off to see the world, there's such a lot of world to see


Tír na nÓg

Irish double rainbow
In 2012 I spent four months living in Dublin, Ireland while studying at Trinity College.  As I was busy with my program I didn't see much outside of Dublin, but I'll share with you what I saw and learned in Ireland.

Upon arriving in Dublin, to the rain, which lasted my entire stay (no sarcasm), I was greeted by my relatives, whom I had not yet met.  They welcomed me graciously into their home and started my visit off right, with a Full Irish.  This being a full Irish breakfast, including eggs, toast, sausages, ham (which they call "rashers", being Canadian, I call it "back bacon") and the mysterious black and white pudding, which they would not tell me what it was.  I figured it out myself though.  Having grown up with an Irish father I had heard of blood pudding, but since my concept of pudding is a Snack Pack, I had always pictured congealed blood (apologies for that image).  I wasn't too fond of the black pudding, I did enjoy the white pudding though!  It tastes a bit like a beef patty.

As an aside, I'm not to sure what pudding actually means as they seem to refer to a vast number of things as pudding over there, including breakfast pudding, a cake, called Christmas pudding as well as general desserts.

On one of my first days there I went out to visit a preserved castle...which although they neglected to mention it on their website was under construction and thus there was little to see of it that day.  I did however stroll through this gorgeous forest on the way out there, in which nearly every tree had been over grown with ivy.

Of course, you can't go to Ireland without having some tradition Fish 'n Chips.

I also took the train out to Bray, something like a suburb of Dublin, where my father is from.  Bray is quite beautiful, we climbed Bray Head, where you can get a lovely view of the Irish Sea and the town of Bray.
My roommates and I went out to Glendalough (pronounced glendalock), which is a National Park south of Dublin.  It's quite beautiful out there.  There are several different trails to walk and some old ruins to see.
This photo was taken at Bewley's, a wonderful cafe on Grafton street in Dublin.  I had an Irish coffee and my cupcake had sparkles in it!
This photo of a Bewley's Christmas takeaway cup warms my heart with festive spirit!

I also liked going to Insomnia for coffee, which is more like a Starbuck's.

Mark's and Spencer's strawberry sponge cake!  While my mother and I were staying with relatives my first week there we brought home deserts from M&S nearly every day to have with tea after dinner!  They have the best cookies there!
 I miss Percy Pigs, they are a lot like gummy frogs and you can get them in a vegetarian option, which doesn't contain gelatin.
Irish Clovers
 These photos were taken in St. Stephen's Green, a large, beautiful park in the centre of Dublin, right by Trinity College.
I was living in the neighbourhood, Rathmines and walked by this Phrenology head in an antique store daily.  I debated bringing it home, but I already had to pay overage on my luggage twice! 
These photos were taken at Trinity College's Christmas tree lighting ceremony.
Grafton street at Christmas time!  Grafton is the main shopping street in Dublin.  It is all cobblestones and is for pedestrian traffic only.
Remember when they discontinued Twinkie's?  Well my roommates and I considered this truly the end of an era and since my English roommate had never had a Twinkie, but had heard of them in Zombie Land, it was only fitting that we mourn the single serve cake whilst watching the flick.  Twinkie's weren't actually normally sold in Ireland, but we found them in an American candy store, where you could find overpriced international sweets, such as candy corn, which I picked up for Thanksgiving.
Having lived with American's I actually celebrated two Thanksgiving's over in Ireland, ironic as it's not actually celebrated in Ireland, but lucky for me as it's my favourite holiday!  Having heard about mulled wine, but never had it myself I decided to make some for American Thanksgiving, these are the mulled wine spices I got at Mark's and Spencer's.  It was lovely and I now like to make it myself around the holiday's even though it's not a traditional drink over here.
This is outside the Berkeley Library at Trinity.  This is a copyright library, meaning that it is sent every single published book and thus has an admirable collection!  It is named for the same Philosopher as UC Berkeley is (stay tuned for my trip there)!  However the highlight of Trinity is really the Long Room.  It is the quintessential old fashioned library with a wrought iron spiral stair case and rows upon rows of old books and bookshelf ladders on wheels.  There are no photographs allowed so I don't have a picture, although I doubt one could do it justice, guess you'll have to make the trip yourself, don't worry, it's worth it!  At the end of the Long Room is the Book of Kells.  Believed to have been written in 800 A.D. it's one of the world's oldest books! 
What I wore:
Sweater: TNA
Jeans: Abercrombie & Fitch
Satchel: Forever 21
The Guinness Storehouse, another must when in Dublin.  I learned how to pour the perfect pint there, which is actually a fairly arduous process for a pint of beer in my opinion!  At the top is a glass room which provides a panoramic view of the city and points to each of the city's famous landmarks.
What I Wore:
Jacket: Forever 21
Satchel: Forever 21
Umbrella: H&M
Jeans: Abercrombie & Fitch
note: the ubiquitous umbrella
What I Wore:
Shoes: Hush Puppies

The Ha' Penny Bridge!  The bridge overlooks the Liffey, Dublin's river.  It is covered in what are called "love padlocks", wherein couples inscribe their initials and the date.  They then attach the lock and toss the key into the Liffey to symbolize eternal love.

Slán go fóill!

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