Dublin Weekender

Trip Start Aug 27, 2007
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Trip End Sep 17, 2011


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Flag of Ireland  , County Dublin,
Sunday, March 29, 2009

.Hey Guys,

  Just thought I'd give u an update on my latest weekend away to Dublin with the girls. This year has gone by so quickly  that it seems hard to believe its already been almost 4 months since my adventure to Jordan, needless to say I was itching to get away.

Sonia, Donna and I headed off in the wee hours of the morning for Stansted airport. We thought that driving would be faster than catching a train but in reality what we expected to be a 45 minute drive turned into a 2 hour trip due to road blocks. We ended up on a scenic detour through Epping Forrest which unfortunately is not as picturesque as the name suggests and is well known for body dumping. All I can say is thank god for Sat Nav's.

Luckily we made it to the airport in time but unfortunately didnt have time for the McDonalds Sausage and Egg McMuffin I had been dreaming about since the night before. As an alternative we settled for a cooked breaky at a cafe which unfortunately left both Sonia and I with a crook stomach for the rest of the day.

Yet again I had issues in customs. Im beginning to get a complex about my surname....do I really look like a terrorist? Apparently the airport staff think I do. So much so that they inspected my deodorant with a fine tooth comb scanning it through the machine twice in addition to removing my underwear from my bag and inspecting it for all the world to see. They may not have thought so but I can assure you I had no intentions of bombing the plane with my purple lacy knickers.

We made it to Dublin in one peice which was a miracle in itself and after dropping luggage at our hostel it was straight to the Guiness Brewery. Before I went there I was amazed at how a brewery could top the list as a cities biggest attraction but after seeing how many pubs there were I soon came to realise how much drinking is a part of the Irish culture.

I have to say I was impressed with the Brewery. As far as attractions go it was really well done and aside from, trying the brew the highlight was the view from from the top of the building. It looked out over the entire city and luckily for us the sun came out just long enough for us to get a few good snaps of the city from above.
I tried my first pint of Guiness but as nice as it was I was only able to down about a third of it. On the plus side I did attempt it unlike Sonia who drank coke but still managed to pose with my beer for a photo!

From the brewery we slowly strolled back into town checking out a few of the cities interesting buildings including the lovely Christchurch Cathedral...it was a spectacular old building but what it didnt have on the old CHC cathedral back home was the wizard.

Our stroll lead us to a few souvenir shops  where the girls pretty much brought them out of stock. I kinda felt bad as they were so generous when buying gifts for other people and then theres me who just refuses to buy souvenirs point blank apart from an embroidered patch for my bag. I just kind of figure that if I brought souvenirs from every place i visit id be poor. So to all of you who read my blog its not that I dont love u enough to bring u souvenirs....its just Im broke!

We concluded our stroll with a trip to the infamous Temple Bar which is the cultural heart of Dublin. After visiting the area i have no doubt as to why the area was dubbed this. There was just such an atmosphere in the area and although slightly touristy it was just amazing. You couldnt walk past a door without hearing live music escaping from within.

By this time the sun had set and having not eaten since the dodgy breakfast it was time to find some tea. The remainder of our first day in Dublin was spent relxing in a typical Irish Pub eating the local fodder which in my case happened to be pasta and garlic bread (suprise suprise there)

Day 2 began by checking out of our not to shabby hostel. Donna was a hostel virgin so was getting used to the whole jandals in shower idea but I have to say she handled it pretty well.

We spent the day wandering around the sites we had mostly passed by the day before and explored all the secrets the city had to offer. For me the highlight of the day was visiting an old carmelite church to see where St Valentine is buried. Those who know me know that my favourite day of the year is Valentines Day and that im the first to give u a speech about the meaning of the day when anyone harps on about it being over commercialised.

We visited one of the local parks before heading out to Kilmainham Gaol which was slightly out of the city. We managed to get ourselves a tad lost on the way but thanks to friendly locals we were put back on the right track. Although similar to many old prisons I have visited there was something very eerie about the place. Maybe it was the dark, or the chill in the air or maybe it was just sad knowing that people were imprisoned there for acts such as stealing an apple from a market during the famine....even children as young as 8 were sent to do hard labour for doing nothing more than trying to live.

Running late it was time for us to head off to the airport but not before stopping to buy an extra bag to fit all the shopping in we had accumulated. We made it to the airport on time for a change and in fact had three hours to kill before heading back home.

My overall impression of the city was a good one, its a city full of culture and ambience but also one that has a strong history and u can tell the people are proud of their heritage. If I have the chance to go back there again I definately would. I can only imagine how the city comes alive on St Patricks day and would reccomend the city to anyone wanting to experience something just that little bit different.

I may not have meet Paddy on this trip but I definately felt like I got to know my old pal Murphy a bit better.
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