Monday, March 30, 2015

Dublin Me Darlin

Originally planned for St. Paddy's Day, this post came to be late, but better late than never, ey? Grab a pint, this is gonna be a loooong post.

This month I wanted to share a bit about that one time my bf and I went to Dublin on holiday. It was the middle of the summer, she was in Spain, I was in England and we hadn't seen each other in a while. She was due to come visit as we had friends from Mexico flying over too, but we wanted to take a little pre-European-mini-tour together before they got there and just share some quality time.

I had been meaning to make it to Dublin since my cousin was studying there and flights were 1 pound (plus tax) with this airline, but I never got around to it and my cousin left. Not that I couldn't visit by myself, but it was way more appealing to have a partner, so I mentioned it to D and she was game. Neither of us had been there before and figured it would be fun to explore it together.

She arrived in Manchester and we flew from there to Dublin, arriving late at night.  We stayed at this hostel right on Temple Bar, and promptly went out and about to explore the city, ending the night at the hostel's own pub. 

One of the things I knew I wanted to visit was the Cliffs of Moher. I had read there are day tours that take you there for a fair price. However, the weather was terrible! The guy at the front desk of the hostel said it wasn't a good time to visit, as we wouldn't be allowed too close to the cliffs (which is basically the point of going) due to safety as it gets very slippery. It was a bummer, but hey, at least we have an excuse to go back some day.

We were actually shocked that the weather was so bad. It was very cold and rainy, which we weren't prepared for. Not that it stopped us from having a great time. On our first day, we ran into one of those free tours which we decided to join as we had no idea where to go. We visited the Dublin Castle, Dubh Linn garden, saw the medieval walls, visited Trinity College and St. Stephens Green.

After the tour was over we were on our own to explore. We enjoyed walking and shopping around King and Grafton Streets, specially souvenir shops! We walked over to Merrion Square to check out Oscar Wilde's monument and ran into a lovely street filled with colorful doors! We took a massive amount of photos because that's just how we roll. We also ran into Molly Malone and Oliver St. John and James Joyce's statues. That night we partied Irish style with nothing other than Guinness and Baileys at a Temple Bar pub.

The next morning, the weather was waaaay better. We started off with a traditional Irish breakfast (very similar to the British one) and headed out to the Guinness Storehouse which was amazing. We learned all about the history of the brand, including how the beer is made and even got a free pint at the end of the tour with an unbeatable 360ยบ view of the city. We even made a new friend, Hi Nate!

Another thing I really wanted to see in Dublin was its more contemporary architecture. We headed to Daniel Libeskind's Grand Canal Theater and square and went right up to the Quays along the Liffey, where we continued to see interesting architecture and views of the city, street art and Santiago Calatrava's Samuel Becket Bridge. We ended our second and last day back at Temple Bar, with dinner at The Hard Rock Cafe right by our hostel, picked up our bags and headed to a night at the airport.

All in all, it felt like two full days were enough time in Dublin to see the touristy sites at the speed of light. I'd definitely recommend a couple more days in order to take day trips outside of the city which we weren't able to do. Not that it mattered to us because we loved Dublin! the city is very beautiful and pedestrian friendly. We got pretty much everywhere by foot and only took a bus once to the Guinness Storehouse and the shuttle for the airport. People, were very friendly, and although it was a bit hard to understand the accents at first, we managed. It seemed though as there are way more men than women in Dublin, at least that was our impression, which we couldn't complain about :)

Have you ever been to Dublin? how about somewhere else in Ireland? What things did we miss? I think we did good enough for two days! Hope this helps if you're planning a trip there soon!


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