Dublin, Ireland

9-11 August 2013

Aer Lingus flight left 1 hour delayed at 22:40. Dublin is only 1 hour away. Was outside of Dublin airport after midnight which meant we’ve missed the last shuttle bus. Taxis can be quite costly at Euro27 + tips. But the lovely taxi driver was entertaining us with her conversations over the radio and her travel tips.

At the hotel at around 1am, and the hotel a good distance from the temple bar area, the streets were still buzzing with activity. Dublin is not as crowded as London, but the Irish have a well-known reputation for drinking. There was a pub across the street from the hotel, hence the noise and that pubs close at 4am.

Taxi driver recommended we go out and see the bridges which would be lovely with all the lights. We were already exhausted and sleep was more appealing.

Saturday. Brunch was at a sandwich shop at George’s Street Arcade. And we walked through some parts of the temple bar area, being sidetracked to various markets, and onto the Guinness storehouse (quite far from the city centre).

Dublin still looks like some parts of London, but without the crowds. It was pretty in it’s own way, but it doesn’t really feel like I’ve left the UK. Ireland had been in deep recession and there are quite a few closed shops right in the city centre. I don’t think the number of pubs and restaurants here could really survive – there aren’t enough people.

The Guinness storehouse was amazing. Amazing that a brand became so well known that people will pay so you can advertise to them – because that’s what the storehouse is, a big, shiny advert.

Guinness storehouse. The gravity bar is the circular glass structure at the top.

We were ‘taught’ how to properly taste a guinness in a velvet-lined tasting room. After coming in to an all-white aroma bar of sorts where the small pints were served. We were trained how to pull a pint in the Guinness Academy, complete with a certificate – a career alternative!

at the Guinness Academy

We spent a bit of time sipping the guinness pint we pulled at the gravity bar with this view (hmmm…dublin is not really that pretty).

view from the Gravity bar

We whiled away the afternoon by walking around temple bar and the grounds of Dublin Castle. Evening entertainment was dinner and show at the Arlington Hotel (booking is a must). It was looking very much like a tourist trap – long tables with bar stools in front of the stage. Food was not bad, but it felt like typical pub food and I hardly ate any of it. But the Irish band was surprisingly good and the Irish dancing that followed. We enjoyed our night here.

Sunday. We had a leisurely late breakfast at a wonderful cafe in the backstreets (Metro Cafe) where we listened in to locals’ conversations and people-watched 🙂 Walked to Trinity College and joined their walking tour. Highly informative and recommended. Regretted that we left this as the last thing to do as we didn’t have enough time (we spent more than 1 hour there, the walking tour is 40mins). The Trinity College Library is beautiful!

Trinity College Library
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