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June 2014

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Mag Mell

"Dodeochadsa" for in ben "a tírib beó áit inna bí bás nó peccad na imorbus. Domelom fleda búana can rithgnom caíncomrac leind cen debaid. Síd mór I taam conid de suidib nonn ainmnighter áes síde."

"Cía a gillai" ol Cond fria mac "acailli" úair ni acca nech in mnaí acht Condla a óenur.

Ro recair in ben. Adgladadar mnaí "n-óic n-alaind soceneoil nad fresci bás na sentaid ro charus Condla Rúad cotgaraim do Maig Mell inid rí Boadag bidsuthain rí cen gol cen mairg inna thír ó gabais flaith. Tair lim a Condlai Rúaid muinbrec cainelderg barrbude fordotá óas gnúis corcorda bid ordan do rígdelbae má chotuméitís ní chrínfa do delb a hoítiu a haldi co bráth brindach."

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Sunday was the day we would check out, hop into rented cars, and visit the Irish countryside.

The alarm went off first for L and J, so that the could get a head start on breakfast and showers, as they were going to rent the cars that were needed for the rest of the day. The rest of us got to 'sleep in' a little bit more, before we had to collect all our belongings, eat breakfast, and check out. Luckily, it was timed reasonably well, and we didn't have to wait outside for too long before the cars arrived. In L's car was S, Y, A, while myself, C, and M rode in J's car. Off we headed to visit Glendalough.

I'm afraid this entry is going to be short, as it was mostly riding around, cracking jokes, and taking in the beautiful sights. It included enlightening the girls as to how very sexual the Blue version of the song 'Too Close' is. We did stop by a pub that may, or may not, have been used in the film P.S. I Love You. I think we decided that it was close enough for us. We ate lunch there, where I finally got some beef and Guinness stew, which was delicious. After lunch we headed for the ruins of the St. Kevin priory there. There we meandered amongst the grave stones for about 45 minutes, before we had to head to the airport.

Despite a bit of traffic (a collision closed two lanes), we still managed to make it there with plenty of time to check in, get through security and make it to our gate. The flight was smoother on the way out than the way in, and we landed about 20 minutes late. I was, of course, thrilled to see [ profile] beowulff again, who came and picked me up. It would only be one night together, as Monday morning he headed off with work people to Belgium. We ate Burger King on the way home, where we (particularly I) proceeded to plop onto the couch and revel in a good weekend and finally being home.

Tomorrow I think I'll try to post about the big event of the day, which will be my first driving lesson in the Netherlands. Shifting! Strange person in an enclosed space! I'm not anxious at all, no.

Oh, Saturday was a day full of things! We got up and tried to set up a rotation of who would shower and who would eat breakfast, so that everyone could do both. C's alarm went off and I woke up, she showered first, then I showered, which made things simpler for me. Gradually everyone else awoke. When everyone was showered and fed, we discussed what we would do that day. The plan for the rest of them was a musical pub crawl, put together by the same people who did the free tour on Friday.

Now, if you know me, you know I'm not really a drinker, and I didn't feel like doing a pub crawl, so I booked The Gravedigger ghost tour for the evening. After that was all arranged, we headed in the direction of Trinity College. There a decision was made, M and I would take the tour through Trinity College which ends with the library and access to viewing the Book of Kells, then we would all meet up at a local market place called Meeting House Square to grab some lunch before making our plans for the afternoon.

The tour was very nice (only €10, done by students). Our tour guide had just finished his exams, and he was very good, funny. We lingered a long time in the library (because it was beautiful), before we realized we would have to head off to the meeting point. After some confusion, we did manage to find each other. I think most of the rest of them ate samosas, but I found a stand called Mero Mero selling chicken fajitas and it was delicious. I also got a cup of fresh squeezed apple juice. Just, yes, if you are in Dublin, it's a good place to stop and get lunch.

The rest of the girls decided that they were going to do an afternoon of shopping, while M and I were going to head over to Christ Church, which wasn't so very far away. It was agreed that we would meet back at the hostel around 17:00 so we could head out to dinner together. So M and I headed off on our separate way. We arrived at Christ Church just in time to hear a some of the Christ Church Cathedral Girls Choir, though they finished not too long after we arrived. After that it was touring through the church and it's crypt, lingering. M took quite a number of photos (she has a proper camera), and I sat, because I was still suffering through the blisters I had gotten the day before.

Afterwards, M really wanted to head to the Guinness Storehouse, which I had no problem with though I wasn't as interested in touring through it. We thought it was close, but it turned out to be much further than we thought. It didn't help that we got a little lost at times (the map did not have all the street names labeled). When we finally made it, we had a bit of a discussion. The tour is about 1 1/2 hours long, which was precisely the amount of time we had before we were supposed to be back at the hostel to meet up with everyone. However, we had walked all that way and I did not want M to have gotten so close only to not tour through the place. She managed the tour in about an hour, while I waited in the lobby (where I chatted with [ profile] beowulff and read some from my book). I'm glad that she got to take the tour, and I still hope that she doesn't feel bad about leaving me in the lobby, I really did not mind. It was exactly what I wanted, to just sit somewhere and relax for a little bit. (Also, the Guinness Storehouse has very nice free wifi, so there was no way I was going to be bored.)

Anyway, that tour completed, we headed outside to get a taxi. The reason for the taxi was because I had looked up how long it would take to walk back to our hostel and Google maps told me a little less than half an hour. We were not doing that. I was already less than enamored with walking more, but we simply wouldn't have the time. Luckily, a taxi pulled up after we had come outside, and it cost us €10 to get back to the hostel.

We made it, though a little late, but with enough time for me to put some special band-aids on my blisters, then for everyone to head out to dinner. The plan was, originally, that we would finally eat at an Irish pub, but there was a football (Americans: soccer) match on, so the pubs were packed and loud. Also, we had a time limit, the pub crawl started at 19:45 and I had to be at the bus stop for my tour by 19:35. Naturally it's hard to find a spot for 8 people, and we had to be sure that the vegetarians in our group also got a lovely meal. Eventually we came upon the Jewel in the Crown. Reasonable prices, space for us, tasty food, they were very helpful. By this point it was about 18:00 and we all wanted to be done by 19:15 so that we would have the time to get to our respective evening activities. They got us out pretty much right on schedule, which is a feat considering we had starters and appetizers, as well as a main dish.

After yet another dinner filled with great conversation, laughter, and food, I took my leave from the rest of them to meet up with my ghost tour. I was a little nervous, going solo, but I wasn't going to let that stop me from having a good time. I chatted with a few other people who were going solo before the bus arrived. I ended up seated next to an easily startled Polish woman. All around, it was a very fun and interesting tour. I was thoroughly entertained throughout, and while it is pricier than any of the other tours I went on, it was (I feel) well worth it. It does come including a free shot half way through, and the do take in to account people who don't drink alcohol.¹ Otherwise, it was lots of laughter, a few small screams, and some interesting ghost stories and a little bit of history.

The tour was a little longer than usual, due to the fact that One Direction was performing, and so we got stuck in traffic. But once released, I made my way through a number of One Direction fans back to the hostel. I was the first back, so I took the time to call [ profile] beowulff, so we could properly say good night, then I read a little. Around 12:30 or so, C, J, and S came back from the pub crawl. We chatted a little bit, caught up on how each other's nights went, then went to bed. We were so sound asleep that we didn't even hear everyone else come back.

[Sunday will be posted tomorrow]
(I would do photos but I didn't take any, and I don't want to use other people's photos without their permission, which I haven't asked for. I may never ask, and there may never be photos. So there.)

¹ I have to say, that the tours I did in Dublin always seemed to have a break somewhere for a drink. Generally a pint, but whatever you fancy is good.
Friday was the start of my weekend adventure with the girls of Medusa. Luckily, [ profile] beowulff was willing to get up early and drive me to Schiphol, since I had to meet everyone by 7:30 in the morning. There would eventually be eight of us going, though one girl, C¹, was only going to be joining us later as she had an exam.

Despite a long line by the security check, we made it on time for our flight to Dublin. It was a short flight, only about an hour and five minutes. Once there, we followed the signs (in both Gaelic and English) to where we would get on a bus headed for Dublin proper. It was a reasonably quiet bus ride (we all had gotten too early a start on the day), though the chocolate had already started flowing. We arrived at our hostel before we could check in, but we had already planned for that. We stopped at a restaurant nearby that had advertised with a full day breakfast, because by that point everyone was thoroughly hungry. Afterwards, we headed off to enjoy our free walking tour. Naturally, although the weather in the Netherlands was gorgeous, and the weather had been relatively nice in Dublin previous to Friday, by the time we got there it was overcast and raining off and on. Somewhere at the start of the tour, a bird shat on my hoodie, though it luckily didn't end up on my hair or anything. Aside from that, we got a really nice, long, walking tour of the center of Dublin. It was pretty much accurate, so I can recommend it to anyone who wants to give it a try themselves. Unfortunately, for some reason my trusty old boots were not so trusty, and I ended up with four blisters, two on each foot. Considering that a good portion of the weekend would be spent walking, this was not what I would consider the best development.

Anyway, after meandering along with the tour through much of Dublin, we headed back towards the hostel, with a side trip in a Disney store. After finally checking in, claiming beds, and getting at least a bit settled in, we came to the important decision of where we should eat. We tramped back out (I had exchanged my sort of cleaned hoodie for my rain coat, which was much better in the uncertain, wet weather). Someone had found a vegetarian restaurant that looked like it would be worth a try, and luckily the people at Cornucopia found space for us. The food was delicious, the portions huge, and just generally everything was worth recommending it! We spent quite some time there, eating, chatting, and laughing, as well as a few small photo shoots. Everyone seemed to agree that the best plan was to stop at a grocery store (some people needed to get umbrellas, and we wanted drinks and snacks), then head back to the hostel where we would play some of the games we had brought along. A woman at the restaurant pointed us in the direction of a grocery store, where we got drinks, umbrellas, and a rather large chocolate cake (of course).

Back at the hostel we played a couple of rounds of 30 seconds, ate chocolate cake, and generally had fun. (I was on the losing team both times, but it was still lots of fun). At around 22 or so C finally joined us, which included much cheering and hugging. However, we were also pretty much all done in, and so, after C was settled, ear plugs handed out for those who wanted them, and an alarm clock set, we went to sleep.

[Saturday will be posted tomorrow]
(I would do photos but I didn't take any, and I don't want to use other people's photos without their permission, which I haven't asked for. I may never ask, and there may never be photos. So there.)

¹ I'm only going to be using initials, because I didn't double check that anyone wanted to be specified in any blog posts.


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