Finally I am able to post some pictures up here (for some reason when I tried yesterday it wouldn't work) so here is a little bit about what I've been up to over here.
On my first day I met up with a girl from Denmark named Sinne, who I met on facebook when I found out that I got into UCC, and her two current flatmates, Anna and Christine. They have all been here for a few weeks so they took me to the city center to show me good places to shop for food and things like that. We had a really good time. Sinne was very nice and treated me to a "Welcome to Ireland" coffee. With their help I was able to quickly find a hair dryer (desperately needed) and buy some basic food (I've decided that one of my new favorite foods is Nutella and banana sandwiches). All in all it was a good day, and it ended up even being sunny later in the day. I must have brought the southern California weather with me. Here are a few pictures of that day:
I just liked this because I'm not used to big brick buildings. I dont know what it is, but it's located on the north side of the north channel of the river.
This is an alleyway that goes between St Patrick's Street (the huge main street) and Oliver Plunkett Steet. There are tons of little alleys like this all over and they have great little restaurants and shops and some lead to marketplaces and indoor malls and things like that. This one is one of the bigger ones, usually they're a fair bit smaller.
This is the view out of my window when it's sunny. Very pretty :)
On my second day I decided that I should try and see if I can find my way to school (kinda important), so after a quick meal of store brand rice crispies while watching The Cosby Show (they have the weirdest American shows over here...) I headed out on my adventure. Luckily I was able to easily find my way there, with minimal use of a map (which really didn't help much anyway because it's nearly impossible to find street signs unless you're on a big road). It took me a while, but part of that was because I was trying to be careful not to get lots and I was also trying to stop and take pictures. Here are some of the pictures I took:
I took this picture from George's Quay, about a minute or two (depended on the stoplights) from my apartment building.
I dont actually know what church this is, but it's pretty cool looking.
One of the bridges that goes across the south channel and a couple of buildings.
This is the Beamish brewery (the "cheap" local beer...Murphy's is supposed to be the good local beer) from Sullivan's Quay.
This is the same place but the picture was taken on Bishop St.
This is Bishop Street with St. Finbar's Cathedral up ahead (big famous landmark).
This is the back, but still very impressive. I couldn't get it in the picture, but the grounds are gorgeous.
At least I was on the right track to getting to school!
Again from the back.
And now the front!
This are weird headstone things right inside the gates to the cathedral.
This isn't actually a street that I walk down, but it just fascinates me how tiny their roads are. What scares me is that I actually saw a Nissan Titan driving around yesterday...I sure wouldn't want to take it down a road like this one.
There's a Subway on the way to school. I love the building it's in :P It's so weird to see all of the American fast food places everywhere...
This is on college road. It's just this big line of houses like these.
This grouping was called Shamrock Place.
One of the gates to my school!
Above another gate to the school.
I finally found a gate that was open and wandered in and found this.
Here is part of the famous quad, though I didn't go farther than this because there were maintnance people around and 1. I didnt want them in the picture and 2. since pretty much all of the gates were closed I didnt know if I was supposed to be there (the school is closed on Sunday).
This is a building behind the quad.
Here's the monument thing again.
These are department offices (History, Math, etc)
This is a Student Heath office (not the main one).
A cute store on my way back.
This is a better picture of St. Finbar's when I was walking on the other side of the street.
After I made my way to the school I decided to head over to the city center so that I could start looking into cell phones. I started at the Meteor store and the guy there didn't want to sell me a sim card until I had my phone unlocked (which costs 20-30 Euro) and tried to get me to buy a new phone from them (the cheapest being 50 Euro), so I told him that I'd be back later after unlocking my phone. I then headed over to the O2 store to see if they had better rates than Meteor, but they didn't so I didnt bother with them. I made a quick run to Tesco for things like dish soap that I had forgotten the day before, then finally headed home. Once there I looked up how to unlock my phone and found some random codes that someone posted in a forum and decided that I would try my luck with those before having to pay a bunch to unlock the phone. The problem was that I needed a sim card from a different carrier to put in the phone to get it unlocked, so I decided that I would just go back to the store the next day (today) and tell them that I got it unlocked and hope that they didnt ask to see the phone. I spent the rest of the day napping and reading, so it ended up being a pretty good day.
Today I tried to get out earlier than the past couple of days ("earlier" being noon) because it was supposed to rain this afternoon and I dont have a rain jacket yet. Turns out I didn't have to bother since it still hasnt started raining (and it's 4 pm...) but at least I was able to get out. I went back to the Meteor store and luckily there was a different guy there to help me this time (thank god, especially since the first guy had a weird French/Irish accent that I could barely decipher) and he was very nice and sold me the sim card right away. Next I decided to see if I could find my way to the English Market and was successful (!!!). It's amazing in there. Definitly not like anything we have back home. And it's all reasonably priced (maybe not Tesco prices, but pretty darn close and definitely better quality), so I'll definitely be shopping there in the future. On my way home I stopped at the 2 Euro store and picked up a few things after browsing for a very long time (it's so much fun, and a really good price for some of the stuff). Finally I got home and tried the sneaky unlocking trick with the new sim card and it worked!!! So, now I have a phone (finally) which makes life way easier for trying to make any sort of plans with people. And I was able myself a hefty chunk of money by doing the unlocking thing myself :)
Ok, I'm finally done. That was a heck of a lot for one post. Sorry there weren't pictures from today, but today was more of a specific mission than just exploring so I wasnt focused on photo opportunities. Dont worry though, there will be many more to come, I'm sure...