At the end of February and beginning of March, a crazy snowstorm swept through London and the UK called ‘the Beast from the East’. It brought unusual snowfall for this time of year and very low temperatures into the city. While the Beast from the East was rolling through parts of the UK, another weather system called storm Emma began bringing arctic temperatures into areas untouched by the Beast from the East. The two storms met in Ireland, creating a ‘red alert’ snowstorm. It was the worst on March 2, 2018. Guess who rolled into Dublin on the morning of March 3. Me and my friends! We have really great timing, in case you were wondering.
Guys. The weather was unreal. We had someone tell us a storm hadn’t hit Ireland that bad since the 1980’s. They had never seen snow like the snow this double-whammy storm produced. All the public transportation was shut down and stores opened late because of the lack of product. Our hotel was fully booked for days before we checked in because so many flights had been canceled. It was crazy. We were amazed at how nice the people of Dublin were aside from how terrible their weather was a few days before.
After an awful morning baggage experience in London (seriously, not great. ask me about it sometime), we arrived in Dublin and got our first taste of how much the snow had really taken over. It was still snowing in London, but Dublin was a different level. We paid €6 and hopped on the only bus that would take us into the city and rolled our bags to The Morrison, a wonderful Hilton hotel. We checked in and instantly ran across the street to get some breakfast – we had woken up at 3:00 am to make our flight! By this time it was 9 or 10, and we were starving. After some Irish breakfasts and some porridge (vegetarian life), we were ready to head out on foot to see Dublin.
Like I said earlier, all the public transportation was shut down due to the severity of the winter weather. Luckily, our hotel was conveniently placed about a five-minute walk away from Temple Bar, an area with tons of cute museums, restaurants, and pubs. We ran across the River Liffey over to Temple Bar and began to explore.
We parked at a pub called The Temple Bar, found a table, and sang along to live music all night. When the band stopped playing, we journeyed around a bit more and turned in for the night. After all, we had something exciting planned the next day!
If you read my Barcelona post, you know how obsessed I get with Airbnb Experiences. The moment we started to plan Dublin, I instantly hopped on Airbnb and checked to see what experiences the city had to offer. When I found the Dublin Busking Experience, it was a done deal. My friends were interested, so we booked it shortly after we booked plane tickets.
We met up with our tour guide, Ionut, in the city centre and followed him around to the most popular busking spots in the city. Due to the weather, not too many buskers were out, but we were able to see one really talented busker and hear the history of other spots bands like U2 and Passenger have played, so we weren’t too bummed.
I’ll make a post about my Airbnb experiences one day – so I won’t spill too much now! This experience was just what we needed to show us around the city. I highly recommend checking Airbnb whenever planning a holiday!
Once our busking tour was over, we only had one last thing to do before catching our flight home: the Guinness Storehouse tour. I had no idea what to expect.
It was great. The building you’re touring is brand new and shaped like a pint! I’m serious. You go up this colossal pint floor-by-floor and learn every detail about how Guinness is brewed, how they store it, the ways they have advertised through history, and so much more. It was pretty interesting to an unashamed beer hater such as myself. The tour ends at the top of the building’s Gravity Bar, where you redeem your ticket for a free pint you can sip from while admiring the beautiful view of Dublin. We had a great time wandering through the exhibition and hanging out together. A detail I was obsessed with: when the bartenders pour your drink, they create a clover in the foam! Cute, right? Why even drink it?
After Guinness, we stopped at the ‘Oldest Pub in the World’ to eat a very fast lunch and returned to the hotel to grab our bags and taxi to the airport.
This Dublin experience was absolutely perfect. Personally, I loved being with a small group of friends while traveling. It was so nice to have a support system around me, especially when things went wrong (I’m serious – ask me about the airport thing. Maybe we need a storytime?). We were really great at getting places and having good attitudes when the weather prevented certain things from happening. But hey, we can always visit the Cliffs of Moher next time, right?
I am so honored to have this study abroad opportunity. I’m off making memories!
We’ll talk again (very) soon!
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