Thursday, February 18, 2010

Dublin and Back Again

Well let’s see, it has been a week since my last post. I’m certain to get an angry email from mom inquiring about my lack of blogging so if I ever get proper internet to post this, I hope all parties will be satisfied.

Last Thursday night (wow I do need to blog more. I feel this is going to be a long one) my class saw Nation which was pretty awesome. It was the first of the plays that we’ve seen that has been, well, kid friendly. We sat behind a row of 10 year-olds and I found myself enjoying the production as much as they did. It certainly wasn’t the plot or script that was so compelling, but rather insanely cool special effects and music. It was ridiculously visually compelling. Although, WARNING SPOILER (though I doubt any of you will be hopping the pond to see it) the ending was sooo British. What I mean by this is that the two young lovers must separate. The girl chooses duty to England over her true love who she never sees again. Now, I totally rewrote the ending in my head. Had this been an American production, there is no way in heck the girl would have chosen country over her true love. I suppose we just don’t think that way.

Anyway, after the production ended we headed back home for an hour. We packed our bags and hopped on the tube to go to the bus station. There we needed to board a bus to go to London-Stansted airport where our flight to Dublin was. We got to the bus station at 12 am. Normally they run every half hour, but do to a major accident on the roads we ended up having to wait 2 hours in the freezing cold. The experience was brightened by a fellow waiting passenger pulling out his guitar and providing the frozen crowd with U2 covers. Finally the bus came as we drove the 1.5 hours to the airport. Now it’s about 3:30 am and we are starving. We grab some food and floor space to wait til our counter opened. After another 2 hours we finally boarded the airplane. We flew RyanAir which is super cheap but it’s a crazy experience. No one is assigned seats so its absolute insanity as you check in. We got to Dublin around 8:00, took an hour long bus to our hostel. We were told our room wouldn’t be ready until 1 pm so we weary travelers went in search of breakfast. My friend Claire has an Irish friend who met up with us for breakfast. She was awesome, had a really fun accent, and played a good tour guide. We walked about a bit and then crashed at our hostel for a 3 hour nap.

Showered and rested we met up with our new Irish friend, Denise, and her roommate who is a Spanish guy working as a civil engineer in Dublin. We went to this really cool converted church for dinner and then went out on the town. We got to see real Irish pubs and people. There was live music everywhere which was so much fun.

Saturday was a bit frustrating. I didn’t get to see everything that I would have liked and there was some friend drama. I won’t get into the details but it wasn’t pleasant. But as frustrating as Saturday was for me I think it was helpful. I know how I like to travel and made up my mind to start doing things my way. I only get to have this experience once and I don’t want to regret what I didn’t see or do. We flew back Sunday morning and had a very lazy rest of the day.

Monday we went to see The Caretaker which is a rather odd play. Jeremy (maybe?) Pryce was in it and he’s a hugely famous actor here. I think he was the dad in Pirates of the Caribbean or something. Anyway, it was a pretty compelling play. I’m actually procrastinating writing the paper I have due about it by writing this blog. The acting was absolutely incredible and the set design truly enhanced elements of the story I hadn’t picked up on by reading the script alone.

Tuesday…hmmm…I don’t really recall what I did on Tuesday. It must not have been very exciting so anyways…Moving on…

Yesterday was a lot of fun. For class we went to White Hall which is the location for a former palace. It’s now home to military buildings but certain parts of the palace remain. We went into a Banqueting Hall that was simply breathtaking. It was huge and had these giant murals on the ceilings. I swear I spent an hour craning my head upwards because they were soo beautiful. It was this room that Charles I walked through on his way to his beheading. This is ironic for a number of reasons, but that would require a major history lesson which I’ll spare you. I’m learning so much about British history. Mom, I think about you a lot and how much you would totally love all this stuff given your infatuation with this time period and royalty.

After class I decided to go to the National Portrait Gallery by myself. I had already been there for class but didn’t get to see nearly enough. So I put on my headphones, blasted the Spring Awakening soundtrack and had an absolutely wonderful time exploring the gallery. The pieces there are stunning and I found an entire room of portraits of writers of the Romantic period. English major nerd out session ensued big time. After thoroughly exhausting the gallery I decided to go to a bookstore that I found. It was just so nice to be around all those books. I still need to find a good library here. I resisted buying a Virginia Woolf book but I have some books with me that I have yet to read. George Eliot first, then onto Virginia Woolf. I came back, made some dinner, and read some King Lear for class. It was an absolutely lovely day.

Today I had a city walk for class. Unfortunately the weather is freezing and raining so it was not the most enjoyable experience. We went inside The Monument (in dedication to the great fire in 1666) and climbed the 300 plus stairs to the top. The place was packed and I had some severe claustrophobic moments, but it was worth it when we got to the top. Plus, when you come back down you get a cute little certificate stating your accomplishment of making to the top. We walked around the city some more and headed home. Which brings us to now, me procrastinating and attempting to defrost.

Tonight we are going to see Dunsinane which is an entirely new production being put on by the Royal Shakespeare Company. The script is brand new so it should be very interesting. Tomorrow I have a couple of classes and then ANNA IS COMING TO VISIT! So excited. It will be so lovely to see a familiar face.

This should be a very fun weekend in London.

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