So, upon arriving here on Wednesday night we set out to explore. Within an hour of landing we were at our accommodations a hotel type dorm (privately owned but on school grounds) at UCD. We tossed our bags in our rooms and within an hour were out exploring Dublin. We hit up the Temple bar area and city center. I have no idea how people find there ways around here I just play hit or miss. There aren’t posted bus maps or routes at the stops. Just time tables for when bus lines stop at the stops. I learned the hard way twice about night buses here. There is no 24 hour transportation. Taxis are the only option during the week after 2:30am (bars close at 3:00) and the night bus stops at 2:30. Sundays the night bus stops at 12am and accordingly the clubs close at 1:30… Wonderful eh? So I had to pay 10€ twice. That sucked. But that’s later in the week. Thursday we got our seven day bus passes and again I headed into Temple bar area. Picked up a bottle of wine. Ordered an Oyster for Alex (great thick stout – a loft like Guinness but smoother and with less bitter at the back of the tongue). Wandered about exploring that area and marked three night clubs for Friday/Saturday. Explored Trinity church and saw the book of kells. Went shopping picked up a bit of food. Friday similar day. Except we ate at the Hard rock – one of the cute girls traditions so there were a bunch of us who went. Bit expensive but an experience. Then we came home for a bit of cheaper fun at the rooms.

The book of Kells was gloriously beautiful. Although small its intricacies and the illuminated text was simply stunning.

Friday night worked out quite well, we played a few drinking games and just mulled around, talking having fun and enjoying the evening. The sun sets at around 10 but it won’t get dark until 11:30pm- 12:00am. From the time the sun sets the horizon turns a purpled red. Gorgeous spirals of colour rise up from the horizon into the clouds and the colours mix with all the greenery. It’s truly stunning. The sun rises around 5. 4:57 Sunrise and 21:53 sunset.
It is pretty wonderful here. But again it’s so laid back that I haven’t accomplished that much. Other than exploring st. Stephens park (large park with huge lawns and arranged flowers tucked behind a large water feature (lake with ducks and other birds with a central island). Gave three of the girls a good back massage at least an hour to an hour and a half each so I’ve got new dedicated friends there…hehehe. Friday done went to sleep.

Saturday – woke up at a decent time 11:00 despite it being light already for five hours. Wandered again into town and explored. Bought MOOOORRRREEEE groceries. Spring onions etc. that night we went down into the city center and ventured into a Dark Techno/trance club here in Dublin. That was a TRIP. I got asked for ecstasy three times and offered some pills. I didn’t take any but it was a new experience to be in an environment that was rampant with blatant drug use. The music was amazing none the less. We left at 3:00 and began to try and find the buses. We walked 2/3 of the way home which is about five miles – give or take. Then we caught a taxi and got a ride home.

Sunday was again pretty relaxed. Cooked myself breakfast, Fresh apples spring onions and hot pasta with Italian seasoning mixed with thinly sliced cheddar – Very good taste! took a nap. Went back to the St. Stephens Park and watched traditional Irish folk music and some river dancing at the gazebo there. That was pretty nice it went on from 3:00-5:15. Then wandered to an ethnic area and picked up some food – Chinese food pretty cheap for the portions and darn good.

Sunday night a girl and I ventured out and found a salsa club. Stayed there until 12:45 and missed the night buses. Salsa club was amazing. A huge long hall with wooden floors with a circular area at the base (end of the bar) which made it look very similar to an old thermometer. Danced my arse off and just had a blast.

Monday – wandered into town hoping to tour some museums and libraries but they are closed on Mondays. Instead bought a bottle of wine and went to the park again. Drank under the green canopy above and enjoyed the serene sounds of the birds – ducks fishing and the gentle sound of air rushing through the leaves. After that met up with Cary and wandered to the Guinness brewery – second time there but took the tour this time. First time I just bought souvenirs – part of what was so expensive. Took the tour and saw Dublin for the highest point in the city – the Sky lounge at the top of Guinness. Took some round about pictures. Brought back memories of Paris and the Eiffel tower although it was different. After the brewery wandered back home again – bought more groceries and came home. We cooked a great dinner – pan fried chicken breasts with pasta, garlic spring onions melted cheddar cheese and chopped cold apple. It tasted wonderful. We cut up a baguette as well and ate it with olive oil and a little bit of salt. Truly a great time.

Tuesday today – class then nap now writing this. Off to a field trip to kilmainhan gaol.

The weather has been startling- no rain or cold just bright hot sun since we landed on Wednesday – this morning a breeze came up so we are hoping for a little rain. But it has been BEAUTIFUL so far.