On the first day we didnâ€™t do too much other than roam the city centre streets in Dublin and pop into a number of shops along the way. I think Rach and I were a bit tired from the week that had passed as we both went back to the hotel for a nanna nap at about 5pm 🙂 The weather was pretty cold which didnâ€™t inspire us at all anyway. We went into the Temple Bar area for dinner which is an area with the most concentrated number of pubs, bars and restaurants I have ever seen. The place is very popular and there were always heaps of people around. We ended up having dinner in the area every night of our trip. After dinner time there were also quite a few people standing out the pubs struggling to stand up. Apparently Dublin youths have a binge drinking problem, according to the ad campaigns on the bus 🙂
We took the next day as a good opportunity to take a Dublin city tour bus. The tour works on a hop-on, hop-off basis and does a loop through the city to all of the major sights over and over throughout the whole day. Theyâ€™re such great value as they drop and pick you up right at the front of every major sight, so no fuss is needed with figuring out the local transport. Weâ€™ve done them in Dubai and Edinburgh and we theyâ€™re great value.
We first stopped at Dublin castle. It didnâ€™t look like much of a Castle to me and it was closed for the next hour so, so we left. Great stopâ€¦
Next stop and easily the highlight of the city tour and our time in Dublin would have to have been visiting the Guinness Storehouse (It used to be the old factory). No trip to Dublin would be complete without a visit here. We went on a tour of how Guinness is made and about all of its history. As a part of the tour we got a free pint of Guinness for upstairs in their bar at the top of the building. The bar is quite high up and gives an excellent 360 degree view out over all of Dublin. Itâ€™s a great place to sip a free pint of Guinness although Rach and I canâ€™t really say that we are big fans of Guinness. Guinness is an interesting flavour that I would describe as roasted bitterness. It reminds me of the roasted smell of coffee. Five stars goes to Rach for drinking more beer than I have ever seen her consume in her life. She actually managed about a quarter of the pint 🙂
The next highlight of the city tour was the Kilmainham jail. We were taken on a tour throughout the jail. Apparently it was years ahead of any other design for its time. It has a unique design that allowed guards to easily monitor inmates and the walls are designed so that you can hear whispers from far away. Once upon a time public hangings were carried out at the front of this jail (havenâ€™t times have changed?) and there have been many movies and music video clips filmed inside this jail. U2 and Sinead Oâ€™Connor had music film clips shot inside the jail.
We planned to do a day tour for our third day, but when we woke up it was pouring down outside. We made a decision not to go and as you might, guess shortly after, the clouds cleared and the sun came out for most of the day.
After missing the chance for a tour on the third day, we got up bright and early at 8am on our last day, as the dayâ€™s tour was to leave at 9:45am. We had breakfast and headed towards the pickup point by taxi. We got caught up in traffic and we missed the tour bus by ten minutes. I donâ€™t know how it happened (well I do, but…), the time just vanished before us. Luckily there was a half day tour to Malahide Castle and Dublin bay. So we jumped on the bus for the ride.
When we arrived at the Castle the sky had cleared completely and was easily the best day we had so far. Blue skies always make for great looking photos. We were given a tour of the castle showing us around and telling us about its history.
The bus then led us around the coastline all the way back to Dublin. The coastline on the way to Dublin is very scenic and looks like a nice place to retire except that the weather is probably too cold and it rains far too much. The locals are just happy when it doesnâ€™t rain. The weather was generally quite cold except for at the castle and it changed season a fair bit on an hourly basis i.e. one minute it was raining the next it was sunny.
Dublin is a nice little historic city and in many ways similar to Edinburgh. Itâ€™s not really an action packed city, full of sights but itâ€™s still a nice place none the less. We took it pretty easy the whole time there which was good. Iâ€™m pretty disappointed we didnâ€™t go on a full day trip. It would have been nice to see more of Ireland.
To see the photos of the trip click here: http://www.gabnation.com/albums/2007/dublin/