Dublin, Ireland

Hello you lot!

Let’s rewind one year – my sister turned eighteen, and my gift to her was a trip away to Dublin .. and a year on, for her nineteenth birthday, we finally got round to arranging it.

Flight and hotel booked, it was sorted.

We flew late on the Monday night (5th February), and landed into Dublin at 10:30pm, where we were greeted with a light snowfall.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m sure that we just had a bad experience, but damn, the taxi driver who took us to the hotel was the worst! Between ignoring us, speeding and being blatantly rude, we finally got to the hotel and god was I glad to get out of the car. Sean Gallagher, just be nice.

We checked in, and fell asleep.

Day 1:

The next morning we were blessed with sunshine and clear skies, freezing temperatures but nonetheless a beautiful day.

We’d already scouted out where we wanted to go for breakfast, so headed in the direction of póg cáfe.

There was no seating by the time we got there, so we wandered around the area before heading back to the cáfe. We were in luck this time with one table free.

Póg ended up being my favourite place we ate at. The food was delicious and the interior was simple, but really fresh. One açai bowl and a stack of pancakes later, we left to explore the city.

We had sights and places we wanted to visit but had no particular order. We did a lot of wandering cobbled streets and heading wherever caught our fancy.

Temple Bar Street was the next place of significance we ended up wandered down, lots of cobbled streets, coloured buildings and your typical quaint Irish pubs.

We then headed to Trinity College. I loved this place. The architecture was amazing, I say that, but when visiting Dublin, you can not fail to notice the beauty of the architecture of the whole city. We sat on a bench near one of the sports fields for a while, with the sun shining and in love with our surroundings, what’s not to be happy about.

St. Stephen’s Green was next on the cards. However we passed Merrion Park on the way, so took a little de-tour and went for a walk around the park for a while.

Of course, we then made our way to St. Stephen’s Green, which came to be one of my favourite places. Twenty-two acres of greenery, well manicured flower beds, summer houses and fountains – the sun just added to this already beautiful place.

We actually ended up visiting the park twice this day, the second time at golden hour, so we were treated to everything cast in an amber glow.

On the second trip, we also bumped into a man surrounded by birds. With pigeons on his shoulders and seagulls at his feet, he looked as though he was in his element. In between chatting to us, he offered us bread to feed the birds with, we wished him a good day and headed in the direction of Iveagh Gardens, but it was closed by the time we got there.

(A little off topic but..) We stayed in the Jurys’s Inn on Parnell Street, which was great – cheep and cheerful, but had looked at The Dean when deciding where to stay. We actually passed The Dean when walking the area near Iveagh Gardens and it looked lovely, and was in a great location .. So if you’re in the need of a hotel in Dublin, consider the Dean!

There was a funky little alleyway we spotted, a cool yoga studio and a green postbox (Ireland have green postboxes, who knew?!), so even though we didn’t make it to the Garden’s .. silver linings hey!

We passed the Ha’Penny Bridge on the route back and it looked lovely at night. I feel like if you can, you should always try and see/experience a city at night, there’s a completely different atmosphere and vibe to it!

21,000 steps later we headed back to the hotel where we ordered room service and chilled out.

Day 2:

Our flight wasn’t until 7:40pm, so we’d basically got the day free to make ours.

We’d seen a lot of the sights we’d wanted to the day prior, so we had fewer plans for today.

A café called Bakers and Baristas was where we sat and wrote postcards and ate croissants and iced tea, before heading out for the day.

A guy called Stephen who worked for a refugee charity stopped us on the way to Dublin castle, and let’s just say I left with €10 fewer – I’m such a sucker for them guys, I seriously can’t say no.

With my purse a little lighter, we continued on our way to Dublin Castle, Stephen the charity guy had actually advised us to avoid the castle as he was adamant we’d be disappointed .. we weren’t. We didn’t venture inside the castle – student finance doesn’t stretch far! But the exterior was really cool.

We spotted some brightly coloured houses near the castle that we went to admire.

Beeston Library was located literally right beside the castle so we explored here for a while and sat and ate cold pizza in the gardens.

The remainder of the day was spent browsing an old book shop, eating doughnuts (there are SO many doughnut shops in Dublin!) and admiring Christchurch Cathedral, before heading back to the hotel and catching the bus to the airport.

We landed back into England at 9:30pm, it was good to be home!

So, a little summary of Dublin:

  • It was cold, perishingly cold at times! We ended up residing in a café and eating sandwiches and drinking tea on the first day, because it was so cold!
  • So many of the women wore black trousers, a black coat, and black boots, seriously I’m not joking, it was bizarre how many wore basically the same outfits!
  • I’d heard before going that the Irish are super friendly, let’s just say we didn’t find this the case, not for the first day at least. Luckily, we met a lot of pleasant people by the second day
  • The architecture is beautiful, I can’t put it more frank, it was one of my favourite things about the city.
  • Colourful doors – so many colourful doors! Most houses boasted a vibrant door with an extravagant brass knocker.
  • Cobbled streets and quaint pubs were all over the place, just as you’d imagine.
  • The streets were all so clean, I didn’t spot a single piece of litter, and that’s no exaggeration.
  • Doughnut shops were everywhere, the really good kinda doughnuts.
  • On the contrary there were also masses of health based shops and cafés.
  • Last but not least, I think my favourite thing/s about the city, beating the colourful doors and impressive architecture, were the parks and greenery, I would have happily sat in St. Stephen’s Park for hours.

I know this has been a long one – so congrats if you’ve got to the end!

All my love.

Beth
xx

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