A Day of Relaxation and Exploration – By Abigail Koehler

Yesterday we decided to enjoy our Sunday off and take a day trip to Howth while some of the others took a trip to Cork and the Blarney Stone. Getting to Howth was pretty easy, we took the train from Don Laoghaire, which is where UCD treated us to dinner last week. I would definitely say the hardest part about taking the train was breathing due to the smell! Once we got to Howth the first thing we did was go to the Howth Market. This was an adorable little market filled with food stands, crafts, and jewelry. Three of us bought beautiful Indian tapestries that may actually come be the basis of us trying to convince our friends and family back home that we really spent this weekend in India. Although the tapestries were not locally made, we soon found out as we walked toward the pier that all of the fish served in Howth restaurants is caught locally and brought in straight from the boats. In addition to plenty of restaurants, there were local fish markets lining the walk to the pier. Everything seemed so fresh that it made even me, who hates anything seafood, want to try the fish! After hanging out on the pier for about half an hour watching locals ride around on their jet skis, we decided to sit down for dinner. We went to Crabby Joes, where Torie, Alex, and Ryan had the best fish and chips that they’ve had yet in Ireland and Alex had seafood chowder that she didn’t stop taking about until it was all gone. Next we went to the cliff walk that gave us some of the most beautiful views we’ve seen on this trip, comparable to the Cliffs of Moher! We even saw some kids cliff jumping off the smaller parts of the cliff! After taking advantage of the great photo ops (of course) and spending some time relaxing on top of the cliffs, we decided to head on back to what now feels like home, UCD. This day in Howth was a much needed day filled with relaxation and as the Irish say, “good craic”.  Although these past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind filled with tours, full days of class, and assessments, we are excited looking forward to the next two weeks that give us a little more free time to explore Dublin and wherever else we may go.