Saturday, January 16, 2010

My feet are ready to break up with me

Today was a touristy day. A few of us donned our sneakers, backpacks and camera bags and decided to walk the 3-ish miles from our campus in Glasnevin to the center of Dublin. There are busses that run through this route, but we wanted to explore and save the 1.60 Euros it costs for a one way ride. Glasnevin is very much a suburb, but it's charming.

Armed with useless directions, since the Irish seem to be morally opposed to street signs, I pretty successfully navigated us to our destination, though it was definitely a group effort. The walk took longer than expected because we made several welcome detours, like stopping to test our our self-timer modes on our cameras.

We happened upon the National Botanical Gardens, a park open free for the public. Talk about green, the entire place was filled with all different kinds of plants and trees. It even just smelled green.

After much walking, we were all in need of an energy boost, so we popped in a little bakery for some cupcakes. I could not manage to snap a picture before I literally inhaled the thing, it was delicious. It was the most dense cake I have ever eaten, but it was beyond yummy, and the icing was so wonderfully sweet. Then we found another park, home to an intimate relationship between a bench and a tree.

By the time we got into the city, the sun had set and we didn't get to walk around as much as we intended, though we were proud of our expedition through the suburbs. I got a few nice pictures.

These are of the River Liffey:

This is the Bank of Ireland. The sky was so blue.

One of the girls in my group, Tara, had been to Dublin before and knew of Avoca, a Urban Outfitters/Anthropologie type store, with slightly overpriced knick-knacks and clothes. I found this adorable tea pot that I thought Eileen would love.

We took the bus back and Colleen and I cooked, or attempted to cook, a good dinner. The breaded chicken breasts with cheese ended up tasting fine, but the process was less than simple. We found bread crumbs and beat them into the chicken, then put the chicken on the stove. The problem arose when the bread crumbs started burning before the chicken had cooked through, so we decided to microwave the chicken instead, adding slices of Irish cheese on top. Considering our sub par methods, dinner ended up tasting pretty good, but we'll have to work out the kinks for next time.

Then tonight, we went out to the Temple Bar area and pub-hopped a bit. One had a live band that played song mashups like "Twist and Shout" with "La Bamba." The second pub had a live band that played some "Dancing in the Dark." None of them seem to play Irish songs, but an entire pub singing along to the American ones is really fun.

Tomorrow, a few of us are heading to the coast, so there will be plenty of pictures coming soon!

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