Ireland

Dublin (Part I)

3 - 4 y 6 de marzo

 

This past weekend, I trekked north to the land of the Irish. I met up with 3 friends from Tufts: Natanya, Michael, and Parissa. Coincidentally, several of my friends from my program here in Barcelona were also on my flight and we were all in the same couple of rows! (Thank you, RyanAir!) We flew out Thursday night because we knew we had a lot of ground to cover.

First Stop: Dublin

Friday morning, we hit the ground running. Parissa and I stopped by the Guinness Storehouse where we learned how Guinness beer is made. At the end of our tour, we attended "Guinness Academy" where we practiced pouring our own pint – and we received certificates to prove it! We brought our pints to the top floor of the Storehouse – the Gravity Bar – where we had a 360 degree view of the city. Although a rainy and pretty dull day, it was an awesome view!

After the Guinness tour, Parissa and I headed to the highly recommended Queen of Tarts cafe where we picked up some goodies for our 2.5 hour train ride to Galway. With sandwich, winter tart, pie, and fruit pastries in tow, we were ready for the next leg of our adventure: Galway.

 

 

Galway

5 - 6 de marzo 

 

If the world ends, I want to be in Galway. Call me a Galway Girl. Galway is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been to in my entire life (second to Block Island, of course – now I understand why people say that Block Island resembles the landscape of Ireland...)

We arrived late Friday afternoon and just as we got off the train, the rain began to let up and the clouds parted to reveal the bluest sky and the greenest grass I've ever seen. Definitely the luck of the Irish. After checking into our hostel, we walked around town. My favorite stop was The Long Walk, a row of colorful homes that sit right where the River Corrib meets Galway Bay. The calm after the rain storm brought us the most beautiful golden hour and as a photographer, I couldn't have been more stoked.

For dinner, Natanya, Michael, Parissa and I headed to the famous Quay Street where we had dinner at The Quay Street Kitchen. Now, I've heard it said many times before that the Irish are not known for their food, but our meal at the Quay Street Kitchen disproved this myth. Not only was the warm and candlelit ambiance perfect, but our dinners were delectable. Parissa and I both had one of the house specials - Rack of Lamb with mashed potatoes (of course) and vegetables. Michael and Natanya had more traditional Irish dishes – beef stew with bread. Couldn't have asked for a more perfect dinner in Galway!

After dinner, we headed out to a couple of pubs because when in Ireland, do as the Irish do. The Irish follow a more similar schedule than the Spanish which meant that we were able to have dinner at a reasonable hour (7pm) and head out around 9pm. We went to several throughout the city – all with live music! – but I have to say that the most memorable was The Crane Bar (Thank you to SammyRee for the rec!!). Small, but incredibly cozy. Live music was upstairs and everybody sat at small candlelit tables and clapped and sang along to the bluegrass music that reverberated off the walls. Coincidentally, I ran into one of my best friend's (Jack) younger sister and dad. So cool to see them in Ireland! Again, luck of the Irish!

The next morning, we headed out on our organized bus tour from Galway to The Burren and Cliffs of Moher. Stop reading this blog post right now and put Cliffs of Moher on your bucket list. One of the most incredible sights you'll ever see in your entire life. Although you may or may not be able to tell in the pictures, it was quite chilly (huge s/o to Parissa for bringing me a scarf!) and windy, we had a fabulous time. The colors and views were absolutely OUT OF THIS WORLD. 

Dublin (Part 2)

After an incredible stay in Galway, we trained back to Dublin for our last day. Upon our arrival on Saturday night, we went to one of the most famous bars in Ireland – The Temple Bar. 

After saying our goodbyes to Michael and Parissa, Natanya and I did what we know best: BRUNCH. We had the most delicious blueberry pancakes and Eggs Benedict with homemade english muffins at Herbstreet which was right on the water – perfect! 

After brunch, we finished our walking tour around Dublin with St. Patrick's Cathedral and Trinity College. 

Although short lived, my time in Ireland couldn't have been better. In fact, I'm trying to convince my parents that our next family vacation should be to Ireland! 

Now back to Barca life before Spring Break....

Only 3 midterms between me and Spring Break! Let the countdown begin until Mama comes! 

Besos y abrazos, 

Kate