Another day, another new city and country! I arrived early for a full day in Dublin. The museum highlight of the day was definitely the bog bodies at the National Museum of Ireland Archaeology. These bodies are burials or sacrifices discovered in peat bogs in Ireland – most of them accidentally. Due to the low temperature and acidic and anoxic water, features like hair and fingernails are preserved on these burials.

Incredible preservation. Hair, fingernails and jewelry are still visible on some of these bodies.

Selfie with a bog body? Why not…

After getting my fill of museums and walking around the city, I stopped by the Guinness storehouse for a tour, a lesson on tasting, and a pint on their sky-high “gravity bar.”

A 360 view of the city with a Guinness in hand, what could be better.

That night, I found a small pub with a bunch of local musicians cycling through. They were sitting in a circle with uilleann pipes, fiddles, a banjo and a concertina, all playing traditional Irish tunes. Cobblestone is off the beaten tourist path and definitely recommended if you’re looking for a more local spot in Dublin. There’s only so much banjo I can take in one night, so I later headed to Temple Bar in the city center. Well known for attracting travelers from all over the world, I met a couple from Connecticut and listened to cover songs with an Irish twist til the morning hours.

Temple Bar is a Dublin icon

I had a few hours to kill before my flight the next morning. Dublin has an upcoming craft coffee scene, which was actually quite impressive. I wandered around the city, trying different shops and sending my caffeine level sky-high. No napping on this plane ride!

But first, breakfast. The full Irish from Third Space

First Draft Coffee for a pourover and a few work things to catch up on. Points if you recognize a t-SNE plot when you see one!

Delicious pourover from Two Pups coffee.

Espresso from Container Coffee. I’m sensing a trend after Brixton…


After the short time in Lonon, I was on a bus to Cardiff. This was my first time in Wales, and it was nice to be in a calmer place. I was staying with two friends from the ISCB Student Council who showed me around the downtown and Harbor of Cardiff. It was raining when I got there, which I found to be quite common in Wales. I was actually happy for the cool weather and rain – after Istanbul’s constant 33°C sun, this was the first time I had to wear the sweater and rainjacket I brought!

The next morning I had an early flight across the way to Dublin. Last city in Europe!

From simit and kebabs to tea and crumpets

After a tearful goodbye with Lauren and Selen, I hopped on a Turkish Air flight and was headed for London. This was my first time in the city, so I was looking forward to the museums, history and … Not to mention trying to pass off my British accent as authentic!

I was staying in Brixton, a neighborhood in South London known for the street market and Caribbean influences . I’m calling Brixton the Somerville of London – super hip these days, gentrifying rapidly, and full of young people who think adding ‘craft’ to the start of everything is a good idea. Brixton still has some of it’s old character, as I saw walking around during the opening hours of the market.

Setting up market stalls in the morning.

Brixton’s covered market. Coffee shops getting warmed up for the day.

Pop Brixton, a collective of restaurants, bars and shops assembled out of shipping containers. Come 6PM this place was packed!

Morning coffee and some blogging.

Museums for the day included the British Museum (Rosetta stone and ancient Egyptian sarcophagi) and the Imperial War Museum. The later had the best collection of WWI and WWII artifacts I’ve ever seen, laid out in a way that felt like your were walking through a history of the war.

The tail fin from Heinz Schnaufer’s Bf110 fighter. The most successful German night pilot in the war, he shot down 121 British bombers and was responsible for 850 RAF casualties.

Later activities included seeing the sights in London, taking selfies with famous buildings and bar trivia at one of Brixton’s craft beer pubs.

Big Ben and Little Ben!

Best tap handle I’ve seen. And a decent beer, too!