25. Dublin, Ireland
(Actual Trip Date: October 17-19, 2010)
Dublin is extremely alive at night. There are plenty of restaurants, bars, and the atmosphere is wonderfully lively and tranquil at the same time. We were there when the sun was slowly setting, peeking shyly through the clouds as it casted golden light over the beautiful cathedrals and parks. Unfortunately, I was only able to spend an evening in Dublin before I had to head back to Maastricht. Even with only an evening, we were able to experience the beauty of this city.
Some of the most beautiful cathedrals in all of Europe probably resides in Dublin. We visited two: Christ Church and Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. While basking in the frostiness of the evening and smiling at the glowing skylights while shuffling through piles of proliferating autumn leaves, we danced around the city, stopping by a park, laughing while sitting contently staring at the gorgeous children running through, laughing without a care in the world.
It was during those times where I smiled easily, letting every upcoming school worry drain out of me. I thought back to my childhood and I shook my head in wonder as I realized where all my hard work has gotten me now. I stared at the mothers running around, making sure their kids were safe on the swings or the monkey bars. I can’t help thinking how odd it is that only in six to ten years, I could possibly be one of those mothers.
For us, Dublin was our last night in Ireland haven before we retreated back to the realities of being a pre-med student. We cherished our inner child and played on the swings, watched the golden sunset, and then ate an Irish meal.
And now here I divert my story to the chaos of us trying to get back to Maastricht. Beware travelers: randomly there can be train strikes that ruin ALL OF YOUR PLANS. FRIGGIN BELGIUM! This is what happened to us when we landed in Belgium and tried to get a train to the Netherlands. NO TRAINS = us catching the longest bus rides in the world to Amsterdam and missing our first classes the next morning.
FRIGGIN BELGIUM, as my friends and I would say.