Last day in Dublin, and a bit of a busy one at that.
See, we had a plan for Dublin, and it involved certain things on different days. Unfortunately, winter changes a lot of the open times and dates around these parts. Long story short, we wanted to book an outing to go play gaelic sports, but they only operate on Fridays and Saturdays in Winter. Naturally, we arrived late Friday night and had already booked a tour for Saturday. So, after a bit of emailing back and forth on Alyssa's part, they agreed to do a special session for us anyway. There was a touch of argument as to whether or not we still wanted to do the outing, but in the end, we confirmed and prepared for our athletic endeavors the next day.
As it turns out, none of us have a latent talent in the Gaelic sports, but we did enjoy giving them a go with our coach Brian, who had the heaviest accent we heard the whole time we were in Ireland. He also had a penchant for using the word "Lovely" which was entertaining.
The first sport we tried was handball. This is a bit like squash or racquetball, but with your hand instead of a racquet. I was somehow very bad with my good hand, but somewhat decent with my "very good hand". Once we had the basics, we squared off against one another in small matches. I beat Megan and Alyssa, Megan beat Alyssa, and none of us beat Brian, though we did manage one point against his each. It likely doesn't help that he had been chosen to represent his county in that particular sport.
Moving on to hurling, which is ridiculous. We were handed a plastic hurl, which is sort of like an axe, I suppose. Long handle, wide sort of rounded head down at the end. Anywho, there is a small ball involved, sort of like a baseball but a bit softer. The goal is to whack this ball with the paddle into the net or between the bars like a field goal. But you can't pick the ball up off of the ground or hold it with your hand. Also, your grip on the thing is backwards of holding a baseball bat, which is terribly disconcerting. Long story short, much coordination required. We gave it a shot, but no one was very good at that one.
The last sport we played was Gaelic football, which is played with a ball that looks like a volleyball, but is harder like a soccer ball. In ladies football you can pick the ball up off the ground, which was a plus, but you can't take more than four-ish (They said with the Irish, everything ends in -ish) steps before you have to dribble it once, or kick it off your foot back to yourself, or pass the ball. Luckily, passing the ball is essentially a volleyball underhand serve. You kick the ball into the net or between the posts for points. This game we were actually fairly good at. I could see picking it up back home, but I sincerely doubt we would have anyone who knew how to play. Or wanted to.
From there, the nice guy in charge whose name I cannot remember dropped us off at a nearby pub called Gravediggers, which has been around since 1833 and hasn't changed the decor one bit. Legend has it that during funerals, the pallbearers would stop on the way to the graveyard next door to have a pint, leaving the caskets outside for the Gravediggers, hence the name. Or so said our taxi driver. In any case, Megan and Alyssa had one last Guinness, and Kristi just enjoyed the ambience.
We caught a cab on the way back to the hostel, collected our gear and headed to the airport. Megan keeps having to check her backpack in the oversized luggage because of all of the straps on it. Luckily the bag I bought, and convinced Alyssa to buy as well, has straps that can be disassembled and tucked away, so we haven't had an issue. After that, we had a traditional Irish dinner of McDonald's. XD
We got through security without a fuss, and did a little shopping. I am on the hunt for earplugs that work. No one seems to have the crappy foam ones we have at home. They all have fancy ones that cost 9 euro and don't work at all. I also grabbed some souvenirs and presents for people back home. You shall all get them for Christmas.
We headed to our gate and boarded soon after and were in the air headed towards Budapest. The flight was very slightly bumpy here and there, and the engine was super loud, but no problems other than the crew constantly trying to convince us to buy something. We were trying to sleep. Rude. I have not yet managed to sleep on a plane. By the time I get my head comfortable, the light is in my eyes, or its too loud, or my bum is flat. This will be an ongoing mission. With half the flights done, I'm not sure I like my odds.
In any case, we took a cab to our hostel and checked in. It's quite clean, and we have an ensuite bathroom, which is awesome, but its loud. It's meant to be a party hostel, and despite the fact that its nearly 3am here and there are maybe two people downstairs, they are still blasting that music. Did I mention I'm hunting for earplugs? :)