Upon arriving for a weekend trip in Dublin, Ireland while studying abroad in London a few years ago, I was bewildered at the question the locals greeted us with: “What’s the Craic?”
Turns out, “craic” (pronounced KRAK) is a term used for “news, gossip, fun, entertainment, and enjoyable conversation.” The question, “What’s the Craic?” means “How are you?” or, “Is there anything exciting happening?” Another common use of this term would be to say, “That was some mighty craic” after having a good time with friends.
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I’ve done a little reminiscing and compiled some surefire steps to the perfect Ireland trip. Just follow these, and the craic is sure to be mighty.
1. Grab a flight on budget airline RyanAir, and try not to get hit in the head as an entire men’s rugby team throws empty beer cans across the aisle at each other. If you don’t duck quickly enough then well, guess you don’t have the luck of the Irish.
2. Head over to the historic Trinity College Dublin and check out the GORGEOUS Trinity College Library, the largest library in Ireland and home to the Book of Kells.
3. Finally make it to the end of that rainbow.
4. Spend the evening at the famous Temple Bar sipping a Guinness (or an Irish coffee if, like me, you are NOT a beer person). Enjoy the pub’s cheery atmosphere and the live band’s lively folk music. They may even throw in a little Mumford & Sons if you’re lucky. You’ll know you’re having a good time when you’re Dublin over with laughter.
5. Take a day long bus tour over to the southwest coast of Ireland to see the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher. This is a MUST. These are the cliffs in Harry Potter, Princess Bride, and Leap Year. Even after spending the whole day here, you’re still going to wish you had mo-her time (seriously, Irish I made better puns).
6. Get right up on the edge of glory (safely) for the perfect photo-op. While you’re at it, go ahead an stick a giant sticker on your forehead that reads “HELLO MY NAME IS TOURIST.”
7. Snap a pic with your bestie who is beyond elated to be spending her 21st in the land of the leprechauns. Then snap the obligatory pano, obvi.
8. Poke fun at the “pop-your-leg-Biola-girl-pose” even though you are all in fact, Biola girls.
9. Back in Dublin, take in a service at the ornately beautiful St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
10. Catch a bus to the gorgeous, GREEN, “Glendalough,” an Irish national park with a name meaning “The Valley of Two Lakes.”
11. Feel free to do some ‘splorin’ on the hike but PLEASE, don’t go chasing waterfalls, because you may fall down one and your friends may all laugh and point fingers at you (after saving your life, of course).
12. Explore the Glendalough Round Tower and cemetery grounds, and learn about their history. (I wanted to make another pun here, but I think it’d just get buried at this point).
13. Delight your tastebuds at the DELECTABLE O’Neill’s Bar & Restaurant. Even if you’ve never had lamb before and you’re a little nervous, try the lamb stew because it is SO. DARN. GOOD.
14. If you’re feeling really brave, go for the traditional Irish breakfast like this friend did. Just don’t ask what’s in the sausage.
15. For your last day, head to Howth Head. This pretty little peninsula suburb on the northern part of the Dublin bay offers captivating coastal views.
16. If you weren’t sold yet, IT HAS A LIGHTHOUSE, as you can “sea.”
17. Take it all in with a heart full of gratitude and hope to find a four-leaf clover, so that you’ll be lucky enough to return one day!
P.S. If you missed my travel guide to the Northern England’s Lake District, click here.
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