We returned our rental car early that morning, and caught a bus from Glasgow to the coast where a nice big ferry was waiting to take us across to Ireland. It was a fairly short trip, but quite scenic with various islands here and there. We arrived in Belfast that afternoon and consulted a map and brochures of “What to do in Belfast”. It turns out there isn’t really much to do there, unless you’re interested in where the Titanic was built and moored. So we hit the local pub (£3 for a burger and a pint!), made friends with some Northern Ireland lads, and had a pretty decent night out – ending at a cool night club that had £1 coronas all night. The next morning we decided that Belfast wasn’t all that interesting, so got on a bus to the Republic of Ireland heading for Dublin. When we passed the border we noticed some Australian women taking photos of a wall, I found out later that was a symbolic wall between the Protestants and the Catholics.
It only took about two hours to get to Dublin, and thanks to my handy iPhone we googled a hostel within walking distance of where the bus dropped us off. It turned out to be a really cool hostel with beer on tap and an outdoor barbeque for just €5 for a burger and pint (do you see a pattern here?). We met an interesting assortment of fellow travellers that night: a guy from Israel who turned out to be very lightweight when it comes to drinking, a guy from Switzerland who didn’t say much but when he did it was worth listening, and a guy from Munich who was your typical hipster German guy. I was later to find out when I went to Germany that hipster is a huge fad / fashion with the students there – exactly like the whole “emo” fad when I was in highschool / uni.
I really enjoyed listening to the points of view that the Israeli and Swiss guy had on mandatory military service when you leave school. In both of their countries they have to serve for a minimum of two years. The Swiss guy couldn’t wait to get out of it so he could start studying civil engineering, and the Israeli actually studied and still works as a telecommunications engineer for the military. They both agreed that it “made you more of a man”, but perhaps as a school leaver it was a little young. As for the German kid, being a hipster he was all like “my grandfather was a nazi before it was cool”. Haha no I’m joking, he didn’t have anything to contribute.
Anyway, as for Dublin itself, I really like this city. It has a great feel to it: good people, good atmosphere, not too crazy, offering plenty for the tourist and resident. We walked to Trinity College and had a look around. It’s a cool university – some neat buildings and a really cool science department where they had an exhibition on. We then went to the medieval area of Dublin which had some cool old castles, churches, and in a park an area where they used to do public hangings. When we went out that night, we found a few really good pubs. I had to have an Irish coffee in Ireland and I was very impressed! It was actually excellent, so I took this photo.