Sunday, September 6, 2009

Exploring Dublin

All this week my roommates and I have been going into the city to buy things like kitchen supplies and food and cell phones. These trips are very short and to the point. Today, however, we took the New Europe tour of Dublin. It's a free tour given in the major cities of Europe, and you just tip the guide at the end. It rained during the whole tour but was amazing! The guide was a Ph.D student at Trinity College, which is the oldest college in Dublin. Starting at the City Hall, we wound our way past Dublin Castle, the Chester Beatty Library, and Temple Bar. Here we stopped for a 15 minute brake at the Queen of Tarts. I ordered a raspberry cheesecake tart and tea. I handed the cashier a 10 Euro note and it turns out it was fake...she took it and gave me nothing in return, and I had to pay with other cash. I was so mad! But I'm glad it wasn't a 50 Euro note instead. We continued on for another hour, ending up in St. Stephen's Green.

After the tour was over the tour guide went to O'Neill's in Temple Bar to watch the championship hurling match. It was Kilkenny versus Tipperary, and Kilkenny has won the past three years straight. This is the first time I have truly been engaged in a sporting match for the entire time! To me, hurling is a mix between soccer, baseball, and american football. The men all have sticks and they hit this small ball around the pitch to either score a goal like in football (above the posts) or in soccer (into the net). Above is worth one point and below is worth three. It was a pretty bloody match but the two halves of 35 minutes flew by in the pub. The atmosphere was electric and all the Irish people were cursing at the TV. In the end, Kilkenny triumphed for the forth year in a row. I was sort of sad because I always like to root for the underdog!

Tomorrow is the first day of class, and it's hard to believe because it's felt like such a vacation so far. Yesterday, my roommates and I made plans for the semester and were booking tickets for shows and festivals. I guess it's time to get ready for tomorrow and get in gear for a semester of work!

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