We had a week off at the end of February for winter break (and we get another week later for spring vacation, lucky me!). My friend Sara and I went to Dublin from Friday-Wednesday, and then spent the next 3 days in Edinburgh. We stayed in a hostel right by the Temple Bar area that ended up being awesome. We were in a great spot and could easily walk anywhere we wanted to go. Even better than that, we had sun every single day! It was fantastic. If anyone wants to see all of my pictures, here are the two albums: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=622350&id=756550695&l=c3b1de2c4f and http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=622369&id=756550695&l=ecc457046e
Day 1: Since it was our first real day, we walked around for a while exploring. It was nice because I remembered where a lot of things were from when I was in Dublin a few years ago. We walked around Trinity College and wandered some cute side streets for window shopping. There was an indoor mall we really liked with delicious cupcakes. It made me miss being able to bake! After some vintage shops, we walked to the Jameson Distillery for our tour there! Sara got picked to be one of the testers, so she had to try several types of whiskey. I'm sorry, but I just cannot do whiskey. It's like liquid fire. Later that night, we got one of our many, many Irish meals of red meat and potatos, something we love dearly!
Day Two: This was one of our big tour days! We spent pretty much all day going from Dublin to Galway, and then from there on a slightly janky tour to the Cliffs of Moher, and then back. We barely made the bus back to Dublin because our tour was slow getting back. Otherwise we would have had to sit around and wait 2 more hours to even start the 3 hour bus ride. Luckily, we had beautiful weather again so the Cliffs were amazing! The tour also stopped at some random places along the way. I'm almost positive that we ate lunch in the same place that I did a few years ago. Here are a few pictures from the day!
Day Three: This was probably the best day! We went on another day tour, but this one was soo good! It was with Over the Top Tours, and this adorable old man was our driver/guide. It was a really small group, maybe 10 people, and we were in a mini bus/van thing. The tour was for Wicklow & Glendalough, but first he drove us through some other parts of Dublin, by the water. We saw some of the older Victorian houses and stopped by the water for some tea and ginger snaps that he had brought with! It was so cute. Sara and I sat in the 2 passenger seats in the front after that so we had the best views and got to talk to the driver. Then he took us past Enya's castle and Bono's house. He had CDs for each place we went to, like U2 for Bono's house (and going past some bar where Bono allegedly got drunk and passed out) and then soundtracks for when we went past places from movies. After that, we went outside of the city into the hills and stopped by Guinness Lake, which is called that because it's the color of a pint of Guinness! Also, the Guinness family owns a big house next to the lake that they rent out. Michael Jackson hid out there for a while and apparently Mick Jagger likes to bring 'female friends' there. It was such a beautiful view and it was just outside of the city! We drove past the bridge where PS. I Love You was filmed (which I've never seen but whatever), and drove through the areas where Braveheart and Reign of Fire were shot. The hills were all covered in flowers that bloom later in the year, which must be awesome to see. We also stopped at a random waterfall, and then after lunch we went to an old monastery, which was really cool. There was still a big tower standing in the middle that the monks used to hide in with all of the gold when the Vikings would come each summer to steal all the students for slaves. They would smoke out the monks in the tower each time though, so it didn't really work out. One of the churches was still standing, but the rest were destroyed by Henry VIII (something I actually learned in my Tudor-Stuart class last semester!). Then before going home, we stopped at one of the lakes (Upper Lake) in the Wicklow Mountains National Park. Our guide was fantastic and we all had suchh a great time! It was only 25 euros for the student price too, so it was an excellent day! Here's a bunch of pictures from the day!
That's it for now! I'll try and finish the rest of the trip this weekend!