Sunday, March 6, 2016

Back in Dublin for 3 Hours and Off to Liverpool

It was Monday, February 22nd. 6:15 pm. After spending 4 days in Budapest, Hungary, I was exhausted and just wanted to take a rest for 20 min. But since I'm only abroad for just 18 weeks, I wanted to make the most of every opportunity to travel that I can. Therefore, when the opportunity to travel to England via flight presented itself through a 1 Euro flight, my friend Casey and I couldn't resist. Yep, that's right, a flight one way to another country for just 1 Euro. It was a flash sale that Ryanair was running and we we're lucky enough to take advantage of it. Well at least Casey was; I booked the flight a little too late and missed the deal but still only paid 50 Euro roundtrip whereas he paid 25 Euro roundtrip. We had just gotten back from Budapest earlier that day, I attended my class, grabbed a bite to eat, and headed back to my apartment to throw some clothes in my backpack for the trip. Given that the flights through Ryanair are so inexpensive, I'm only allowed to bring a carry-on with me which is my medium sized North Face backpack. I've become very good at only packing essentials and making the most out of the not-so-large amount of space. We caught the bus to the airport around 6:45 to make our 8:20pm flight which arrived in Liverpool, England just 50 min later. The flight seemed so short compared to the 4 hour flight I had been on earlier that day. When we arrived at the airport, we caught the public bus to the center of the city and found our way to our hostel. We hung out for little while before heading out to the part of town recommended by the receptionist at the hostel known for having good nightlife.
After having a great night which involved running into a stag party where the groom was dressed as a ballerina, a few pieces of fried chicken, and a lot of enthusiastic dancing, we called it a night at about 5am. Given that we were on vacation, neither of us felt the need to wake up any time before 1pm, and that's exactly how it went. Just like my mom always used to tell me, "Always try to get 8 hours of sleep!" and ya know, that's exactly what we did; had a great night and still got a lot o
f sleep, just the way two college students should do it. We drug ourselves out of bed and got ready to walk around the city of Liverpool for the day. We didn't plan anything specifically to do (and I honestly didn't think there was much to do in Liverpool except the Beatles Museum). I'm happy to say I was impressed by the beauty of the city. Given that it is right on a river, if has a lot of great waterfront views and shops near the water.

We walked around for a while, soaking up the sunny 50 degree temperatures.
We didn't make it to the Beatles Museum because by the top we found it, it was closing. For dinner, we found a restaurant that had 50% off food for the entire day so we both enjoyed a great meal for just under 10 British Pounds each. We headed back to the hostel to hang out and get ready to go out again that night. Looking at the fitness app on my phone, we had walked another 7 miles that day. Between 4 days in Budapest and the 2 days in Liverpool, we had walked nearly 40 miles just from exploring the city. Lucky for us, we had perfect weather most of the days so we didn't mind all of the walking too much; plus, naps were essential on both trips :).
We relaxed in our hostel for a bit when we got back around 9:00 only to get ready to take another night on the town. Sure we might have both been exhausted but our time in Liverpool was limited and we wanted to make the most out of. We headed back toward the area of two we were at the night before. I find it interesting how a lot of the bars and clubs in a lot of the cities I've been to such as Dublin, Budapest, and Edinburgh normally play American hit songs, the same ones I head all the time at home. It's not necessarily a bad thing but I would have expected to hear more European style songs. I was very intrigued by the figures below: a real stuffed rabbit riding a real stuffed alligator...maybe the fact that the bar was called "The Black Rabbit" had something to do with it; still hilarious.  After another long night of drinks and a heck of a lot of dancing, we got some food and called it a 5am again...time was a bit irrelevant to us during this trip.

I slept for somewhere around an hour, just enough to rest a bit but our flight was at 8:25am in order for us to make it back to go to our Wednesday classes; luckily neither of us had class on Tuesday. We caught our flight just in time...and I mean literally in the nick of time. The bus was a bit delayed picking us up and so we arrived at the airport at 7:55. The lady at the front desk who checked our passports said "You know the gates are closing in 10 minutes" and we both nodded and bolted for security. We made it through security in about 8 minutes and proceeded to run in a full sprint to the boarding gate. Can't say it was the first time I've had to do that though; almost missed a connecting flight about 3 years ago. We made the flight and with sighs of relief, fell asleep for the whole 50 min flight back to Dublin. We arrived in Dublin, took a bus from the airport back to University College Dublin, and in perfect sequence, walked into my class at the same time I normally do, 3 minutes before 11:00am.
Most people would call us crazy for spending 4 days in Budapest and almost immediately going to Liverpool, England for another 2 days. Most people would say there's no way a normal person could have survived those days like you two did with such little sleep. My mom will probably roll her eyes over this adventure. But at the end of the day, when I look back at my semester abroad, I want to be able to say that I made the most of it.


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