Dublin Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
I had intended to update this each of the three days I was away, but of course the thing about any person with a life, is if they blog, they blog in the bits when they have nothing else to do. And I had plenty to do.
After many a fret over my (still missing) passport, I discovered I could travel on my Provisional Drivers Licence (much relief at that), on the Thursday morning discovering our party was down to three, thanks to Hunter being ill. Still, we got away fine, Newcastle Airport is small and security etc. much more friendly than the megaliths in New York and Miami.
It’s a quieter city than I expected, and strangely made me think more of Newcastle (though obviously on a larger scale) than London or the like. It’s that ever increasing mix of traditional and bog standard renovation work (O‘Connell High Street could easily have sat in Manchester or the like), parted by a river spanned by various bridges of various designs. And, as you may expect, stuffed full with more pubs than you can shake a Bodhrán at.
First a word on the hostel itself, on the off chance you may read this and be going to stay in a Dublin hostel, in God’s name don’t book with Browns. We booked up late, and Browns was the only hostel we could find that had free beds on the Friday night, we soon found out why.
But onto the city itself, a far more revealing prospect than the hostel (which we spent little time in admittedly). We went wandering pretty soon after arrival, having somewhat orgasmic burgers at a pub called Auld Ireland (I believe) before having a bit of an explore.
Out that night, and we found lives music almost everywhere we went, we eventually settled on an old man bar called the Vat Bar with nothing more offensive than a half decent acoustic covers guy, who did a fine job of taking the piss of out of Ronan Keating and throwing in enough ABBA and the like to make it interesting.
Next morning I had the smug satisfaction of the hangover free among the hangovered. Up early, tried the hostels pitiful breakfast, no bowls left for cereal, so I tried to make myself toast, no knives left, so had to spread butter with a spoon, no jam left.
Tour was a little different than we expected, had thought we would be getting off every so often but there were actually only two stops, the rest was just watching landmarks and sites go by as our driver told us about them, and frequently broke out into song. It was interesting enough, we saw some of the coast (with a ten minute break at one point to have a breather on the beach) then off inland to the Powerscort gardens, on route being showed the house of many a celebrity by our apparently Heat reading guide.
The Gardens were stunning (and situated next to one of only two six-star hotels in the world, the little of which we saw could only be described in epic terms if I was so inclined), a nineteenth century project still maintained today.
After that I admit I fell asleep on the drive back, so I’m sure I missed several landmarks, and many a song. But it was a laugh, a bit of an odd one but fun nevertheless. The tour is mainly taken by people somewhat older than us, by the looks of our fellow passengers, but it was still fun. There’s very little to do in Dublin itself outside of drinking, or at least little you can do without spending money, and we hadn’t exactly planned in advance…
Later on the other two retired for power naps and I took the chance to slope away to a nearby internet café and peruse Gaydar, with some luck it has to be said. Only really worth mentioning because the guy let me have a shower afterwards, which was good, because I refused to use the ones in the hostels.
In the evening we wandered around looking for food, and Moroccan was the answer, a rather sexy, hidden away little restaurant called El Bahia caught our collective eye, decorated like the worlds greatest brothel, very intimate, and also quite busy. Perfection. My meal was rabbit stewed in a sweet sauce with sultanas and raisins (Tajine I believe, though I can’t be certain), oh it was good, rabbit is a truly fine meat and one I don’t get to eat often enough. Something must be done about this!
A night out beckoned, and we went to several pubs, unfortunately Dublin on a Friday night very much resembles the Bigg Market, and with only one (pretty awful looking) club to be seen everyone seemed to cram into far too small bars.
So to bed in the early hours and we got woken a couple of times. Once by a group also coming in to the dorm, nice bunch, then again by a guy checking in, and insisting one of the guys in said group was in his bunk. When the guy very reasonably pointed out there was another, free bed, the guy wormed away and called the manager. In the end, the manager persuaded him to take the other bed, like he should have done in the first place the glakey little tit.
We spoke to the group the next day, liked them a lot, similar age to us apparently (though they looked barely out of sixth form) and doing a similar cheap trip.
This day was a lazy day. We were all pretty tired, Michael and Murna were hung over, we had all spent most of our money, and none of us particularly wanted to do anything. And so a day of mooching round bars, pool halls, cafes, internet cafes, drinking very slowly, and not doing much. Football was watched (which I played on my DS), pool was played (while I played on my DS) and Gmails were checked (while I played on my DS), but actually it was alright.
And so back to Newcastle, flight was short and pretty easy, and the only real trouble we had on the entire trip was on the metro back from Newcastle airport, courtesy of a clump of the local charva life who thankfully disembarked at Gosforth. Lovely to be back home.
All in all, quite the fun trip.