Now entering Week 4 of my stay in Dublin! Pretty crazy how time seems to be flying by. I read some of the new letters I received while riding the DART in this morning (yes, it is finally up and running again). Ann told me I must have a very close family to be getting so many letters all the time. It was nice to read them on my commute into the city. Some peaceful time to reflect too as I put in my IPod and walked to the coffee shop I am currently sitting in. It’s called Costa coffee and is pretty much like the Starbucks of Dublin. On my commute into the city this morning, I couldn’t help but be reminded of some of the cities back home. Here I am in what would seem like a peaceful, serene country, and it still shares some of the hustle and bustle of somewhere like Baltimore city. No wonder I’ve heard Dublin called “the little New York City.” Everyone seems to be rushing to get somewhere with an end goal in mind. But I think the difference is that amidst all of the hecticness and haste, anyone would still stop to give you directions or smile and say hello. There are also far more street performers, people on every block sharing their passions with the world – anything from interpretive dance to singing with a guitar to being human statues. There’s always something to see.
The out of service DART this weekend was somewhat of a blessing in disguise. It forced me to step outside of a comfort zone I didn’t think I had. Those of you who know me pretty well, know that I am not usually the head navigator. I get lost going to my own boyfriend’s house (there are a lot of different routes to get there, okay?). However, with some help, I was able to navigate from the City Centre to home and back multiple times in the past weekend via the crazy, confusing, multi-routed Dublin bus system. I felt empowered being able to figure out something as normal as a public transportation bus. Lame, I know, but that’s my life.
As I mentioned in my previous post, my cousin Meg is currently studying abroad in Florence this semester and came to visit Dublin on her fall break. Loved having someone from back home visiting! How cool is it that we could meet up in Europe together! We decided to visit the Cliffs of Moher, a popular tourist attraction on the West coast of Ireland. Another gorgeous sunny and slightly windy day exploring the beauty Ireland has to offer! It was also pretty neat being able to show her around “my city” and tell her all of the history and fun facts I have been learning about Dublin. Starting to feel like a place I can call home. I was also able to introduce her to the typical Irish Saturday night at the pubs. Needless to say we had a great weekend together!
Yesterday’s Irish Bank Holiday was spent catching up on some much needed sleep and work. I figured out my classes for my last semester of undergrad (YIKES!), and began looking up applications for post grad service and graduate school programs (double YIKES!). This whole weekend Dublin city was holding a Bram Stoker festival, honoring the popular Irish writer of Dracula. We celebrated him by attending a live performance of Dracula at the Dublin Castle. The castle courtyard was transformed into a “Fire Garden,” where statues of trees and flowers and different designs were aflame and little “demons” were crawling about trying to get up close and personal with every passerby. I loved it! Ashley and Shannon on the other hand, were happy to get into the theater. Another one of those experiences to have that not many people get to! Taking advantage of every experience that comes my way, that’s for sure! I was geeking out for sure, especially since I loved reading that book back in high school – Nerd Alert.