I write to you from the Kinlay House Hostel Dublin- a really cool hostel right downtown here... My very first hostel experience, and it's been pretty darn exciting and enjoyable thus far. I moved in to my room, met my 5 new roommates (these 5 English dudes who've been friends since high school- I'll include a picture of me and them next time hopefully. They're quite a riot.) and went shopping for some dinner with them, ate, and hung out for a while. And I also met some other new friends- 2 girls and a guy from France, who I got to pratique ma francais avec, some folks from california, an Aussie, a couple German guys here for an AC/DC concert... All kinds of people here, it's kind of insane (in a really fascinating way).
So, a quick recap of some highlights thus far:
Day 1 (monday)- Traveled all day.
Day 2 (tues)- Arrived in Dublin. Wandered. Met Nick, who I stayed with for most of the week (Nick is a friend of my friend Claire, an Irish girl who lives in Holland now), and moved my pack in to his place- he lives with 2 other folks- Ben and Linda. Here's the place: Watched some cricket at Trinity College (one of the oldest colleges in Europe apparently), Nick made me some dinner, and then I crashed (after 30ish hours without sleep)...
Day 3 (wed)- Started my day with a bowl of Kellog's "Frosties". Got purposefully lost in the city and walked around for 5 or 6 hours, trying to get familiar with Dublin. Put a good 15-20 miles in probably. Played some soccer with some Irish lads (friends of Nick), and walked some more to get some fish & chips with Nick and Linda, and stopped by the local pub for my first Guinness- purchased for me by my new friends (who've refused to let me pay for anything).
Day 4 (thurs)- Bike ride/ hiking day. I biked out to a place called Howth- a small coastal fishing village(a big peninsula) about an hour and a half bike ride from where I stayed. I borrowed a bike from one of the dudes I'm staying with, arrived and ate some lunch, and then took off hiking along these georgeous shoreline cliffs. Hiked for a couple of hours (I kept on telling myself I was going to turn around cause it was getting to be dinner time and I was out of water, but I just couldn't manage to do it cause it was so beautiful I didn't want to miss out on any of it) around the whole peninsula and then back to get my bike.
Enjoyed some more great hospitality from my hosts- Ben cooked up some dinner for his girlfriend and myself- a feast of salmon over spaghetti noodles w/ cooked brocolli... Deliciousa. And then all my hosts had stuff to do, so I got to chill at their place for a while (which was actually great, because I got to serve them a bit and thank them for their hospitality by cleaning up the kitchen and doing all the dishes and such)- they gave me a spare key and gave me the combination for their gate and security and all that, so I could come & go as I pleased.
Day 5 (fri)- Packed up my gear and cleaned up my room. Wrote note of thanks to Nick, Ben, and Linda. And then me and my pack headed out on the bus to find my hostel.
Here's my lovely room at Nick's place. Perfect size for me, and a nice bed made from some sofa cushions.
Here's a quick peek of my new hostel room.
Day 6 (today)- Did some laundry in my sink, did some blog updating here, and I'm about to walk around and explore and maybe take a tour of the Guinness factory. Also, went to the supermarket and got some buns, lunch meat, cheese, some cookies, bananas, and some orange juice to bring back and share with whoever else was eating i the lobby/ dining room part of the hostel- good way to meet/ connect with people.
So, today's my last day in Dublin and I'm beginning my trek to the southwest tomorrow afternoon. Headed for a night to a place called Kilkenny next.