Dublin was probably my favorite place that I've been so far. It was awesome, not so much in a sight seeing way, but it was simply more of a fun town with beautiful countryside outside of the city.
We arrived there late on Thursday and checked into our hostel (worst hostel ever) a little bit after midnight. We weren't really ready to go to bed yet so we asked the front desk at our hostel where we could find a bar to get a quick drink, to which we were given an odd look and told that no bars with open this late. Seeing as how we were in Dublin, Ireland this didn't make much sense to us, so we ventured off on our own to find a bar. The front desk guy turned out to be an idiot, because a 10 minute walk rewarded us with finding The Temple Bar open and crowded with pints of Guinness flowing. We enjoyed our first pint of Guinness in Dublin and headed home to rest.
The next morning we woke up early for an all day tour for the countryside outside of Dublin. This was probably the highlight of my trip so far, the views were absolutely incredible. The tour went into green hills that were surrounded by mountains and secluded lakes with cliffs overlooking them. I know I said that Cinque Terre was the most beautiful place that I've ever been, but this was beautiful in a different way. Cinque Terre was beautiful land that was commercial and developed land, whereas this was more great views of land that was generally uninhabited. The area that we visited was very close by to where Braveheart was filmed, to give you an idea. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures because I'm an idiot and had brought my camera but left the battery on the charger.
The next couple of days we just did some random sight seeing and pub hopping around Ireland. Another one of the highlights was visiting Trinity College, which was my second choice school to study abroad at, and I totally regret not going there. Not only would Dublin be an awesome city to live in, but the college campus was simply incredible. Everything there was neat and clean and perfect, the buildings were awesome, and it is a great school as well. Bocconi on the other hand is ugly, dirty, and the facilities suck. The entire 2 week trip in general sort of makes me regret going to Milan.
On a lighter note, the last day that we were there we visited the Guinness Storehouse, which was a lot of fun. I had expected it to be a tour of the factory, but it was more of an explanation on how the beer is made, the history of Guinness, and a Guinness museum. Interesting fact: St. James' Gate, where Guinness is brewed, was leased in 1759 by Arthur Guinness for 9000 years at a rate of £45 per year. They've still got a lot of time to brew Guinness. It's also pretty interesting that you can make a complex beer like Guinness from only four ingredients: barley, water, hops, and yeast. The storehouse ended by going up to the gravity bar, a huge bar surrounded by glass that over looks the city of Dublin as well as the Guinness factory.
Not much else to say about Dublin, just that we drank lots and lots of Guinness. That's what you're supposed to do in Dublin though, so mission accomplished. It's funny because before I went to Dublin, I didn't really like Guinness that much. I hadn't really had one since my freshman year of college, so it had been awhile, but once I started drinking it again in Dublin I really enjoyed it. I'll update again tomorrow with London!