Just got back from Dublin yesterday. Like I said in my last post, it was great to go alone because I got to do whatever I
wanted whenever I wanted to, but I don’t plan on going solo ever again.
There were a couple negatives about the trip. First, unfortunately Dublin isn’t exactly a good representation of Ireland. Other than Guinness, nothing in Dublin screams Ireland. In reality, it reminded me of every other major city I’d been to. The main part of the city is on the River Liffey, and the farther you get form the river, the more likely you are to get lost on some side street and harassed by some drunk guy who never made it home from the bar the night before. I had been told a lot of this beforehand though so it wasn’t the biggest letdown.
Second, I got stuck with some pretty crappy roommates. I booked myself in a 6 person room figuring I’d become friendly with the other 5 people in the room and everything would be peachy. Well that was kind of hard to do when the only time
I saw them was between when they stumbled into the room at 3am and left the room at 8am. Not to mention at both 3:00 and 8:00 they thought it would be fun to have naked wrestling matches – I kid you not, they were naked. This happened all three nights like clockwork. Meanwhile I stayed under my covers trying to avoid getting mooned. Did I mention they were French and didn’t speak English? I opened the door for one of them one morning and all he could say was “good”. The up side? They didn’t steal anything of mine… or wrestle me.
So negatives out of the way, I actually had a really good time. I ate most of my meals and spent Saturday and Sunday night at this place called Darkey Kelly’s. It wasn’t in the main bar district which was nice because it was filled with more locals and fewer tourists. Food was great, and the beer was cheap compared to what I saw in the rest of Dublin (Dublin is the most expensive city I’ve been to – a pint of Guinness can easily cost you 5 Euro or close to $7.50). They had this band playing there called, fittingly enough, The Darkey Kelley Gang. Between the Guinness and the Irish tunes, I was digging the culture.
Quick story about Friday night. I had only planned on having a pint or two because I’m cheap, but I ended up going to a bar and meeting this mother and daughter. Now they either A. thought I was extremely handsome (obviously) B. felt bad because I was flying solo C. knew I was a dirt poor undergrad student
or D. all of the above, because they ended up buying me rounds of Jameson and Guinness for the rest of the night. Thank you ladies for saving my bank account.
I spent Saturday morning doing a tour of Dublin Castle. It’s only a castle in name really because other than one corner tower, nothing remains of the original 13th century structure. The rest was built in the 17th and 18th centuries. Cool place, well worth the 3.50 euro to get in. Then I legit spent the rest of Saturday just hiking around as much of Dublin as I could. I saw St. Patrick’s Cathedral, this giant 120 meter spike they built for the millennium, the Docklands, Temple Bar District, the Financial District, the Viking/ Medieval Area, and the like 10,000 monuments they have for all of the guys who fought for Irish independence. Took a nap on the Christ Church Cathedral lawn that afternoon, saw a cricket game at Trinity College, then did my thing at Darkey Kelly’s that night.
I went to the Guinness Storehouse on Sunday morning. I heard from a lot of people that they were disappointed in it; I thought it was bomb. The tour of the Storehouse and the Guinness displays were awesome, you learn a ton about beer, and you get a free pint at the end. What’s not to love? And the bar where you get your free pint is seven stories up and enclosed in only glass, so not only do you get good beer, but 360 degree views of Dublin as well. I went on one of those hop-on hop-off bus tours for the rest of the afternoon. I was really just too lazy to walk around anymore, but it turns out the tour takes you to places 3 miles outside of the city center which I would have never gone to other wise, so it was a good investment. So I rode that for a few hours, took a nap on St. Stephen’s Green (took a lot of naps while I was there), rode the bus for a few more hours, then, you guessed it, went back to Darkey Kelly’s for the night.
So like I said, there were a few negatives, but overall it was a great time. Definitely glad I got to go to Ireland before I came home. By the way, 4 days left in St. Andy’s..