For the past week, I’ve been battling (what I think is) a sprained ankle. It’s been getting better, but since walking around Dublin a lot on the first day, it’s been a little bit off. But, after class on Monday, I put in about 35 minutes on the elliptical. I figured this would be a good way to test it out before trying to full-out run, and so far, it’s been okay.
I put it even more to the test with my plans for the day — which included wandering on my own around the city. I finally started to sink my teeth into my final project (more on that in a minute), hit some of the spots I’ve been dying to go to since registering for the class, and got a new perspective on the city and what it means to be a tourist.
First, I just want to say that when I walk around downtown in Chicago, I almost always am listening to music. It’s rare to be walking to the grocery store or running errands and to not have earbuds in, and I think that’s pretty typical of a lot of people who live in a big city in America. Here, more people had free ears than not. I found that to be kind of interesting, because I hardly even thought about putting earbuds in, wanting to soak in as much of the city as I could.
The first stop of the day was at a local running store, Runlogic. I had a great conversation with the owner, Ash Senyk, who was an awesome first source for my story. He had so many wonderful things to say about running and the running community in Dublin, it made me proud to be a runner, and to (hopefully) get to partake in some of the things that it offers.
After our short interview, I started to wander in the direction of what I knew would lead to a record store. Walking down Wicklow Street was probably one of the highlights of the day for me. I stopped in a tiny little coffee shop and grabbed a well-priced chai latte with fast wifi, and as I was sipping my hot beverage, I stumbled on a “secret record store,” and scored on The National’s newest record (and it was even cheaper than I’ve found it in Chicago)!
Without having to pull out a map and figure out how to get there, I made my way to Tower Records. I’m still pretty proud that I was able to navigate there completely on my own on day three.
But I can’t say enough about Tower Records, because that place was absolutely amazing. The first floor was full of any kind of CD you could think of, split into three or four different rooms, and the second floor was stuffed to the brim with vinyl. I scored an early Nickel Creek record for 10 Euro, which is much cheaper than in the states.
Going out on my own for the majority of a day was something that my friend (who took the class last year) told me to do. I didn’t think much of it when he told me to do it, but I’m so glad I did. I felt so much less touristy, I feel like I got a different perspective on the city, and I was able to really see the city from my own viewpoint.
We went to a really nice dinner at the Arlington Hotel, listened to some amazing traditional Irish music, and saw some Irish dancing to pair with it, and finished up the night enjoying an IPA at the Bleeding Horse next to our hotel.
This post is getting up pretty late into day 4, but don’t fret, plenty still happening! Stay with us.