And back to the trip recap!
Day Four – Travel to Dublin, Birr Castle, Pep Rally
Today, we checked out of our lovely hotel in Galway and headed to Dublin. It’s not a very long drive, but it was made extra special scenic with a stop at Birr Castle. (And in pulling up that link, I discovered they do weddings there. Who wants to marry me in Ireland?)
Also, someone actually lives in that castle. Crazy.
The site is also the location of some amazing gardens and a telescope from 1845 that is insanely huge and also awesome.
We made it to Dublin. Dublin was CRAZY. Probably because of all the Notre Dame and Navy fans there. I think I heard there were 60,000 people there for the game? Yikes.
That night, we went to the “pep rally,” but I think that was the wrong term for it. It was a giant performance of sorts, with musicians and dancers and local politicians and celebrities. It was strange, but awesome.
Also, it was televised on local networks. I wonder what the locals thought as they watched the end, with the whole crowd singing and swaying along to the Alma Mater.
Day Five – Notre Dame v. Navy
Ahh yes, the official reason for our trip. FOOTBALL!
We opted to sleep in today and not start drinking at the crack of dawn. We were TIRED! So we had a lazy morning and then walked over to the stadium.
Yes, we were there a little early, but we had to make sure we got our beer, after all.
The game was awesome. Navy had a good bunch of their Midshipmen there, as well as (some of?) their band, and ND had their upperclassmen band members. Clearly, that’s crucial for my enjoyment of college football.
You can’t tell very well from this shot, but the band is making the shape of Ireland. Awesome.
The game was definitely a good start to Notre Dame’s season.
No complaints here.
After the game, we walked back to our hotel, beating all the busses that were driving people back. For dinner, more alcohol and cake. This is possibly why I gained four pounds while on vacation.
Day Six – Tour of Dublin, Guinness Storehouse Party
First off, Dublin was insane this entire weekend. Not only was it the Notre Dame/Navy game, but it was also the Gaelic Football All-Ireland semi-final between Dublin and Mayo. Our tour guide was from Mayo and tried to explain things, and cutely stated that there was no way Mayo would win because Dublin was awesome, but she would always be a fan. Spoiler alert: Mayo won.
So this day, we drove around Dublin, seeing the sights and stopping at a few (very crowded) places.
Before 11 am, this was in front of me.
I’m not a huge whiskey fan, but this was really fascinating. I think my liquor cabinet needs a bottle of Jameson now. And it was just interesting to learn how whiskey is made. The distillery is a very cool place.
Then we went on to Christ Church Cathedral, which was beautiful, though we didn’t have much time there.
It was a bit strange to walk down into the crypts and find not only a gift shop but free wi-fi. I also ran into Chrissy down there, who lived across the hall from me during our freshman year. She and a friend were doing a five day bike tour of the southern part of Ireland in a few days. I’m jealous.
Traffic was horrific in Dublin this day, so in general, it was a bit of a bummer. We went to Trinity College to see The Book of Kells, but it was so crowded that I just wanted to get out. We ultimately ditched our tour and wandered the city on our own. It was easier to get around on foot than by bus.
That evening, we had tickets to a Notre Dame Party at the Guinness Storehouse.
Yes, it was a day filled with alcohol. But it was delicious. I would like to go back to the brewery for the official tour, but we had a good time and the food was good. Also, the beer. You can go all the way to the top and see a 360 degree view of Dublin, but by the time we got there, it was dark and also crowded. That was sort of the story of the weekend, but what do you expect with 60,000 American football fans in the city?
Still to come? Days 7-9!