DISCLAIMER: This blog post is going to be much shorter than usual because of the large sum of work I need to get done today. There are also not as many pictures because we did so much and didn’t take the time to stop for photographs.
From Monday- Wednesday I didn’t do much apart from schoolwork and class besides playing guitar and going into the city to read a book or just take a walk. I wanted to get as much done as possible before my girlfriend came to visit this weekend, so I could be stress-free and enjoy every minute of my time with her.
On Thursday, my lovely girlfriend Bailey flew in from Italy (where she too is studying abroad) to spend the weekend seeing Dublin and what living here is like. Despite the fact that she was only here for a few days, I think she got a good picture of the city… although I really wished she could have seen more of greater, rural Ireland and all of its natural beauty.
Thursday night, after she settled in to her Air bnb, we went to the Church for dinner and ate some delicious food in the restaurant’s awesome atmospheric gallery, looking down at the whole place from where we were sitting. After that we stopped in Merchant’s Arch for a pint so she could experience the madness that is Temple Bar. There we heard some modern and traditional Irish music while she tried her first true Guinness (because it’s only true if you drink it here).
Friday we took a bus to Howth so she could see some of the more scenic, natural side of Ireland that I love so much. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t too exceptional, so we didn’t spend too much time walking around the cliffs… still, I was glad she got to see it.
That evening we got dinner and drinks at Pygmalion, a tapas bar and awesome place to have a few drinks after restaurant hours. It was my first time there, and I was glad we decided to check it out. The food was awesome and inexpensive, and the DJ was spinning 90s and early 2000s hip hop, which we both enjoy grooving to, so we hung out there to listen and catch up before meeting a few friends and heading to a pub. From there, we grabbed a drink at the Stag’s Head and got a nice table spot for a drink and some more live music before heading back in the direction of where she was staying. On the way back we stopped in Cassidy’s, a super lively pub close by the College for the final pint of the night as they were getting ready to close.
^^Blurry photo from the Stag’s Head, it was too packed in there to get a decent picture.
On Saturday I wanted to give Bailey a good walking tour of Dublin, and we saw quite a bit considering we had walked over 13 miles by the end of the day. We walked through Stephen’s Green, Grafton/Henry/George’s Street, Trinity College, the Temple Bar galleries, and the heart of the city center at O’Connell Street. We also spent some time in the Wax Museum and National Museum of Ireland for a taste of the Dublin museum experience.
For lunch we tried a place at the recommendation of Bailey’s Air bnb host, and I was so glad we did. Known for excellent falafel and hummus, Umi Falafel on Dame Street is cheap, healthy and delicious, a combination that satisfies my every need in a lunch spot. I’ll be eating there again.
Not only did we see the sights themselves, we also saw the characteristics that really make Dublin unique; crazy birds in Stephen’s Green, buskers on Grafton, and the friendly, quirky and witty nature of the people here. We also saw the most adorable puppy in Temple Bar that we almost considered stealing because the little guy was leashed up in the cold.
That night we set out to try an Asian street food spot close to the college but because it was so packed, we made the decision to keep walking and find a pub for dinner since she hadn’t actually tried Irish pub food all weekend. After seeing that practically everywhere was crowded we finally got a table at the Hairy Lemon, a pub that has some awesome character and energy. We had (yet again) good food and Guinness, along with belly laughs with our waiter who was great craic. Because of all the walking we did, and the fact that Bailey was flying out at 6:40 Sunday morning, we called it a fairly early night after dinner.
It was so great to see her after being apart for two months, and I’m extremely grateful that she got a picture of what my study abroad experience has been like. While I already miss her, we’ll be reunited again in about two weeks when we meet in Amsterdam for my birthday before spending the remaining assignment week in Italy, where she’s studying. I can’t wait to see what her experience is like there and I know that while it’s very different, it’s also an amazing time.