Written by Lilian

November 29, 2022

This weekend, I flew to the capital of Ireland – Dublin – to visit my cousin who attends medical school in the city! We spent our first day together walking around downtown Dublin and touring his medical school. I saw the bank where the Harry Potter’s Gringotts scenes were filmed and the Trinity College campus. Dublin’s downtown consists of low rising buildings filled with Irish pubs, stores, and residence buildings. Almost on every corner was an Irish pub! For lunch, we ordered “Spice Bags”— a paper bag filled with French fries, fried chicken, and a magnitude of different spices eaten with chopsticks— from a local Chinese takeout restaurant. The dish is truly an Irish classic. After finishing eating, we stopped to listen to some of the live music at the Temple Bar. 

From left to right: Irish Spice Bags, Grafton Street, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. 

Later that night, we watched his school’s production of Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None” which is about 10 people who get mysteriously invited to a mansion on a remote island. One by one, members of the party get killed off, and the remaining survivors must try and figure out who the murderer is all while protecting themselves. It was really good and the actors were amazing. Additionally, the production can say someone flew from abroad to see their play! 

The next day, we ate brunch— I ordered the poached eggs and squash— and then headed to Howth Island via bus where we completed the Howth cliff walk. We hiked to the top of one of the mountains near the shore, and the wind was so intense. We could lean into the wind and be completely supported; it felt as if we were in a hurricane. The waves which crashed on the rocky shores were almost six feet tall, and the wind brought a cold misty spray as we walked along the slippery and muddy path. Despite the bad weather, the Ireland coast was gorgeous and well worth the chills. After Daylight Savings this October, the sun sets very early in the day (in my opinion, too early in the day). Starting at 4pm, we were required to run the rest of the trail— approximately 3 km— in order to reach the lighthouse by sundown; we finished panting, tired, and thoroughly satisfied. As a reward, we chowed down on ice cream at a dessert bar, fried dumplings, and carbonara ramen (which did not taste like carbonara if you were curious). 

The Howth Island Cliff Walk. Located about an hour via bus from the Dublin city center, it’s very easy to find and complete! 

On the last day, we ate breakfast together, and I was able to try the “Full Irish breakfast” which consists of sausages, ham, potato wedges, eggs, mushrooms, beans and toast, and black pudding. Black pudding is a sausage made of sheep’s blood and oats, and against most people’s opinion, I personally did not think it was that bad (although, I did not like the beans and toast). Afterwards, I took the bus to the airport to fly back to Luxembourg. 

Full Irish Breakfast. I find it quite fascinating how different countries’ breakfasts are so different from one another! 

Ireland was absolutely gorgeous. Howth Island was amazing to hike despite the running and the bad weather. If I had to come back to Ireland, which I hope to do in the future, I would love to see more of Ireland’s coastlines and towns! I also loved spending time with my cousin and catching up with him, and I cannot wait until he is back in the States! Also, not to brag, but I totally beat him, a med student, in the game “Operation”— €2700 to €2600.