Am I in Boston?

Dublin Travel Blog

 › entry 4 of 9 › view all entries
Trinity College main gate
People who made my travels more enjoyable: Nikki (USA)

We woke up around 7am and carried our luggage to the rental car. I was excited to leave Galway behind. The city had been a bit disappointing, and I was looking forward to spending time in Dublin. We hopped in the car and started heading toward the motorway. After a few minutes we saw the golden arches of Mcdonalds! We decided to pull in, and try the Irish style drive through. My Egg McMuffin was essentially the same as the American version, except Irish bacon is more of a cross between American ham and bacon. Interestingly, there wasn't someone taking your order from a headset, you had to order in the same window from which you received your food.
Dublin architecture (Example of Georgian style on the left)
I guess drive-thru still isn't that popular in Ireland, otherwise the system would be incredibly backed-up and slow.

After devouring our breakfast, we made our way on to the motorway. I even had some fun navigating the multi-lane roundabouts. It felt like I was starting to get the hang of right-handed driving. After about half an hour on the motorway the onboard computer told me I had to stop and get gas, or else I'd be empty before we reached Dublin. I picked an exit, and filled up at one of the many petrol stations. The rest of the drive I just shuffled through radio stations while Nikki took a quick nap. We exited the motorway, navigated past a few traffic lights and made our way to the car rental return.

After a brief goodbye (to the car), we boarded the bus for downtown Dublin.
River Liffey (View from our room)
Upon arriving in Dublin I immediately felt at home. The similarities to Boston (Cambridge in particular) were uncanny. Trinity College and the surrounding area felt just like Harvard. The city is divided in half by a river, many buildings share Georgian style architecture and the roads are equally difficult to navigate. Dublin was going to be a blast.

We managed to find our way down the narrow, cobblestone streets (which still lacked visible roadsigns), and after about 20 minutes, located our hotel. We checked in without a hitch, and decided to try lunch at a Japanese restaurant that Rick Steves had recommended. Whenever I travel, I try and eat the local fare as often as I can. However, after three days of Irish country food I was ready for a change. The noodles at the restaurant were very delicious and I devoured my entire plate.
Temple bar, is it raining for the first time on my trip?!
After said feast, I decided to return to the hotel for a nap (all of the stressful driving had worn me out completely). Nikki went off shopping, while I caught up on my beauty rest.

My absolute favorite thing to do while traveling is to meet fellow travelers or locals. I love listening to stories and opinions. I love getting a fresh perspective on an international or local issue. I enjoy observing people as they go about their routine: what do they wear, what do they eat, do they climb stairs on the left or right, how late do people stay out etc...? Every little detail can tell you so much about a city, and a culture.

I digress... After my nap, Nikki and I left our hotel and went to a relatively good Italian restaurant. I enjoyed a pizza (one of my favorite foods) and some beer that was on tap (not so good).
Yes it is!
It was becoming apparent that Dublin was, in fact, an international city. The majority of the wait staff at our restaurant were clearly not of Irish decent. Maybe another reason I compared the city to Boston, it shared some of America's diversity.

After dinner we walked through Temple Bar and settled on a place named Porterhouse. It was simply amazing. They had hundreds of types of beer from all around the world. A small book/menu provided information about every type of beer. It mentioned: brewing location, alcohol content and other useful tips/information. Porterhouse also offered a selection of their own beers on tap. I tried the Wrasslers and Nikki tried the Chiller (to be honest we didn't really like either). Brewed locally, Porterhouse was one of the few Irish owned breweries.
Porterhouse
As mentioned in their menu, Guinness (Ireland's most recognizable brand) is in fact owned by Diageo, and brewed under license all over the world. It made me think of the other "brewed under license beers" like Tiger, Budweiser and Heineken. Every example is amazingly successful, but each lack a certain amount of flavor and personality.

We spent the rest of the evening sampling beers, and listening to the live music. Afterward we walked two blocks back to our hotel and retired for the evening. Overall, a great first impression of Dublin.



Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Trinity College main gate
Trinity College main gate
Dublin architecture (Example of Ge…
Dublin architecture (Example of G…
River Liffey (View from our room)
River Liffey (View from our room)
Temple bar, is it raining for the …
Temple bar, is it raining for the…
Yes it is!
Yes it is!
Porterhouse
Porterhouse
Catholic Church
Catholic Church
River Liffey at dusk
River Liffey at dusk
Grafton Street
Grafton Street
Dublin Hotels & Accommodations review
Good location, Not very clean
This hotel has a great location within Temple Bar. The entrance is a bit tricky to find, but we managed alright. Our room had a view of the River Liff… read entire review
Dublin
photo by: fransglobal