Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Holiday

leprechaun: un lutin

I'm definitely not dead.

I realize that this is a very delayed post detailing my experiences in Anglophonic Europe. And for that I am sorry. But my reasoning is valid.

I woke up really early Sunday morning for no reason, and, despite the fact that I generally approve of being awake, it was the opposite of enjoyable. It felt like tiny rock climbers were slowly scaling the walls of my throat, and no matter how much I coughed, I couldn't get them out.

So that happened. That's why I've been MIA. Still feeling pretty coughy, but not so debilitatingly pathetic anymore.

Anyway . . . England!

It was super fun! I flew from Nice-->Zürich-->Manchester on the 26th of October. But I didn't sleep much the night before, and I had to leave my room at 5am to run to the bus stop (I totally felt like I was on the Amazing Race running through the night with my cumbersome hand luggage).

So . . . I guess, here's the highlight reel:

-Met a friend. Saw the sights. Ate some food. Went to bed.

THIS . . . IS . . . MANCHESTER!!

-I fell asleep more instantaneously than I ever have before. This is a cool new talent I've developed. "Being able to fall asleep immediately anywhere, anytime." It's actually pretty helpful when you're traveling and don't know where your next bed will be. But . . . if you're not careful, this talent will turn on you. And make you look like an idiot.

Train ride back to Manchester from Dublin

I am wholly incapable of sleeping with my mouth closed. You know in those movies where Boy says to Girl, "Oh, I was just watching you sleep. You looked so peaceful." This will never happen to me. The closest thing to "peaceful" that I can pull off is "dead."

-The next morning, Ben (friend from UT) and I took a train to York. It was really rainy. Kind of added to the England experience though, so not the biggest bummer. (It was so rainy, in fact, that my camera flash kept turning on automatically.)

Heavy doors are liars.

-We toured the York Minster. I think it's the second largest cathedral in England. Don't quote me on that though. Like if you're doing a project or something. Or talking to someone who's really pretentious. You should probably look it up.

Window on the left is the "Five Sisters Window." INFORMATION!

-Then Ben went to a café to finish writing a paper, and I walked along the wall surrounding York. In the rain. It was only sort of miserable.

Only one entrance, and one exit. I can't believe I "walked" the whole thing.

-On the overnight train to Dublin, we stopped in Manchester for 17 minutes, so Ben went to find Wifi real fast to email his paper to his prof. I went ahead to the next train. The train came. I got on. Aaaaand the train left. No Ben. No bueno. And the battery light was flashing on my phone. It hadn't died yet, but it was definitely "mostly dead."

You've been mostly dead all day!

-Sooo I made the rest of the journey through Manchester, Chester, Holyhead, the Dublin ferryport, and the Dublin station all by my lonesome. (When I finally got to the Dublin station at 5:30 in the morning I was SO tired that I fell asleep in a crumpled pile on one of the chairs only to be woken up by a concerned security guard who probably thought I was either in a mind-numbing state of depression or a coma.)

-I somehow managed to meet up with my other friend Sam in Dublin with all his university friends. We dropped our stuff off at the hostel and then went to the GUINNESS FACTORY!!

View from the Gravity Bar

-Saturday we wondered around Dublin. Kind of a lazy day. Churches were expensive & not really worth it. Castle was lame. Museums were informative. Blah blah blah.

Ireland's motto?                             Occupy Dublin!

Motorcycle protest thing            Connor & . . . of course

-Sunday we took a van tour through the Wicklow mountains and Glendalough (south of Dublin). It was over 7 hours of pure joy.

This is the valley where they filmed Braveheart, Saving Private Ryan, AND Lassie. We decided to act some of them out. Can YOU find Private Ryan??

Look, Amy! It's P.S. I Love You!!!!


Ed: our tour guide. He was great.

Watchtower to keep out vikings coming to kidnap teenagers from the monastery!

Hug and make a wish!

-Ed was probably the most knowledgeable person I've met in Europe so far and definitely the most entertaining. He told us SO MANY STORIES and showed us SO MANY THINGS.
1. Enya's castle
2. Daniel Day Lewis' house/town/pub
3. St. Kevin's Monastery
4. Bono's house
5. Van Halen's driveway
6. 23 Martello Towers
7. Guinness house
8. and lots of others I can't remember now

(I would have accused him of being a name-dropper if he wasn't so fantastic.)

9. Also he told us that Gerard Butler was on holiday cycling through the Wicklow mountains. I stared far too creepily at EVERY biker we passed. No Gerard Butler. Pity.

-Monday I met up with my cousin Christie who lives in Dublin. And, I'll condense this by like a THOUSAND, but, basically, there were more issues with getting train tickets to get back to Manchester. Fortunately, it was all sorted out in the end. Plus it was really rainy, so there wasn't much we could do tourist-wise on a bank holiday, so Christie and I just went for drinks and hung out for a bit. That seems to be what people do in Dublin.

IV. MANCHESTER . . . again
-Got to Manchester. Got my suitcase from Ben's room. Went to the airport. Through security and customs and everything by 10am. Plane didn't leave until 2. So, then . . . well . . . you know where this is going.


That was hauntingly long. I apologize if you got bored by the end. But it was 7 days of travel. So I inevitably left out A LOT of cool stories.
Which reminds me, speaking of haunting . . . well, we'll get to that story another day.

Amitiés :)


  1. Molly, your pictures are Beautiful! : )

  2. it's not dead yet! and that was so the place where ps i love you was filmed or one that looks creepily similar.

  3. also, i got all our tickets/hotel rooms for the paris leg of the trip. Aaaaand -- we are going to Chartres and staying in a converted monastery right by the cathedral! Look up the city --- tres mignon!

  4. Thank you, Rebecca!!

    And it WAS where P.S. I Love You was filmed! Ed told us. He knows everything.
    (What a perfect moment for Gerard Butler to bike by. But...alas.)


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