, I didn’t want to say goodbye to Kaleo and I had inexplicable nerves, but a few pints of Guinness sorted things out. I visited the Trinity College Library and saw the Book of Kells on Tuesday. The library is the one you see on Pinterest that makes you drool and it does just the same in person. And in continuing with activities that increase my knowledge, I took a tour of the Guinness Brewery because you can never know too much about beer. The bartender poured a winking face into my pint, so naturally this 7-9 day old Guinness was the best I’ll have. I spent my last afternoon relaxing with Rachel and Mr. Zacchea, ate a lovely Italian meal (Rachel said we are still closer to Italy so we might as well) and had another pint surrounded by traditional Irish music at The Storehouse. The pub scene has easily become one of my favourite places and Ireland didn’t disappoint.
I’ve seen Rachel four times in three months in four countries. That’s more than I’ve seen her in five collective years so my heart is happy. It’s never a goodbye with this one.
And now, this is when I have to go home.