It has been quite a whirlwind of a trip so far, even though it’s just been a few days since I nervously boarded that flight to Dublin!
After a long, semi-sleepless flight, I arrived at the Dublin airport on Saturday morning, and got through customs with no problems and got my checked bag right away. There was another girl from Global Experiences on my flight, which was awesome. I would have been stressed if I had to get to the apartments alone! A few other girls from GE met up with us at the airport, and we excitedly found ourselves taxis to take us to our home for the next 8 weeks! It was nice to have lots of people from Global Experiences at the Lad Lane Apartments to greet us and help with our luggage. Luckily, there’s a small elevator in the building, so it wasn’t too much of a struggle to get up to the top floor, where I met my roommate and began to get settled in, one jet lagged step at a time.
Our location coordinator, Peter, invited the few of us that had arrived on a walk in the area by our apartment. We’re in a nice area with a few other residential buildings, a lot of small offices, and plenty of places to eat and go grocery shopping. It was nice to move around after sitting for such a long time! Our weary group went out for lunch, and all headed back to the apartments to either nap or just relax and decompress.
On Saturday evening, I went grocery shopping with a few other girls, and we all made our own dinners in one of the apartments! I’ve never lived in an apartment before, so having to grocery shop for all of my food (in a different country with different currency, no less!) will take some getting used to. The group of us walked all the way past the beautiful St. Stephen’s up to Grafton Street to explore. It stays light outside so late compared to the US! We were amazed that the sun was still shining at 10pm.
On Sunday morning, I woke up early after sleeping surprisingly well, and went out to get a few more groceries and breakfast with my roommate. It was drizzling a bit, but was really nice to get out and explore more, and get to know her! Plus, the cafe was super small and adorable – I will definitely be going back!
The giant group of nearly 50 Global Experiences participants walked through Dublin and Merrion Square that morning to get to the hotel that our orientation was being held at, and boy, is it difficult to walk through a city with that many people! Orientation was informative and low-key, with a few inevitable ice breakers that weren’t too bad. After orientation, I went to get lunch with a group of girls at a nice, affordable place that I can only describe as being like a hip Panera with a buffet style section added. I had a delicious club sandwich with Irish bacon – it looks so different from our bacon, but tastes SO good.
Next, I went on a fun “Viking tour” with half of the group from Global Experiences. It was like a duck tour that they have in Boston and Philly, but with Viking hats, lots of yelling, and a hilarious mic’d up driver cracking jokes about people both on-board and off. Aside from the random sheets of rain that hit us for a few minutes, it was a ton of fun. Plus, we all looked awesome.
Some of us did a little shopping after that at the St. Stephen’s Green shopping centre, where I fell in love with Boots all over again and bought a cheap hair dryer at Argos (thanks for the recommendation, Maureen!!) before heading to dinner with the giant group. GE paid for and arranged our amazing dinner at Fade St. Social nearby, where we chose from a fixed menu with a few options for a starter, entree, and dessert. I got a cold vegetable plate that tasted better than it looked for my starter, and the table got a pumpkin, mushroom and mozzarella flatbread. My entree was trout with tiny shrimp in a creamy, buttery sauce with the best garlic mashed potatoes I’ve ever had, and for dessert I had banoffi, a layered banana custard/ice cream treat.
Needless to say, I was very very full, and a group of us walked back to the apartments together. To close out the night, my roommates and I hung out in our living room on our laptops and checked out Irish TV. After making a big mug of peppermint tea, I headed to bed!
Today (Monday), I did a walk-by of my internship site. The walk is a little longer than I thought, but it was GREAT to explore the city on foot a little more, with good company. I will be starting my internship at 10am on Tuesday, and am so nervous and excited!!
Thanks for reading! Margaret