Sunday, February 14, 2010

Parties, Pub-Crawls and Traveling

Hi all! Sorry I have been so terrible about updating this blog! I’m honestly just always doing something fun here. I love everything about this city. After being here for a month now I am beginning to figure out my favorite places. I spend a lot of time at Café Depeche (a lovely café on the corner inspired by the great Depeche Mode, of course). I do a lot of my reading/other schoolwork there. At first I was surprised by how little work there was. I had an art history exam last week and a paper coming up so school stuff is starting to pick up a little, which is actually a pretty welcome thing. The lax workload left a lot of time for exploring the city, going out to pubs and clubs at night and hanging with my wonderful roommates and other new friends, but I like having something more productive to put my time into. I have made a great group of American friends here— I just wish that more of them were Irish! We have been meeting a lot of native people here when we go out at night, though, which is fun.
We met two guys who organize “unofficial student pub crawls” which seemed like a good way to meet people so we went to one of those last week. There was somewhere around 130 people there! We started at New Bar, the on campus pub, which I still think is crazy, I don’t see Goucher getting one of those anytime soon. Then we went to a few other small bars in the area that I hadn’t been to yet so it was good to see some new places. One of the bars had some great live music and an outdoor “beer garden” which was really fun. We ended up running into the two guys that organize the pub-crawls the other night and they told us there would be another one coming up in the next two weeks or so.
Last week was also our friend Corrie’s birthday! She turned twenty-one, so of course we had a big party for her. We hosted it in our apartment because it is definitely the biggest. We invited all of the people we have met from the apartment and a few Irish people that we have got to know. We made a cake from scratch, guacamole and this “beer dip” that my roommate knew about (which was so good in fact that two girls ended up stealing a bowl of it and subsequently breaking it in the hallway…very sad). While we were nervous about people not showing up/not having a good time it ended up being one of the best nights we have had here so far.
This past week we also went to DUBLIN! I didn’t know how much I was going to enjoy the city—I had heard conflicting things about it. It ended up being great, though! I loved Grafton Street (the people performing were all really impressive and we ended up buying a CD from one of the bands that I have been listening to on repeat), St. Stephen’s Green was beautiful (I want to go back in the spring and bring a book to read and sit on one of the benches), and hanging out at the top of the Guinness Storehouse with our free pints and looking out over the city was incredible. We went out to the Temple Bar area (kind of crowded and overwhelming but still a good night) and to a very American-esque bar to watch the Superbowl (I was so happy for the Saints, and for the fact that they had decent hot wings…I miss you Bill Batemans!). The hostel that we stayed in was surprisingly clean and nice. We were staying in a brand new wing and everything was freshly painted/new. I’d say we were a little spoiled, aside from the fact that there was no hot water and the heat was a little iffy. If we go back to Dublin (which I hope we will so that we can check out Wicklow National Park and other sights we missed), we definitely know where we will be staying. There was a HUGE Ireland v. Italy rugby match going on so we met a lot of Italians. On Saturday (the day of the game) I felt like it was the Quidditch World Cup or something, everyone was dressed all crazy and the streets were packed! Overall, Dublin was wonderful but I was very happy to come home to Cork.

Coming up next weekend: Galway! I am so excited. Post to come!