My first week in Ireland is coming to a close, and all I can say is WOW. Everything here is so wonderful – I literally can’t get over how much I love my new home. I don’t even know where to begin.
I guess I’ll start with the weather? It’s a perfect 60 degrees with lovely breezes and a decent amount of sun. I’ll be honest, at first I was pretty chilly. It’s hard going from 110 degree days down to 60 degree days! But now I’m much more used to it. They told me that it will stay this way through November, so I am really looking forward to enjoying it.
As for my daily routine so far…I don’t have one! Each day is filled with new and surprising experiences. Matt and I are still technically in “holiday” mode, so we’ve been enjoying the sights and food and everything Dublin has to offer. I’ll try to go through all the major stuff to give you a pretty good play-by-play!
We arrived in Dublin around 3pm local time. Neither of us slept very well on the plane, so we were pretty tired. We had to go through customs/immigrations, and it took forever. Thankfully, by the time we were done with that, our bags had already been delivered and we got everything straight away. We headed outside to get a taxi and head to our homestay
What’s a homestay, you ask? It’s basically an airbnb. We’re staying with a lovely family in Castleknock, just 15 minutes away from the center of the city. I really can’t recommend this service enough – it’s cost effective, very easy to arrange, and you have the opportunity to stay with some locals that know the area. Our hosts have been absolutely amazing!
Once we arrived, we unpacked a bit and showered off and then headed to Blanchardstown Shopping Center. While we were here, we grabbed a bite to eat at the legendary Nando’s – you guys, it’s so good. But more on that later.
We also got ourselves leap cards and a new SIM card for our phones so we wouldn’t have to worry about all the pesky international fees. The leap card is basically a prepaid card you use on all the transportation here, so it’s really handy to have. It’s also at a discounted rate and there are daily and weekly caps, so you never end up spending more than a set amount. It’s actually really nice.
The transportation here is honestly really great. You either get on a big double-decker bus, a train, or the LUAS (which is basically like the light rail in Phoenix). So far, it’s been pretty reliable. We take it into the city basically every day.
As for things in the city – it’s the best. So far the major things we’ve done:
- Jameson Distillery tour
- The temple district (we’re here a lot – it’s where a lot of the nightlife/classic pubs is)
- Grafton Street (high street shopping area)
- Immigration office (like a million and five times. Not for fun. We have to go here. Boo)
- Dun Laoghaire – a beautiful seaside area toward the outskirts of the city (pronounced like Dun Leary – don’t ask me how, I’ve watched a bunch of youtube videos and I still don’t understand the pronunciation here – but I’ll learn!)
- Harcourt Street (more pubs and shops)
- St. Stephen’s Green
- St. Patrick’s Cathedral
- Phoenix Park (The largest park in all of Europe. Lots of way-too-friendly deer)
- Liffey River
- LOTS OF WALKING all over the city
Honestly, all of that is just the tip of the ice berg. We have so much left to do here! Thankfully we have the luxury of taking our time and exploring at our own pace. We’ve run into so many beautiful churches and castles and buildings, they’re just everywhere.
We’ve also been able to go out with our host’s daughter, Jasmin, and her friends. They’ve been so nice!! We were so glad to make some friends right away, and I’m sure we’ll be seeing them around. Everyone here is so friendly and nice, like probably the friendliest people I’ve ever met. We feel so welcome and at home here in Dublin.
Tonight we’re heading to the local fair in Castleknock. I think it will be really fun! I’m looking forward to see what kind of fair food and games they have here. Some things are just like home, while other things (like Mexican food) are very, very different haha.
Tomorrow we will most likely go to the Cliffs, but a hurricane-turned-tropical storm is heading our way, so we will have to see. We haven’t had too much rain yet, so I think we are in for a bit of a surprise!
On Thursday we move into our new apartment, and we are SO EXCITED. It’s a pretty small little studio, but it’s got everything we need. I’ll post an update about that once we are settled.
I think that’s all for now! I’ll be posting more frequently now that I’m settled, and I’m sure I’ll go into more depth about everything. If there’s something in particular you want to hear about, let me know!