“Our one monthaversary”

This week marks one month that we have all been together and in Dublin. I am so lucky to feel like time has flown, but that I have also known all these people for longer. The majority of this week was spent doing our best to not spend money because we booked a few trips this week. Four of us are going to Edinburgh February 28th-March 1st. We’re leaving ridiculously early to get the most out of it, but I’m just thankful that we were able to get a hostel and flights for a total of 62 euro each so last minute. Abby, Bailey, and I booked a five day trip to London May 1st-5th for about 135 euro each with an AirBnB stay right in the heart of the city.

Despite the week starting with me banging my head on the bathroom handle & my closet and the grocery bag breaking on my way in, we had almost of whole week of good weather here and that saved it. Good weather in Dublin means mid-forties with no rain. We actually had sunshine for days. Total miracle. On Thursday, a bunch of us all went out together to a local pub to celebrate our monthaversary. The people in our CAPA program come from all over the states as well. There’s Florida, Massachusetts, Washington state, and more. It keeps things entertaining, especially when we find that we have different words for stuff. Like, in Massachusetts, its common to call milkshakes fraps, but I’ve only ever heard frappuccinos called fraps in the South.

On Friday, we had class again. This time we talked about Christian Ireland. After lecture, we went to Dublinia and Christ Church Cathedral. Dublinia is a museum about life in Dublin during the Viking times. It was pretty kid-oriented, but still fun. We learned about the different Viking gods, after life, and walked through exhibits that were modeled after what Viking homes and markets would look like. Calleigh kept pointing out misconceptions about Vikings to keep things entertaining (they didn’t actually wear those horned helmets). As you went further up in the museum, it gave information about the archaeological excavations that happened around Dublin, the one most famous was on Wood Quay (pronounced Wood Key) in the 1970-80s. It was pretty controversial at the time because the Wood Quay excavation was on
e of the biggest discoveries of Viking life. The archaeologists tried to lobby for construction to not happen
above it,but they lost and construction went through. Next, we walked over to Christ Church Cathedral. Records say that there has been a church here since about 1030. It was originally made out of wood, so lots of renovations happened in the 1870s to make it look like what it does today. It is a very beautiful place with a creepy crypt downstairs that has outfits from the Tudors because many scenes from the show have been filmed here. After class, I went over to Dublin’s Natural History museum. Chris and I made a pit stop in Merrion Square, which is another big green space in Dublin with busts around it of important people in Irish history. I didn’t recognize any names very well, but Chris went through and was able to tell me pretty much everything about them. I’ve always been told that Ireland is very green, but its amazing when you see it in person every day. There aren’t much dead-looking plants around. Everything is green and soft, even in the middle of winter. The Natural History museum is pretty fossil-ating once you get past the fact that these animals are mostly taxidermy (they used to be alive). They were super cool and super creepy. My favorite were the sea creatures because they reminded me of the beach. The place has all kinds of animals from all over the world that I couldn’t list them at once, but also has fossils, rocks, and gems in cases.

Before coming here, I was legitimately terrified that I would have to live four months without a taco, or a burrito, or an enchilada. Luckily, there are plenty of places to go for good Mexican food, so we got burritos and ate them in St. Stephen’s Green,  yet another park in Dublin. It has fountains, a bridge, a playground, and more birds than you probably ever want to see. The park is 22 acres of just gorgeous green land and has looked this way since 1880.  The best part about these spaces are the way they bring people together. While Chris and I sat on a bench, we saw people sleeping, dropping stuff in the fountain, taking wedding pictures, kids playing, and more. Add in knowing that the park has been around for more than 100 years with people doing the same things here, it makes the parks in Dublin really shine. We sat and talked for hours before we moved into this shopping center right next to the park. Shopping malls here are exactly like home, except we couldn’t find any pretzels.

We have been doing so much this week that I chose today to catch up and do laundry. Its really hard to stay in for a day when there’s so many places to go and see, but I’m learning that I need to take some time to myself otherwise I’ll just crash.  Tomorrow, we leave at 6:30 AM for Edinburgh.

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