The thing is we had been really, really looking forward to going to The Giant's Causeway the whole entire trip! It's this really amazing and beautiful geological formation and we were so excited about it. The plan was to meet our friends at 9am for breakfast, then our tour was leaving at 9:30. And we woke up at 9:40. Seriously! I guess we weren't excited enough to make sure we set an alarm.
I honestly didn't even think there would be a possibility of sleeping in later than 8, so it didn't even really occur to me to set an alarm (though we did every other day of the trip).
I jumped up and started getting ready - I was in a frenzy!
I had Pete call down to see if by chance the tour hadn't left on time. Of course it had. I didn't even know what to do, I couldn't believe we were missing it!
My wonderful, logical husband, was still able to think and figured out a bus route we could take that would get us there. We would have to be on the 10:30 bus or we wouldn't have enough time since we had to be on the train back to Dublin that evening. Ok, there was a possibility we could make that. We hurried and packed up our stuff, ran down, did a quick check-out and stowed our bags at the hotel, then ran to the bus station that was luckily just a few blocks away. We got there with about 5 minutes to spare!
Then we looked at the ticket booth and there was ONE person selling tickets and a HUGE line! There was no way we'd get through that line, buy our tickets, and find our bus in 5 minutes!
So, we just left, feeling so frustrated at having our plans foiled again.
We went across the street to Cafe Nero for breakfast because of the cool name, and I had porridge again. I sat there trying really hard not to be mad, but I still was.
We went back to our hotel and just sat in the lobby for a few minutes, then decided to just get a taxi to the train station and head back to Dublin.
It was nice because we got on the train with plenty of time to find a forward facing seat this time, and I think that helped a lot with me not feeling train sick. I also bought a sandwich at the station and brought it with me. It was really good. It was warm with turkey, cranberry, bacon (ham) spinach and brie. Mmmmm
Once we got settled on the train, we talked about how it does no good to be mad about missing our tour because it doesn't help anything and I was able to finally calm down. This train ride was much nicer than the last one. It was light the whole time so I was able to watch the pretty countryside pass by as we went. It really was very picturesque, just how you would think of Ireland. I wish I would have gotten a picture.
We had no trouble getting back to our lovely Trinity Capitol Hotel once we arrived in Dublin, and it just felt like a relief to be back. I don't know what it was, but I just felt so much more comfortable and at home in Dublin. Maybe because I got lost by myself in the dark in Belfast! Haha
Anyway, we set out to get something to eat since Pete hadn't eaten on the train. We went to a crepe shop we'd walked past before and got chocolate-hazelnut, strawberry, banana crepes that were delicious! We ate them while we walked over to the collage to go see The Book of Kells which is kept there. Have you seen the movie The Secret of Kells? It's a cute movie. It was the only link I had to the Book of Kells before this trip. I didn't really know anything about it, though. I really learned a lot on this trip, which was awesome! The Book of Kells was written and illustrated by monks in around the 9th century and is just beautifully and intricately done. It was really cool to see. The book is kept in the old library at the college which also just has shelves after shelves of old books so that was fun to see too.
After that we went and walked around some more and found our way to The Temple Bar District where we found a bridge with locks on it, kind of like the one in Paris that I've seen in movies.
We also decided on an Indian restaurant for dinner which was really good, but nothing too memorable. After that we explored some more and bought souvenirs for the kids. We found this cool square where a band was playing. When we walked by there later, there was someone else playing and we also ran into the guy from Israel who we met at the conference so that was crazy!
Then we found The (actual) Temple Bar and went inside because we heard live Irish music. They were just taking a break, though, so we hung around until they came back on.
When the band started playing again, everyone was immediately into it. It sounded so good. Then, during the first song, the guitarist broke his string. The guys playing the according and violin kept playing, and it was still really cool. Everyone was clapping along and just having a good time. I watched the guitarist put a new string on and wondered how he would be able to jump back in once he got it on. But, oh my gosh, after he tuned his guitar, he totally did just jump in and it sounded amazing! It was seriously one of the coolest things I've ever seen. Everyone in the whole bar cheered and it was so fun! I loved it so much, I can't even explain. It was definitely a highlight of the trip! They even played a song by my favorite band, Mumford and Sons which was awesome. I totally would have bought their CD, but we don't have a CD player.
We made our way back to the hotel and had to sit in this amazing chair.
The, at like 10pm or so, our friends got into town and called to see if we wanted to go out with them while they found something to eat. I had already started getting ready for bed, but I couldn't turn down the chance to see the town one more time. I was just telling everyone how much I loved this city and how it seemed really nice and clean. Then we walked past a pile of puke. Then we saw guy peeing on a statue.
Yeah. It's a little different when you're out after 10, I guess?
We flew home in the morning. I was really sad to leave, and worried about getting on the plane since I was still congested, but it turned out being totally fine! Whew! It was so nice to get home and see the kids...and be back in our own time zone!