Friday, March 7, 2014

Bya Dublin

It's terribly sad.  The holidays have come to an end.  Tomorrow I'm up at 5:30am to get to the airport and catch my 8am flight back to Brussels, which means France, which means exchange life, friends, awesome host family, speaking French, and the one I'm especially trying to avoid thinking about: school.  But I'm fairly excited about all the other stuff!

I had a relaxed and awesome last day in Ireland.  Paul and I drove down yesterday from Culdaff and are just staying with Nuala these couple nights in Dubby Dub (code for D-U-B-L-I-N).  I slept in this morning, had a chill breakfast, and even tried a run FINALLY after 2 weeks of coughing up my lungs and being restricted from exercise.  Sadly... it didn't go so well, I think I frightened a few poor Irish folk that I ran by with my barking (aka.. deep chest cough of death), but I'm stayin' positive and trusting the power of the good vibes to magically make my lungs happy and healthy once more.

Paul and I took the Luas (equivalent of Ctrain for Calgarians, and the Tram for ze Frenchies, basically that moving transport vehicle that goes along on tracks you know what I'm sayin' here) into the city centre and got off right next to this gorgeous canal for a good 40 minute stroll.

A couple of punks on the side of a canal.  
Paul showed me this cool poem written by the Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh that's engraved into a bench on the side of the canal.  Didn't get a photo but here's what's written (THANK YOU internet) :

'Erected to the memory of Mrs. Dermot O'Brien'

O commemorate me where there is water, 
Canal water, preferably, so stilly
Greeny at the heart of summer. Brother
Commemorate me thus beautifully
Where by a lock niagarously roars
The falls for those who sit in the tremendous silence
Of mid-July.  No one will speak in prose
Who finds his way to these Parnassian islands. 
A swan goes by head low with many apologies, 
Fantastic light looks through the eyes of bridges - 
And look! a barge comes bringing from Athy
And other far-flung towns mythologies.
O commemorate me with no hero-courageous 
Tomb - just a canal-bank seat for the passer-by.

Kinda lovely if I do say so myself.
Then, better yet, I met Mr. Kavanagh myself.  We shared a moment.

****NOTE: Not a real human.  Merely statue.  I would hope that was fairly obvious.***

Patrick Kavanagh and me sharing a moment.  I really like the guy!
At the end of our canal walk we came into a large area where the street and water opened up: the Grand Canal Dock.  The sun was shining, the weather was fresh, there were cool Dubliners hangin' around on lunch breaks and Friday walks, and things felt fairly awesome.  One of Paul's friends owns this restaurant called Herb Street (on Herb Street. ha.) that's right across the road from the edge of the water.  We went in for a late lunch and I got to meet Paul's really cool friend, Vinny (could possibly be messing up spelling and/or the entire name altogether? Irish accents can be hard to understand...) who was super chill, he came over and chatted for a few minutes after Paul and I got seated.  He's a really cool guy with a really cool and trendy restaurant that he runs with his wife, if you are ever spending time in Dublin, GO THERE! To top it all off the food was AH-MAY-ZING:

Paul's chicken and chickpea salad with beetroot, mmm

Paul pumped because there is good food.  (I forgot to take a photo of my delicious salad which was DUMB)

post-lunch cappuccino & random strangers & the dock

We left feeling awesome because Herb Street and good food and Vinny can probably make anyone feel awesome.  Then we spent the rest of the afternoon walking around exploring Dublin!! Passed Trinity College, Grafton Street, Temple Bar, and some cool modern-y type bridges and old buildings I should probably know the names of but I don't. hehe. 

I basically spent the entire 2 hours of walking falling more and more in love with Dublin.  DEFINITELY on the list of places to visit again (with a group of friends perhaps? any takers? gimme a call?) and I think I would honestly consider even living there for a bit.  There just seems like so much cool exploring and discovery to be done, and Paul was totally selling it to me with his cool adventure stories of all the exciting things he did while living there for 20 or so years.  Also... there's GREAT shopping.  And music.  And culture.  And pubs (Guuuuiiiinnnneeeessss).

I was sad to leave when we eventually caught the Luas to head back to Nuala's.  I'll be back to Ireland in about 2.5 weeks with my Mum and sister, and I'm secretely hoping we might have an afternoon free to go back and explore more. 

And that's the end of Siobhan's Solo Irish Adventure 2014 ft. Awesome Irish Aunts and Uncles and Cousins.  It was great craic.  

PS: There were a few instances today where I heard French being spoken by some tourists, so I kind of eavesdropped to see if I could follow conversations and understand what was being said and HIDEE HO I COULD!!!! It felt pretty wicked, especially considering it's been 2 weeks since I was living and speaking French, I hope this means I haven't totally lost my groove...! We shall find out tomorrow heheuehahaaahhh. 

That is all folks.  Thanks for reading.  Come again!

PPS: more photos from the trip! yippee!

waterfall filmin'

more waterfall filmin'


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