The Morning of my trip to London, all packed up and ready to go!!
Getting to the Airport
It was an early start, getting the train from my hometown of Brighton direct to Gatwick! My boyfriend Steve and I had walked the 20 minutes from our house to the station in the dark and had met the train pulling in as the sun beamed through the part glassed roof of the station. We grabbed a bottle of water from the local shop and walked briskly to the platform. As we both commute regularly to London, Steve and I automatically headed towards the front of the train, realising just in time that we actually needed the middle carriage. Doh!
We hitched up the step and boarded the busy carriage as it bustled with commuters. Staring at the seats down the long tube we shuffled through Isle knocking the shoulders of business men and women reading their papers, they were not amused!! But we were in a travelling bubble and nothing could sway us from our jovial mood and excitement of visiting Dublin.
Leaving Brihton station
I spied some seating near the far exit with tons of space for Steve and I and our cumbersome packs. I promptly declared the space mine and put up camp, but despite this mini victory, I noticed Steve powering ahead down the thin Isle and into another carriage. I contemplated staying put having staked my claim on what I considered to be the best spot. But the thought of getting lost before we had even boarded the plane seemed too silly of a thing to happen, but a likely one if I were to stay put, so I quickly grabbed my pack and moved forwarded in to the carriage where Steve was waiting for me.
We sat down together and looked at one another with excited over zealous grins and talked about all the things we had planned to see and do in Dublin! Before long we pulled into Gatwick station, picked up our rucksacks and headed for the door.
Steve stretched up towards the overhead storage compartment and grabbed his bag pulling it towards him as he headed in my direction. The gap between the train and platform was huge and my overbearing pack made me feel a little off balance. I stumbled off the train turning to find Steve directly behind me, shooting off to the right whilst pointing to the escalators, we joined the hordes of people barrelling onto the airport gateway as we tried to fight are way to the empty stairs.
Engulfed in a sea of bodies; we moved ourselves towards the moving escalators and I pounded up the left hand side. As I whisked around the corner, I looked behind me to make sure Steve was still in situ. Now out of sight of Steve I jumped out at him in an attempt to playfully startle him as we often do to each other.
Leaving Gatwick Airport with Ryanair
He laughed at my pathetic attempt and threw his arms around me and pulling me towards him for a quick peck, after which we both headed back on route to the airport!
We bounced down the long halls and walked towards the departures lounge. The Bureau du Change was opposite the entrance and so we briefly stopped to exchange our British currency to Euro(s).Drumming up random conversation with the chaps on the desk and then set off towards the departures lounge. I had forgotten about the liquid rule on planes and at to take a brief moment to rifle through my pack for my half used mascara, toothpaste and deodorant, popping them into the zip lock bag provided, we headed to the back of the now very long cue. As we approached the end, a helpful airport worker withdrew the barrier rope and indicated for us to step into a new cue #Bonus! We were met by the airport personnel who promptly asked for our Ryanair boarding passes and passport ID.
Arriving at Dublin Airport
I handed the cheerful lady my passport, but misheard her request for me to stand in front of a camera for a photo. Unfortunately for me as I stared at her blankly waiting for the return of my documents, I unknowing was staring straight into the camera lens located directly behind her. The flash then blinded momentarily, she said next and the moment was over. I had no idea what the photo was for, but knew it wouldn’t be my most flattering pose. ‘Calling Miss Gormless to gate number 2’ ha ha
We pushed forward into airport security, where guards bellowed for all jackets, belts and carry on to be removed and placed on the carrousel. People shuffled with panic as they removed their clothing and personal items desperately hoping not to set off the alarm as they walked through security censored archway.
Arriving in Dublin
Steve was first, closely followed by myself. I flew through without hesitation whilst a burly man with a stern look frisked Steve. I poked fun at him, muttering phrases like strip search under my breath. I smugly picked up all my belongings and threw my pack onto one shoulder, grinning at Steve like a cheshire cat. His frisk was brief and soon Steve too was scrambling for his belongings, whilst moving towards the airport lounge.
Still grinning, I confidently walked towards the exit of airport security to be suddenly stopped and asked to
remove my shoes to be scanned by an official security officer… I mean what are the chances!! As I kicked of my All Stars and placed them on the conveyer belt, I peered over to Steve’s direction, as he gave out a shriek of laughter and subtle one up-man-ship.
I couldn’t help but join him in the laughter as he quietly leaned in to whisper….’ He he, Karma’
We had decided to grab a MaccyDees for breakfast, quick, easy and so crap it’s awesome. As I ate my double sausage and egg mc muffin, I stared about the room looking at the people that joined us. I always find it
amazing at airports; you see a lot of emotion which is often overlooked. The family holiday with excited kids, the backpacker asleep on the plastic airport seats, the loved up couples, the business travellers, the long goodbyes and the faithful hellos. It’s awesome and really gets my wanderlust churning in my belly, because at this point, I know I am here, I know I’ll be boarding my plane soon and I know that my adventure is just starting, eeeeeeeek!
I walked to towards the large airport screens and looked up at the tiny board for our flight number and gate.
Entrace,Sitting Area Issacs Hostel, Dublin
Our flight hadn’t been yet called so we decided to wander around the airport looking through the window panes of all the last minute travellers buying miniature shampoo and conditioner, sun tan lotion, sunglasses and random items too like socks, I mean who doesn’t pack socks?? Anyway, as we lined up in Boots to pay for our soft mints, Steve spied the screen for our flight. They were calling us, well the flight at least so we rushed towards the departure gate, readying ourselves in the line for our passport check.
We stood there for what seemed like forever, when a short and frankly annoying looking man asked us to step
back towards the wall as if children in a school playground. The airport staff mundanely processed the line, passenger by passenger and shewing us through the gate one by one.
As my turn approached, I handed my passport to the airport man, I noticed to my absolute horror that the earlier glam shot from the security gate was flashing on screen for all to see, it was not the best shot as I had originally thought, but none the less it passed for me just the same. This must have said a lot for how I was looking that day and I have concluded that in short it was not good. And there was me thinking a bright turquoise and navy blue patterned cagoule was fashionable. Well at least Steve wouldn’t lose me in a crowd, in my opinion that was a bonus.
We walked down the winding staircase and entered into the cold air outside meeting our Ryanair plane sat waiting on the tarmac. The rest of the passengers plied onto the front of the plan all vying for pride of place and decent seats.
Reading Area in Issacs Hostel, Dublin
Being semi intelligent Steve and I looked at one another and casually read each others thoughts as we hustled towards the rear of the plane. Walking up the large gangway of stairs we looked over to notice the passengers at the front of the plane staring at us, we snugly smiled at one another and entered the plane. I handed my boarding pass to the flight attendant, who in turn smiled and wished me an enjoyable flight. Now firmly settled at the rear of the right wing, we stowed our luggage and got comfy for the ride.
As I sat on the plane reading the ‘how not to die on a plan guide’ because you know bracing works! It occurred to me that it had been a while for me on a plane and suddenly I surprisingly left quite nervous and uneasy. As we started to move towards the runway the engines roared and we began to move faster and faster, I could feel the tension rising, I knew I needed something to take my mind off the take off, I mumbled the words of some song or another, immersing myself with the lyrics, when I noticed we were up, we were flying and I was still alive.
Poll Area Issacs Hostel, Dublin
I unpicked my nails from the seat which I had unknowing attached myself to, when Steve turned to me to say ‘ shit 90’s pop calming is it, well the guy it seat 12 found it funny’ I’m telling you, it worked for me. lol
Arriving in Dublin
We arrived in Dublin, in what seemed only a few minutes from take off and headed towards the shuttle bus bound for the city centre. The coach journey was fun, as we peaked into the district around us and took in its industrial ambience. We stopped in the city centre where Steve pulled out his map and directed us to our Hostel. After researching Dublin’s hot spots, we decided on a central location and as a couple we are always a fan of quirky hostels and hotels, so picked Issacs Hostel! Iassacs is an unusual hostel situated beneath the railway arches and where is runs underground, to form communal rooms, safe rooms and washing facilities.
TV/Lounge Area in Issacs Hostel, Dublin
I was most impressed when walking through the door, to see loads of people huddled around the tables on laptops, playing cards and chilling out. We booked a small room but enough for the two of us. Isaacs hostel itself has lovely helpful staff, is in good central location (nearby the city centre and all the nice pubs & bars, the bus from the airport stops just on a 1 min walk!), has good music at the lobby and most importantly, the rooms are clean, as are the toilets/bathrooms. It's not noisy at night and I would definitely recommend this place! We checked in and decided to head to our room to settle in., dumped our bags and headed straight out to explore!
As we walked down the street toward the Zoo we ventured into a gift shop for the standard token of Ireland ie a magnate, when I decided to purchase a little friend to show us around his native city of Dublin aka ‘PADDY THE LEPRECAUN’ After introducing ourselves, we had talked it through and wanted to pack the holiday with as much as possible.
Breakfast Room/Reception Issacs Hostel, Dublin
Being a fan of Zoo’s in general I am quite critical if they’re not kept in good condition for the animal’s welfare. However, this zoo was great, large spaces and under new refurbishment in some places, which is always good to see. Also, there’s loads to see and do and lots of fun things for the kids here, helping us all learn along the way. This zoo took a good half a day to complete, so make sure you leave enough time to do it. Although a little out the way ie walking and bus, I would defiantly recommend this zoo for a visit.
Both Steve and I were really looking forward to visiting the Guinness Storehouse and I was dying to see the 360 degree views of Dublin from the Gravity Bar on the 7th floor.
Paddy at Issacs Hostel
I was never really interested in Guinness as a beverage! But it was well worth 16.50 euro per adult with a pint of Guinness included in price, that we paid to go! Online tickets are around 14.50. The tour was self -guided and you can avail of free 'audio' guides in Spanish, German, Italian and French. If there are more than 6 in a group you can request a private tour, but think you must give advance notice. The place was so busy with people from all over the world and lots of children too. The 'Guinness Story' is laid out over 6 floors, from the history and ingredients to the final pint in your hand on the 7th floor! There was a free 'tasting' room on the 4th floor. Where staff handed you small glasses of Guinness to get you prepared for your pint later on.
Issacs Hostel, Dublin
Some people went straight to the 7th Floor bar and skipped the tour. The Bar was packed and everyone was trying to get a seat along the windows. The 360 degree view of Dublin was brilliant. The weather was gloriously sunny and Dublin booked beautiful. We got our pints of Guinness and sat among all the different nationalities enjoying the views. There is a cafe/restaurant there but we didn't have anything to eat. I recommend this tour. It’s a nice way to enjoy a few hours in Dublin and the staff were really nice. There is also a really good gift shop too. Enjoy
In the evenings Steve and I tended to wander the streets of Temple Bar! An infamous cross section off Irish pubs and resturants situated between Dame Street and River Liffey.
Temple Bar District
There you’ll find markets and art's galleries during the day and restaurants and typical Irish pubs at night. It's a magical place with narrow streets, local people and lot of tourists. Nothing new maybe but it's a place that people have to go when visiting Dublin, enjoying delicious dishes and, of course, an Irish beer... Even though it has become slightly more commercial in recent years this is a definite pit stop whether in Dublin for a day or a week. Great atmosphere, food, beer and character. Something to cater for everyone. Get your bearings in the day time then explore the night-life!
Food and Drink
My god if i can remember one thing about Dublin that was the expense of it. Even undesirable eats are expensive and are local shops and supermarkets.
Me in Dublins Temple Bar
One tip from me. Although an enjoyable location, visit with deep pockets as travelling on a budget just isn’t possible here.
I really enjoyed by time here in Dublin. The city is full of beautiful architecture and is complimented by the industrial buildings which line the outer streets. There is a lot of history too and although expensive I would defiantly go back!