Noora, her mom, and I took a day trip through Wicklow county yesterday. We got to experience some beautiful Irish landscapes, see plenty of goats, visit the infamous bridge from P.S. I Love You, savor some Irish whiskey and get a tour of the renowned Avoca mill. Here is my proof that I did all of these cool things.
Katrina, Noora, and I decided to take out first out of Dublin trip this past weekend which involved a cross-country bus ride to the very beautiful and majestic Cliffs of Moher. After very little sleep the night prior, we got up at 6am and trudged the 20 minutes to the city center to catch our bus. We had bought day trip tour tickets form a local touring company so our whole day was planned out from the time we set off at 7:30 until we arrived back in dublin 12 hours later. We headed west and our bus driver filled us in on random tidbits of information as we drove through the scenic countryside of Ireland. Our first pitstop was supposed to be in Limrick but due to ridiculous amounts of flooding that have occurred throughout the country recently, we were not able to stop there and instead stopped shortly after Limerick in the quaint area of Bunratty Castle.
Half an hour later we were back on the road headed towards the cliffs. We spent about two hours at the cliffs, roaming around the trails and just taking in the beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean in all of it’s salty glory. We were lucky enough to pick the one day in the past 10 which has not involved rain so we ended up getting in some spectacular views despite some of the fog off enveloping the nearby Aran Islands.
After the cliffs, we drove about half an hour farther and stopped at the Doolin Cliffs which are much smaller but just as majestic. We followed up this second set of cliffs with a lunch at Fitzpatrick’s Pub which served an amazing seafood chowder.
The next stop on our tour was the Corcomroe Abbey which is a 12th century not too far from the coast. Shortly following the abbey, we stopped in the village of Kinvara for some Irish coffee [read: coffee with baileys and whiskey]. It was so amusing to me to be in an Irish village since the villages that I am used to from Romania are much more rural than what the western world considers a village. Around 4:30 pm we headed back on our way to Dublin to complete the journey. Paying 40 Euro for an almost 12 hour tour that included a lot of interesting information, various stops along the way, and a very friendly and knowledgable guide was a great deal in my book. Hopefully this rain subsides in the near future so more random day trips can be planned.
So I landed in Dublin Thursday early afternoon and got to my hostel around 2pm where I checked into my private room and then just passed out for a few hours. At around 6pm I went to view a room that was up for rent which I later found out I didn’t get. Friday, I viewed two more rooms that I also didn’t get. Why, you ask? Because it has become dog eat dog in the renter’s game. Apparently there is a shortage of housing this year, prices have gone up, and UCD, along with many of the other colleges in the area have done little to assist students in finding housing. I have been watching the Dublin rental websites like a hawk and as soon as a new listing goes up that might work for me, I immediately contact the owner.
Saturday I met up with Saveta, a former student of Vasi’s from Singeorz-Bai. She is a few years older than me and has been living in Dublin with her husband for about 6 or 7 years now. She helped me get a phone and SIM card, a bus pass, and said she would try to help me find a place to stay. We hung out Saturday morning and it was just so nice talking to someone that understood where I was coming from that was willing to help me unconditionally.
After our meeting on Saturday, I had two more viewings and then curled myself up in my bed for a few hours before I was to head out to dinner with Matt, who was randomly in Dublin the same time I am, and his friends. I ended up going to bed fairly early on Saturday since I wasn’t feeling too well only to wake up to a cold this Sunday morning.
I didn’t have any viewings today and just kind of bummed around the hostel which proved to be quite beneficial. As I was checking into my new room (goodbye private room, hello 12 person dorm!) I mentioned how I am looking for a place to live and the girl and the registration desk told me that the hostel actually houses a lot of students and that I could get a private single room for about 160euros a month which is a little bit out of my budget but it does include all of the bills, high-speed internet, housekeeping, and it is in an awesome central location.
Depending on how the viewings go tomorrow, I will make my decision if I want to just remain at the hostel or keep looking for a room in a house for the upcoming year.
Things are looking much brighter and I can finally stop worrying so much and go out and enjoy myself in Dublin before school starts.
Wish me luck in finding a place!