Sunday, March 27, 2011

Dublin and London

I've put off writing an entry about my St. Patrick's Day in Dublin and the subsequent weekend excursion to London because on the return journey from that trip, I misplaced my digital camera somewhere between Belfast and Coleraine - needless to say, I'm pretty annoyed at losing my pictures!  I've been unable to locate the camera so far, so I'm just going to give a brief summary of events; if the camera turns up, I will post another blog post with some photos.

Early in the morning of the 17th, I joined dozens of other international students here at the Uni. of Ulster on two charter buses headed for Dublin, the capital of the Republic of Ireland.  It was a blur of a day!  St. Patrick's Day in Dublin is definitely an international event - there were accents from all parts of the world.  The parade was fun and featured colorful, imaginative floats and costumes worn by marchers from many different counties of Ireland.  After the parade, some of us grabbed lunch in the excessively crowded Westmoreland Street, and took a sort of walking pub tour.  By 1 AM, most of us were ready to take a rest on the bus ride back to Coleraine!

The next day, my fellow travelers and I woke up and packed for a three day jaunt to London.  Like our flight to Edinburgh, it was a short and comfortable flight - this contrasted with the rigmarole of the rest of the journey, which required 2 buses, 3 trains and one ride on the Underground to get to (and from) our hostel.  We had been forewarned by nearly everyone who found out we were going to London about the high cost of touring the city.  However, we found that a free walking tour around Westminster and another night-time tour of the East End were great, affordable ways of introducing ourselves to the insurmountable city. 

I'm still trying to remember everything we saw; it includes the Globe Theater, St. Paul's Cathedral, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, Admiralty Arch, Hyde Park, the Tower of London (from the outside), Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery, the Tate Modern Art Museum, the Camden Town markets, Buckingham Palace and Soho.  Obviously, it was all incredible; I was sorry to leave, but there will be so much more to explore when (?!) I go back! 

That's all for now.  I still hope to recover my camera so I can share some of my photos.

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