Wednesday, August 1, 2012

What a Great Craic

I think I've fallen in love... With Ireland. From the second we stepped off the plane we were met with extraordinary hospitality and horrific weather. I traveled with my friend Jess from Australia who was a wonderful travel companion. We made our way to the hostel like champs and were delighted to find a big, clean, welcoming place. First stop after dropping off our bags was a pub (of course). I had a Guinness and fish and chips- as true as you can go in Ireland.

We made friends with a local (Ben Stone of Ireland) and even ran into some Austrians whom I spoke to in German (yay me!). We met up with a nice group of Irish lads-at least I think they were nice, couldn't understand most of what they were saying- who we hung out with for the weekend (just kidding, they were quite the craic and highlight of our trip).

Our Saturday was spent sampling the local shopping (I approve) and acquainting ourselves with the city. Saturday night we went on a nice little pub crawl and then back to the hostel to hang with our new friends. Sunday was quite successful with a walking tour and then a complete tour of the Guinness factory; seven stories of detailed descriptions, pictures, and videos of the making of Ireland's ruby red treasure.

 Needless to say I felt right at home (literally, because it smelled of hops).
 I am now officially certified as a perfect pour for Guinness (if I have nothing else to show for my six months in Europe at least I have that certificate).

We took a day trip to the Cliffs of Moher complete with a city tour of Gallway. The weather, not too surprisingly, was wretched, but we saw some beautiful sites of Ireland!

Gallway- JFK visited here for 30 minutes so the plaza is named after him.

Several of the Harry Potter movies have scenes here as well as Princess Bride!

Cliffs of Moher!

These ruins are older than the pyramids!

Blarney castle!

The Hayes family! My wonderful hosts in Cork.

Gemma took me to the Blarney stone- an old castle with a specific wall that you're supposed to kiss. There's a man there that instructs you how to lay down and reach backwards to kiss the wall.

Thanks Gem for pics :)

"The Dubliner"

Fish and chips

Bangers and mash

Guinness pie

Irish breakfast made by Darren's mom!

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