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Madison, WI, USA
Last updated 10/2/2012
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Country Recap: Ireland

Sunrise on the last day of our trip

We didn’t realize it when we booked our flight home, but we actually had a 14 hour layover in Dublin. We decided to take advantage of this and??stayed at a??hostel that was right in the Temple Bar area of town. Once we got checked in (which took forever because the hostel had messed up our booking), we went out looking for a pub. Many of them had already closed for the night, but we found a lively one with a band playing an eclectic mix of tunes. Since we didn’t feel like dancing, we went over to the quiet half of the pub and tried a pint of Guinness. It really does taste better??in Ireland, although I’m not exactly sure how to describe the difference. The flavor seemed richer and the texture was nice and velvety.

The next morning we had enough time for our second major objective: an Irish breakfast. We went to The Earl, a little place where everyone seemed to know each other. I asked Dennis, the owner, what a traditional Irish breakfast consists of, and he explained that it depends on who you talk to.??In his opinion, it’s an egg, beans, rashers, and pudding, both white and??black. I said that’s what I wanted and he even threw in sausage and toast for free. It didn’t look like a whole lot on the plate, but it was very filling and delicious.

After that we went on an hour walk through the city. We saw Grafton Street, Trinity College, St. Stephen’s Green, and Dublin Castle. I would have loved to see more, but by then it was time to head to the airport and bring our year-long trip to an end.

Top experience?

Nikki: Eating an Irish breakfast.

Brad: The Irish breakfast.

Bottom experience?

Nikki: Dealing with our stupid hostel. The staff seemed to have no idea what was going on and the place was really dirty.

Brad: Dealing with the hostel. They got our reservation wrong and it took a long time to sort out.

Favorite??person we met?

Nikki: Dennis, who gave us a great breakfast.

Brad: Dennis, the owner of the place we ate our traditional Irish breakfast. He was very nice and talkative.

Worst disaster?

Nikki: Going through US customs and immigration in the Dublin airport. My passport had somehow been marked as invalid, so we had to go to the “Admissions Review” room in the back and get grilled by an incredulous officer for five minutes. Luckily they decided we weren’t a national security threat.

Brad: The U.S. customs pre-clearance process. The line was long and slow and the personnel rude. Nikki went to the “extra questioning” area because the Bangkok embassy messed up when she got extra passport pages. Our flight was 30 minutes late because of how slow the overly-paranoid U.S. government bureaucracy was.

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