I tried to get down to the bottom of this beauty, and truly, getting drunk is unavoidable.
Guinness well received by the world as the equivalent of Ireland, it didn’t even get a dip in my mouth. So basically I set ‘goals of the year’ and one of the 2014 goals was to stay away from alcoholic drinks (given that I was not an alcoholic at all). Half way through the year as in July, Ireland broke my rule!
Which country on earth allows workers skipping from or being late at work for hangover?! Right, Irish do take it positively. At least day tours got cancelled because the drivers were too drunk to get out of bed (if they were). I remembered it wasn’t even a holiday or weekend when I was in Dublin, so getting drunk is quite obvious a routine stuff, which is good, I mean people manage to get a unique work-life balance.
Just kidding. The first day in Galway was pretty ‘healthy’ as I arrived there at 3 am in the morning and went on a 8.5-hour day tour to Cliff of Moher after less than 4 hours of sleep. Sleep deprivation was real and naps on the coach weren’t even enough to make that up, not to mention any late night activities. I knocked out at 10 I believe.
The magic of Cliff of Moher does not only come from the legendary Harry Potter. Off the main road and hop on to the left hand side of the nature carving arising straightly from the Atlantic Ocean, the endless green blends in with the azzurri and goes out of sight. The 4D effect finishes with orchestra-like neighing and the smell. Don’t get me wrong, they are the perfect decorations to the scene. Hopping to the right is the panorama view of the irregular- shaped beauty. Accompanied by the exciting couples and families around and a brick-built tower which was under construction, sneaking out a little bit from the chains to get my spot was not too naughty I hoped.
And yep, that’s pretty much I can recall from the tour as I was not conscious for the rest. Just a quick tip, never ever stay sleepy when the tour guide announces the meet-up time. I don’t know how much earlier I rushed back to the car park and realised only 5 minutes later that I had genuinely no clue about the actual time.
Back to the city, which was the real target of my trip to Ireland, I am more than satisfied to say my choice was totally right. If not for the cliff, most people would not stop by Galway and pay a visit. Starting from the hostel, the street was quite empty with few people riding bikes and clear signposts for the iconic Spanish Arch. Followed by blocks of colourful building under the Irish lullaby, I made it to the seafront. It is a bright area in spite of the sunny weather – vibrant houses alongside the walkway, shining sea surface like glitters from the sun, little white dots in the sky brought by the seagulls and a nice finish of the small-scaled messy hair.
There are things in Ireland I find it particularly surprising: friendliness, drinking and the accent. The first person I spoke to the next day in Dublin, after a nice chilling morning in Galway city, was a man in his car waiting for the light at the O’Connell Bridge. And the word was ‘ni hao’. Stunned as my initial reaction, it was actually a really warm welcoming! But the joy soon got out of my head for the sake of my ‘second rocky pavement fight’. I hated the pavements in Europe when my 29″ luggage went crazy in the middle of the road. I spent nearly 30 minutes for a 5-minute distance around the Trinity College searching for the hostel.
But that’s not the end.
Like usual, I checked-in with the girl at the reception. Surprise! There’s no lift in the hostel! I had totally no idea what were I thinking when I booked it. I am not saying this hostel is bad, it’s just, no lift available. I USED ALL MY LIMBS TO MOVE THAT LUGGAGE UP 2 FLOORS. My mum even thought the bruises on my knees were the result of falling down or something like that. (you may wonder why didn’t I ask for help, because there’s no one at 4pm.)
Let me just skip the store-exploring sessions and get straight to the point when I ordered my pint of beer. It was the first night in Dublin after the exploration and the self-introduction between roommates. I hanged out with one of my roommates and her local friends at a bar full of Americans who were actively supporting their national team for the World Cup. That’s when it happened.
The night after this I appeared at one of the bars in the Temple Bar area with new Australian roommates and ordered another pint of beer, and shots. I make it official since then but it was already too late to go back to the Guinness Storehouse. Not a shame because I am never a Guinness fan for its bitterness.
Thinking about this is the end of my trip? Too soon. In the middle of that night, I was woken by some unusual breathing sound behind me. I knew I should not open my eyes so I literally heard the whole love-making process of my roommate and her acquaintance. They were like only 5 steps away from me, pretty embarrassing I shall say. Though it’s those kinds of experience you can share with your friends under the title ‘bizarre stories’.
Hostel: Snoozles Hostel
Review: Very friendly staff members (still very helpful with the girl who arrived at 3am)
Good location (right next to the coach station)
Good service (laundry service and breakfast)
Comfy environment (room and common areas)
Great deal of day tour
Photos: Dunguaire Castle | Poulnabrone Dolmen | Doolin | Cliff of Moher | Spanish Arch
Hostel: Times Hostel Dublin
Review: Convenient location (close to Trinity College)
Suitable for young travellers
Pretty big shared ensuite
No lift available
Photos: O’Connell Bridge | Trinity College