Welcome to the final post about my week in Ireland, where I end up right back where I started in Dublin.
One of the disappointments of the walking tour I did here when I arrived at the beginning of the trip was that it didn’t include a visit to Trinity College. That being said, I made sure that was something I’d check out when I got back to Dublin.
I checked back in to Sky Backpacker’s hostel and then went over to Trinity College. I will say it’s incredibly convenient how close everything is. The university was a mere 10-minute walk from where I was staying near the Temple Bar area.
It’s a beautiful campus that dates as far back at the 16th century. While walking around campus is nice, the must-see part is the old library. This is where you’ll get to see the Book of Kells, which is like a thousand years old. The Long Room in the old library will tug at the heart strings of any book lover, including yours truly. It’s really an incredible place and you’ll find all sorts of old texts in there. I will say this place is also a top spot I'd recommend in Ireland. I believe it’s about 14 euros to get into the old library but again, totally worth it. Besides, when else are you going to get that chance?
Later on, I got back to the hostel, where surprise, I met another American. This time it was Liz from New York. We made plans to join a Dublin pub crawl later that night, but not before partaking in the free sangria Friday night that Sky Backpackers puts on. It was while sipping sangria in the hostel’s lounge that we met Marc from Sweden and Pete from Australia. After talking for a bit, we opted to all go the pub crawl together. It was a great night out, made even better by fabulous company and pizza at the end of the night. I know what you’re thinking: pizza in Ireland? Well, when you’re several beers in and hungry, pizza is just fine.
The next morning I woke up bright and early, checked out, and caught the 747 bus right on Bachelor’s Walk to get to Dublin Airport. I allowed extra time for myself to get to the airport and it was the best decision I could make. You see, at Dublin’s airport, they have Americans clear U.S. customs in Ireland instead of back in the States. It’s incredibly convenient since you get it out of the way, but it does mean you must allow yourself more time (at least 2 hours) when flying back to the U.S. from Dublin. Now, bear in mind when I was there the airport was plenty busy and that wasn’t even during the high tourist season, which is summer. If you go in the summer, 3 hours might be a good way to play it safe.
I will say I got some serious Irish luck for my trip back home. The night before I flew out, I got a notification I had been rescheduled on a different flight and airline. Instead of flying on a budget ticket (A.K.A. nothing included) on Iceland Air, I had gotten automatically re-booked for a regular seat on a Delta flight. That meant I got all the perks that come with a regular international flight ticket: in-flight entertainment (hello Star Wars movie marathon), food, and most importantly, wine. The bad news was that I managed to catch a cold as well, and when you have a persistent cough you end up getting repeated dirty looks from snobby middle-aged women. Yes, by all means, let me adjust my flight in the off-chance that you might get a cold, Karen.
All in all it was a fantastic time finally seeing Ireland. I will say my main regret was not doing a road trip there. I think that’s how I would love to really experience this lovely country. But hey, that’s what next time is for right?
If you’ve been reading any or all these, thank you for sharing in my travel journeys. I’m more than excited for 2020, which will include California and a long-awaited dream of taking a few months and really backpacking throughout Europe.
I’ll also be sharing with you new finds from right here in the Midwest. Have a wonderful new year and see you in 2020. Let’s live it up!
About the author
Jill Zwarensteyn is a writer, comedian, and television producer who has been featured on Amazon, truTV, The New York Times, Matador Network, BUST Magazine, Tiplr, ARTRPRNR Magazine, YourTango, Thought Catalog, GoMad Nomad, Mashable, The Daily Mail UK, the Cannes Film Festival, LaughFest, Women's Lifestyle Magazine, and the Funny Women Festival LA. For more info visit: http://www.jillzwarensteyn.weebly.com