Day two…or is it three? Ireland is green, friendly, loud, drunk! I survived my flights here with the help of the hilarious couple next to me, Emma and Artur. They looked about 14 years old, maybe 20, and had met for a month, decided to marry. They met in Ohio, where she is from, and he was taking her to Ireland to meet his people. We toasted to flying in row 25 and she let me hold her hand when we began our descent, so I know we will be friends for life.
I landed about 9am Ireland, so about 1am California time. When we touched down, I realized that I should have done a wee bit more research, as I had no idea how I was getting to my hostel. I wandered about for a bit, texting loved ones via wifi on Viber (great international texting app, questionable name) before taking the friendliest taxi ride of my life. He apologized for the fare and got quite fatherly on me when I told him I was traveling alone. I was warned about the Roman gypsies (which we saw, and they looked just like on the tv show!) and the pick pockets, and watch out for the charming Irish lads buying you drinks, and isn’t your boyfriend worried? We Irish men are really charming!
I’m staying at Paddy’s Palace, ‘on tee Nort end’ as cabbie said. New experience with international keyboards – no quotation marks in Ireland! I couldn’t check in yet when I arrived, so I headed to O’Sheas pub, ordered a sammie and a Smithwick’s, decided English mustard is superior to American, and tried to count how many hours I’d slept in the last 24. Numbers are hard. All the thinking required a nap.
The bathrooms are a step up from the Central/South American hostels I’m used to, but my dormmates were steps down. The boys woke me up in the middle of the night regaling each other with their lap dance stories, the girl woke me up at 5am to noisily catch her flight.
I didn’t know what to do by myself…it seems surreal to me still…I am traveling in Ireland by myself. It is really different than with friends. I wandered the streets for a few hours, but got a little lonely, so I went back to the hostel. I sat down in the lounge to try and read more about Dublin, since I realized I knew nothing. I sneezed and a blonde said ‘bless you,’ so I asked her if she spoke English and was alone, and would she like to head to a pub?
Sarah is just a baby, 18 ‘but 19 soon!’ from Canada, who is traveling alone for the next few months through Europe. She finally admitted there may be a boy in Cork that this trip is about. We walked over the river Liffey, saw the locks on Lover’s Bridge, Christ Church, and then heard an acoustic cover of Rihanna in a male Irish tone and headed to Farrington’s for a few beers (Barefoot Bohemian is a yes!). Seems like most men here play guitar (seen ‘Once’ a few times, I guess) and are very happy to serenade you for a pint of Guinness. We ended the night dancing with some other Canadians in the Temple Bar district, a different bard singing ‘Wagon Wheel’ for ‘all you bloody Americans who keep requesting it.’
Having lots of fun so far but very jet-lagged still. Very concerned that I will be hit by a car, because despite the generous signage, I cannot get the different directions down. Not sure if I’ll be up for the pub crawl tonight here in Galway…day one of our tour was a bit exhausting with all the bus riding and record breaking heat. But apparently Galway is THE party city. I can’t imagine it topping Dublin…my tour bus people are friendly enough…traveling alone is a good challenge for me.
At the very least, I need a shower!
- And I Lost my Heart to a Galway Girl (hottytoddyeurotrip.wordpress.com)
- Sláinte to the drinks of Ireland!! (gaelicgirlprogram.wordpress.com)
- Study Abroad, Guinness, Sunshine (elsmiller.wordpress.com)
- Our Week in Ireland – Sláinte! (porterstakeduesseldorf.wordpress.com)
- Gaelic Girls Riley and Becca’s views of Ireland (gaelicgirlprogram.wordpress.com)
- How Time Flies When One is Having Fun (mbmcnamee.wordpress.com)
- We are ourselves the most persistent purveyors of the image of the drinking Irish (irishtimes.com)
August 7, 2013 at 4:03 am
These three countries are especially great places for your first time solo since everyone speaks English. I also found them to be very friendly to the solo traveler. For example, a few hotels around the Russel Square area in London have rooms for 66 euros a night including breakfast which isn’t that bad considering the location and city that you are in. And, of course, there are always even cheaper hostels. London also has a great tube system that can get you anywhere in the city quite quickly and can cheaply take you to the airports as well.