It is currently 8:50AM in Ireland and I am writing this post in the very back of the top floor of the bright yellow Dublin Bus (free wifi in every bus)! I have spent a couple of weeks here already and it feels like I have lived in Ireland for much longer. I have this feeling because I love it here. Everything is green and beautiful, all of the people I have met have been more than welcoming, and I am thoroughly enjoying getting to know the city of Dublin more as time goes on. I have been able to see so many beautiful places in Ireland (details to follow) and have been finding places I love to go to.
For example, some of my favorite streets are O’Connell and Temple Bar. Both of these streets offer unique aspects of culture that I have never experienced before. O’Connell street is one of the longest pedestrian streets in the world and it is very beautiful. The beauty of the street comes from blending together both the past and present. While walking on this street, I see vividly colored storefronts (mostly black, red, and green), which one can clearly tell have been there for a very long time. Along with the older buildings, newer stores such as H&M and Topshop are dispersed adjacent to many of the older buildings. The street of Temple Bar is a very traditionally Irish street that is lined with mostly all older buildings in pristine condition. These buildings consist mostly of pubs, restaurants, and a few shops but the energy of the area is very lively. Temple Bar is always packed with people at every part of the day and always has some sort of entertainment in the middle of the square (one of the most common is a competition where people pay to hold onto a pull-up bar and if they last 100 seconds they get 100 euro - nobody I have seen has won).
Besides O’Connell street and Temple Bar, the River Liffey is another landmark that is very well known and frequented throughout the course of a day in Dublin. The Liffey is the major river that divides the North and South sides of Dublin and I cross it every day on my commute to work. On occasion, people can be seen kayaking down the river in groups on a sunny day. Overall, the weather has been consistently different than the forecast and remains a large topic of small talk when meeting new people. I will not bore you with details of weather but I do appreciate how moderate the climate is, staying in the 60’s and a few days of the week are sunny and 70.
I have loved getting to know local Irish people and have recently made a friendship with both of the owners of a coffee shop I go to almost every morning located next to my bus stop. Their names are Mik and Billy and, as they were both born and raised in Ireland, they offer a unique perspective of Dublin and Ireland as a whole. After ordering my mocha, we usually talk about the country and how they have seen Ireland change over the time they have been there for. Just like all popular cities, both Mik and Billy have noticed a severe influx of new citizens and tourists with rising costs of living. They mentioned that the Irish government has a height restriction on all residential buildings in Ireland and with increasing numbers of people wanting to live in Ireland, the Irish government is considering lifting the restriction.
As a quick summary, I have been thoroughly enjoying my time here and am trying to do something new every single day. Thank you for making it to this point in my post and I hope you will read my next post about travel!
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<p>My name is Rachael Haugh and I am currently a Sophomore Supply Chain Management and Business Information Systems major from Portland, Oregon. Here at TCU, I have previously had a sports marketing internship with TCU Athletics, am currently a member of the Neeley Leadership Program, and work as a Manager for TCU Womens' basketball. When I'm not completing homework assignments or playing intramural sports, I can be found cooking/baking, hiking, or meeting new people.</p>