Europe · 24 Days · 49 Moments · June 2016

JAKE's adventure in Dublin, Ireland

21 July 2016

Today we are on our way to Brussels, Belgium where we will be spending the next 3 days at one of the largest music festivals on the planet. We are all very excited and cannot wait to get there. It is bound to be a great time with some fantastic artists and cool visuals.
We made it through to Amsterdam, sleeping through the entire flight with our headphones in. We found that our room in Amsterdam was much farther outside of the city center than expected, so we canceled the reservation and took the couch in the apartment where the girls were staying. We found our way there and took a nice long shower before spending our day in the park.
After our stay in Florence we had to check out late and make our way to Rome in preparation for our morning flight back to Amsterdam. Unfortunately, we didn't have any rooms booked so we were forced to spend the night in the airport. We found a relatively quite corner with an outlet in a smaller terminal. When we finally settled in and got ready for bed, washing our faces and brushing our teeth in the airport bathroom, the security officer came around telling us that the terminal was closing and that we had to move to another terminal which we had already seen was packed. With the huge movement of people we couldn't find any outlets or benches to sleep on so we picked some good floor space and tried to catch some Z's. It was not a good sleep at all. We were woken up by the first morning passengers, forcing us to pack up our things and go through security. It was such a long wait for our 10 o'clock flight to Amsterdam, trying not to sleep for fear of missing our flight.

7 July 2016

We walked all over today! We snuck onto the canal cruise and rode it to the fourth stop where we got off and saw some of the cool architecture.
This morning we made some breakfast and took our main mode of transportation to the bus stop - bikes complementary of our host, Toke. And breakfast was cooked by yours truly.

6 July 2016

The river cruise brought us to several places..
Yesterday we enjoyed our first full day in Amsterdam with a river cruise that brought us to several places in the city.
The National Opera House
The ice bar
Of course we started off the day with a walk around for the city center and a bit of breakfast.

5 July 2016

We made it safely to our host's home in Den Ilp, Amsterdam. Her name is Toke and she seems very nice. She picked us up from the bus stop even though we got in at about midnight. She is an older woman and knows a bit of English. The room is nice and the shower is hot, so hot Jacque was burnt on the shower handle this evening ha!
We have taken the train and are on the bus to our Airbnb.
Here is a pic of us on the train to Amsterdam Centraal
We have successfully made it to Amsterdam. The flight was pretty bad, we sat close to three horribly pretentious, drunk assholes that were extremely loud the entire flight. We stopped for some pizza in the airport and are finding the train to the next Airbnb.
Jacque found a delicious place to eat called Neon - Asian cuisine. We snagged a quick bite and of course missed the first set of buses to the airport. We ran to the main street and barely caught the airline bus line to the airport, giving us plenty of time to make our flight to Amsterdam. We are off!
Today we were able to wake up a bit late and check out of our room later than expected due to our late flight to Amsterdam. We packed everything and cleaned up the home we were staying in.

4 July 2016

Happy 4th of July from Dublin! We went to the city and ventured up and down Temple Bar road. And of course, we went to the Temple Bar, but only for one drink - it was a bit too expensive ;)
A quick bite to eat at Crabby Joe's on the pier.
This morning we traveled to Howth, a small fishing village located on the coast. It is a beautiful little town with many shops and loads of sail boats. We went to one of the old Churches and walked along the pier overlooking Ireland's Eye - the island just off the coast. When we were walking along the pier, we saw a ship get lifted out of the water and transported through the buildings to a different part of town.
Jacque and I are up for breakfast this morning, prepared by Raj and his wife for us before they left for work. They are incredible hosts.

3 July 2016

Today was a new day. Paying too much for the room was all worth it come morning. We both expressed how we felt much better, reset in a sense. After eating as much breakfast as possible. We used the last portion of our stay to book a new AirBNB in Donaghmede. We took the buses and found our way to the stop. We were a bit early this time so we walked down the block to a coffee shop and entered our journal entries for yesterday, making us both angry in the process just thinking about it all. Once we arrived, we were greeted by our host Raj who explained the essentials of our stay and talked with us about our trip so far. He and his wife are fantastic hosts and we are blessed to have found this safe haven. They took us to Malahide Castle which wasn't too far - they were going to walk their beautiful golden retriever. We walked around the castle grounds and then walked to Malahide where we found the best restaurant yet - Sale é Pepe.
Bad day Part 8 - we purchased a highly overpriced room and the man was nice enough to include a breakfast. Though he gave us a high price, I haggled him down 20 euros and got a late checkout and the breakfast included even though he said it wasn't possible ;) once we got to the room, we were pleasantly surprised to find a clean place. Then we started to determine how to at least get some money out of the canceled reservation. Jacque contacted her sister Lakelyn and asked if she could help us, giving her our sob story. We called to no avail, forcing me to buy $1.00 of service on the app Viber in order to call. Luckily we didn't use the hotel phone since they charge 1euro per minute. We got everything canceled and got a small amount back, but we were happy to have nice place to sleep and an end to our horrible day.
Bad day Part 7 - On the bus back into town, we searched and searched and I sent several people messages including the room we had just checked out of in the morning. No responses came. We got off the bus and began to walk around searching for places to stay. All we found were luxurious hotels and bars. We stopped into the train station (pictured) to use the bathroom and then in a nearby bar that said they had rooms available but found no vacancies and were directed down the street to another location. We picked up our gear and walked down the street finding nothing but a few drunken Irish men. We were beat, looking for nowhere. The men asked if we were lost, to which we asked if there was anywhere close to stay. They were quite nice and directed us around the bend to a hotel. We walked and found a bus stop but not hotel, hesitant to travel any farther. We stood there empty minded, contemplating what to do. Then we found it, the Maldron Hotel.
Bad day Part 6 - without my phone and Jacque being the only person able to get on wifi, we began to walk along the street searching for places that would allow us to access their Internet. Every place we went to wouldn't let us on forcing us to finally decided just to get on a bus and ride around using the bus system's wifi. We got on the closest bus and rode it as far as we could. I worked on my iPad and Jacque on her phone. I canceled the reservation through the airbnb app and informed the host that we would not be coming. I asked if she could cancel the reservation for us (something the host is able to do) but she refused, telling us to call into airbnb in order to cancel. Obviously we are not able to use international service without paying exuberant fees so we just had to wait. We both began to search for any place to stay - hotels, hostles, airbnb, and B&Bs. We found nothing even remotely close to our budget so we got off the bus and caught the next bus back into town.
Bad day Part 5 (the ugly) - After arriving back into town we attempted to find the Luas bus (a different bus line) out of town to catch another bus to Naas. After walking around for another hour we finally found the 123 Luas bus going to Naas but found that it would cost us 16 euro plus the cost of a taxi when we arrived in Naas in order to get to our host's residence due to the fact that our host refused to pick us up like she agreed to. We had been advised by several people not to take taxi due to their untrustworthy nature. We then decided to go for our last option of using the tram to get to a bus stop that would lead us to Naas. After another 45 minutes of walking around carrying our luggage, we determine that the tram was not in service due to the extensive construction being conducted on the tram lines. At that point, we found ourselves defeated, exhausted, and without hope of ever arriving in Kilmeage - we made the choice to cancel the reservation and find a new place.
Bad day Part 4 - we got on the 40 bus to head out of town so that we could catch the next 126 to the small village of Naas, Ireland which is where the host said she could pick us up. Once we got off of the bus, we walked around for about 20 minutes trying to find the next bus but came to the realization that the second bus line completely stops at 5:00pm - a key detail the host failed to mention - leaving us an hour too late. We decided to get back on the next business back into town which would allow us to use wifi to search through our other options. We road the bus, both furiously working on our phones until we decided on the next set of buses. All of the options that the host had said were not running any more. We picked an option and my phone died, leaving Jacque as our sole navigator.
Bad day Part 3 - After we finished at the brewery, we hopped on the bus back to the city center so that we would pick up our luggage, hopefully. We went to the convenience store where neither of the people was still working but received our luggage in good con1dition with nothing missing. Naturally after a few beers we were a bit hungry so we went to get some food, after all our check in time for the country house was 7:30pm and the journey would take nearly 2 hours. We settled for a small bar and quickly went to the restroom. We were beginning to get pretty stressed due to the lack of food which was exponentially multiplied when we searched for the bus to the small village we were looking for. We used all of the directions from the host and none of them were still in service. We ordered and searched (all of this using the restaurant's wifi) to find any bus that would get us close and found a few options that we thought would work. We paid and went to try and find the first bus.

2 July 2016

Bad day Part 2 (glimmer of hope) - After a weary decision to leave the bags at the shanty little convenience store/Asian fast food restaurant, we took the bus to the Guinness brewery to go on a tour. It was awesome. The place has been around forever due to the 9000 year lease that was signed by Arthur Guinness when it was founded. We went on the self guided tour and learned a bit about the brewing process which was fascinating. We even learned how to properly drink a pint. The tour ended in the Gravity Lounge which is a bar that only serves Guinness and is lofted above the entire brewery allowing people 360° views of Dublin while enjoying some of the best stout beer in the world. We were kindly given many free drinks from people who don't enjoy the beautiful sludge. We gladly accepted.
Bad day Part 1 - We had one hell of a day yesterday. After we finished with breakfast at the nice little café, we hopped on the bus to try and store our luggage for the day. Our next room was out in a country village called Kilmeage. We located the tourist information office that stores luggage and inquired about the service. They informed us that they were full at the moment and that we could go to a little Shop just up the road. We walked up and down the block looking for the place she was talking about and finally found it in what I would consider a convenience shop. The picture is us standing outside, for our own reference. The attendant didn't speak very good English (terribly strong Asian accent) and said that the room they use to store luggage was full at the moment. We asked where we could go and she yelled something in what I assume was Chinese to the man working the fast food restaurant in the back of the store. Then she said she could keep them in the basement. We agreed.
This morning we packed up all of our luggage and bid adieu to the hosts. They wished us a safe journey and we departed for some breakfast. We found a small café near our room called the Lovely Food Co.

1 July 2016

Our last stop was Turks Head bar for some food and a few drinks before finding our way back to Drumcondra on the bus system.
Then we road the bus back to Drumcondra and ended the night with some wine at Fagan's right by our AirBNB room.
After arriving back in Dublin, we got off on Suffolk Street and are having a few drinks at O'Neills - a traditional Irish pub.
The Cliffs of Moher! 700' Cliffs that line the coast for 8km. These are all sheer drop-offs and are protected by a stone wall, though most everyone climbs over the wall to peer over the edge at some point. The wind atop the cliffs is extremely violent with fiercely strong gusts. There is no reef near the base so the limestone cliffs are victim to the ocean's ferocity. We took as many pictures as we could manage and peered over the edge - I definitely have a hole in my underwear after looking straight down.
The driver stopped at a spot called the "mini cliffs" where we found some stinging rain and the crisp air of the Atlantic ocean.
Just before we head up to the Cliffs of Moher we stopped in Doolin for bite and a pint. We sampled the steak and onion platter and seafood chowder, each of which was delicious. First Guinness of the trip did not disappoint.
Just before we head up to the Cliffs of Moher we stopped in Doolin for bite and a pint. We sampled the steak and onion platter and seafood chowder, each of which was delicious. First Guinness of the trip did not disappoint.
On the way to the Cliffs we stopped in a very quaint fishing village near Galway Bay called Kinvala.
On the way to the Cliffs we stopped in a very quaint fishing village near Galway Bay called Kinvara.
We are up and at em' early again, riding the bus into town to catch a tour for the Cliffs of Mohar. Hopefully we are early enough to get some coffee for Jacquelyn and maybe a chocolate twist ;)

30 June 2016

We got back to Dublin around 8:30pm and had dinner at a local bar and restaurant called St. John's Grogary. We then spent about an hour trying to figure out what bus line to take back to Drumcondra, there is soooooo many busses here. We caught the last bus back and are crashing, ready for another tour in the morning.
On the way back from the Giant's Causeway, we stopped in Belfast - once one the the top 5 most dangerous cities in the world, and still holds the same ominous title today - for about an hour. Jacque and I were very late getting back to the bus because we were window shopping for pastries. We literally ran up to the bus and slapped the side of it as it was pulling away.
The Giant's Causeway. What an incredible feat of nature! We hiked all the way down to this point right at sea level where the waves have crashed against the shore, creating giant boulders and mounds of cylindrical stones. We were warned to stay clear of the edge due to the waves.. we didn't listen, naturally.
Jacque and I on the famous rope bridge in Northern Ireland. The sun peaked through for a few moments, a rare occurrence according to the tour guide. Scotland is visible in the distance of picture of me pointing at the small island - that small island is where the other pictures are taken and where the rope bridge leads to. It was pretty hysterical watching everyone fall on the wet grass on top of the island.
The Dark Hedges in Northern Ireland. Incredible views along this road lined with Beach trees. (Insert Game of Thrones reference). We lucked out and got 20 minutes without rain.
We made it on the tour bus for the Giant's Causeway after missing the morning bus from Drumcondra. During our short stop we got some coffee and a chocolate twist.

29 June 2016

Having a little tea party for two with some tasty morsels at Fagan's.
Stopped for some dinner at McGrath's Gastro Kitchen. Weirdly good veggie soup and some chicken will do the trick.

28 June 2016

Sitting on the first plane out of Omaha. Stressful morning. We were stopped at the first gate due to some complications with our tickets. The first leg of our journey was failing to print. We waited to receive our tickets and rushed to security pausing for a few moments to pray and have a moment to say goodbye to our parents. We were the very last people on the plane, and they shut the door right behind us. It was an excellent first flight having fun and cracking some jokes to ease the stress.