My last day in Ireland was bittersweet to say the least. In the morning, we took a train from Cork, back to Dublin, as we would be flying out of Dublin the next morning. The train ride was like any other, uneventful, long and full of us college kids snoozing away. Once we arrived in Dublin, it was cloudy and dark, but since the forecast called for rain and it wasn’t raining everyone was happy. We dropped our luggage off at an Internet Café and had about two hours to eat lunch and finish up any remaining souvenir runs. Most of the girls went and bought souvenirs, but I knew I only had enough euros to make it through the night so I decided to forgo shopping and just head to lunch. I ended up just eating a pack of Ritz Bits I had brought in my backpack because I wasn’t that hungry and hung out with Lindsey, Allie, the guys and our coordinator as they stopped at Eddie Rocket’s, the European version of Johnny Rockets, for lunch. We meandered back to the Internet Café to pick up our luggage and took taxis to our hotel.
We were staying in Swords, which is about a 30 minute cab ride outside of central Dublin, so once we arrived, everyone went up to their rooms to pack, nap, and shower before we reconvened in the lobby to decide what our plans would be for the night. At around 6:30 everyone came together and decided that it was only right that we take the taxis back to the city to spend our last night in Dublin. Surprisingly, we were able to get the entire group to come out so we all knew we had to have a group dinner, which was only our second of the trip. We decided on a restaurant called Busker’s that featured very loud live music, but delicious food.
After eating, we all headed out to the Temple Bar area for our last pub-crawl. We first went to Temple Bar for old time’s sake, but left pretty shortly after as there was a much older crowd there. From there we headed to The Auld Dubliner, Oliver St. John Gogarty, and then ended up going back to Temple Bar as it is was the first bar we had gone to when we arrived in Dublin the week before. For the sake of sentimentality, we decided to forgot about how expensive it was and enjoy our last Dublin pub experience. Everyone ordered Guinness, and once we were finished, we, sadly, said goodbye to Temple Bar and the city of Dublin and took taxis back to the hotel.
The next morning we were in the lobby by 6:15 am to make our 9:00 am flight to Newark. I waved goodbye to the amazing city and country that will always have a place in my heart and boarded to plane to return to the U.S.
In the past two weeks I have traveled to two countries, been to all four provinces of Ireland, stayed in five cities, visited six counties and made an infinite amount of memories in between. I’ve kayaked the River Lee in the middle of Cork, kissed the Blarney Stone, hiked in Killarney, seen where the Titanic was built, taken in the beauty of the Cliffs of Moher, done the Dublin pub crawl and watched an Irish step dancing performance. I’ve loved every minute of my two weeks abroad and I know that the people who were on this trip with me made it what it was. I continue to tell myself that if it never rained in Ireland I would move there in a second, but after traveling throughout the country I know that the people and culture make the rainy days brighter and have shown me a whole other side of Ireland that I never knew existed. It is crazy to know that this trip came and went and that I don’t know when I will be back, but what I do know is that the statement is true; travel around the globe, but first, see Ireland.
All Photography by Emily Houston