We left Edinburgh on a Friday afternoon, boarded a cheap Ryan Air flight and a little over an hour later we were in Dublin, Ireland. We spent one night DT at a hotel on Parnell street and then moved out to the burbs where we stayed in a beautiful self hosting apartment for three more nights. We had no problem navigating the buses and finding our way around the city, much was within walking distance from our apartment. Our first evening we headed out to Murray’s Pub just around the corner from our hotel for some dinner and a few pints. We found out they had entertainment starting at 9 that evening with a band doing traditional Irish music and traditional Irish dancers, problem was we arrived at 6 and had to drag out dinner until 9. We ate and drank our faces off and managed to stay until 11:00, we totally enjoyed the entertainment which made us feel we had arrived in Ireland.
Day one we headed out to tackle the top tourist attraction in Dublin, the Guinness Storehouse Tour as everyone said it was a must do item when in Dublin. It was a Saturday afternoon when we arrived to get into the cue for tickets which ran outside the building, best if you can purchase online to beat the cue and save a little time. It was busy to say the least, a theme that continued with intensity as we toured throughout the building. The cost of our tickets was 18 euros each but if you go earlier the tickets are cheaper, they charge more at peak times which we discovered after the fact. It’s Dublin’s top rated attraction but for me a tourist trap on steroids. Its like beer Disneyland and I wasn’t overly impressed, just not my kind of thing. It’s a self guided tour through 7 floors explaining the making of Guinness with crowds of people following you, if you are a brewer or true beer aficionado then this might thrill you. The best part for us was the complimentary pint included in the tour, we enjoyed ours at the Skye lounge and some nice conversation with a couple from Brighton, UK. We then headed west and ended up walking through the Medieval and Temple Bar areas. It amazed us how vibrant and lively it was everywhere we went. Tons of people, pub after pub, restaurants and shopping galore, lots of busker’s and street people, we just enjoyed walking around and taking it all in.
Day two we were craving a bit of normalcy and relaxation, something non-touristy so we decided to see a movie. We went and saw ‘Inferno’ the third Dan Brown installment following the ‘Da Vinci Code’ with Tom Hanks. The movie was okay, Janet liked it after reading the book but it did get us excited about some of the places we’ll be staying in Italy. We saw a matinée with only 8 people in the theater, a private screening which was great but someone forgot to turn the heat on. ‘We froze r wee arses’ while watching the movie with winter coats and scarves covering our faces. On the way out Janet stopped at the ticket office to let the management know and they refunded us which was great. We then headed out into the Sunday masses to walk the labyrinth of streets and shops.
Day three we headed downtown again and this time walked Grafton Street and Stephens Green areas with some more time in Temple Bar. We visited a few of the huge shopping areas that are all decked out now, ready for the busy Christmas season. Many of the windows would rival displays in New York and the shopping was endless, we couldn’t believe how big the stores were and how many of them. Shoppers would find this area a paradise, luckily we can’t afford to shop and are unable to carry anything more with us so I only had to endure a bit of window shopping.
Along the way we happened along Dublin Castle and decided to sign up for one of the walking tours. We were so glad we did, the tour guide was excellent and so knowledgeable. She gave us an extensive history lesson on Dublin from it’s beginnings in the 12th century to the Easter uprising in 1912 that gave way to Irish independence and modern
day Dublin. All through the lens of Dublin Castle and its physical part in all this history. We learn t that the name for Dublin comes from the Gaelic word ‘Dubh Linn’ which means ‘black pool’, the namesake from where the Poddle stream met the River Liffey and formed a dark pool at Dublin Castle. The Poddle is no longer visible but runs underneath the city in aqueducts. Not much of the original castle remains but the rebuilt one is used for government offices and special occasions such as swearing in of the Prime Minister.
After touring we were tempted to hit some more pubs but in the interest of bringing in our budget we decided to head home with a bottle of wine and prepared our own dinner. Tomorrow we head to the airport to pick up a rental car and head out into the Irish countryside. We have a six-day route to Waterford-Killarney-Galway and then back to Dublin to catch our flight for Rome. We are looking forward to seeing the actual countryside which was such a highlight in Scotland. Click on the link here or go to the gallery for all our Dublin Photos.