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Eat, Drink, Serendipity – A Trip to Ireland

I have a big birthday that it approaching faster than I would like it to. But I guess they do say that being 30 is a wonderful thing! I’ve actually felt 30 for some time but I have a feeling that when its official I might wish for another couple years first. I’m a big fan at giving myself some type of birthday gift each year. It ranges from a new top to a spa treatment but this year it had to be big. So at the end of April I boarded a plane and headed off to Ireland and Scotland via an overnight flight straight from Toronto to Dublin.  Because the trip covered two countries I’m going to cover the trip in two posts so I can properly share my amazing trip here. I also have so many tips for traveling alone and to these two countries that I’ll be putting up a post to share this with you all very soon.

Ireland took my breath away. From the first steps off the airport bus and down a street towards my BnB I was in love. I arrived at 5:30 in the morning but I wouldn’t of had it any other way. I was able to take in Dublin before the pubs opened and the streets got busy with people. My BnB host was there with open arms to greet me at 8:00 that morning Dublin time.

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Now I come from a family that when we travel we don’t nap, or consider napping. You can sleep when you get home – my mom says (and reminded me of during this trip via text). So within the first two days I cover almost all the sites of Dublin including some wondering, getting slightly lost, a yarn store and a musical pub tour through-out Temple Bar area.

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The people of Dublin are so lovely and friendly. Everywhere I went I was greeted with people that were up for a bit of a chat and so welcoming into their shops and restaurants. The energy there in the city center (or town as the locals call it) is so alive and exciting. You can feel the history of the place at almost every turn whether it be down a busy street or a quiet small park.

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My original trip plan had included a drive from Dublin up the coast to Belfast. I wanted to get lost in thought down a country road with stone walls on either side. But sadly the cost and hassle of the rental car out weighted the dream so instead I booked myself on a full day bus tour that would curve my craving for the Irish countryside.

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The bus tour day was outstanding!! The day was planned to include the Titanic museum in Belfast, a drive along the coast to Giants Causeway and a walk across the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. Due to weather the rope bridge was substituted with a whiskey tasting which no one on the bus minded. Then very early in the morning of the bus trip the day got even better. Sitting right next to me sat three people from Ontario. They weren’t only just from Ontario but we’re good friends with some off my good friends. It was such a small world moment and truly a moment of serendipity. The people we met along the 13 hour bus day are people that I hope to run into again soon. This day had me laughing like I hadn’t done in ages and a smile on my face for the whole long day. The tour was outstanding and I’ve included some info about taking a group tour in my travel tips post. I can’t guarantee that you will sit next to someone you would of walked past in the halls of a college 7 years previously but I also now can not say that you won’t!

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The following day I left for Scotland but I could of stayed in Ireland the whole trip. I loved it so much that I was a little trilled that because of Scotland train times I would be able to spend two more nights in Dublin before flying back to Canada.

I was so happy to be going back to Dublin because there is something about visiting a city where you just know where you are going without a map and you feel more like a local than a tourist. My last day of course had a bit off shopping which included the wonderful yarn store This is Knit which if you go into you then must go to Counter Culture which is located within the same building for some lunch. I was lucky to pick up some of the nicest hand dyed sock yarn at the shop that will take a special sock pattern to knit up for myself.

Ireland – thank you for everything and I will be back and very soon!