I spent my first Thanksgiving away from the US in green and beautiful Ireland. I spent two days in Dublin, and about two and a half days in a town called Wicklow on the east coast.
When I arrived at the Dublin airport, my first thought was, “What is this language?!” Every sign at the airport, and also in the city of Dublin, is in English and in Irish Gaelic. Gaelic really looks nothing like English, for example the word for “Dublin” is “Bhaile Átha Cliath.” I definitely had no idea it was so widely used. Our first day in Dublin we visited Trinity College Dublin (looks like Hogwarts) and enjoyed the Christmas lights in the city.
We also visited Temple Bar, the famous nightlife spot in Dublin. It was so touristy at night, but also kind of reminded me of 6th Street in Austin.
By far my favorite thing about Ireland was the countryside. We rented a car and I drove us to Wicklow Mountains National Park, which is about an hour drive outside of Dublin. Important side note: they drive on the left in Ireland. I drove on the other side of the road! The drive there I was completely disoriented and a little terrified of having an accident, but by the drive home I had adjusted and felt pretty confident. There are a lot of roundabouts in Ireland, which made things really difficult. But the main thing I had trouble with was swerving into the the lane to the left of me, because my sense of orientation in my lane was off since I was on the right side of the car. But despite the fact that I terrorized a few Irish drivers (I got honked more than a few times), I successfully drove on the left without causing a major accident.
Wicklow is a picturesque seafront town with some cute lighthouses you can visit on the coast.
If I had more time, I would’ve loved to visit some of the towns on the Irish west coast. But for now, cheers Ireland! I had a wonderful stay.