For a full list of my travel adventures, click here.
I’ve decided to write tonight, just about my time in Dublin, because it’s the halfway point of my holiday this week, and I think this city is big enough to warrant a big entry. Since arriving on Saturday, friends and I have had the joy of experiencing Dublin at it’s liveliest: on St. Patrick’s Day. While everyone told me it would not be as wild and crazy as anything I had experienced, the crowds at Temple Bar beg to differ.
From our flat at the Ha’penny Bridge where it crosses the River Liffey, we’ve had the opportunity to hear the noises and debauchery: yelling, music, sirens… We’ve watched rowing on the river, and bicycles rushing past. We’ve eaten food… LOTS of food: Irish stew and “Mexican” nachos and French pork belly and American sandwiches. We’ve drank pints: of Guinness at the Guinness Storehouse museum/factory Gravity Bar which overlooks the whole of Dublin and the surrounding countryside; of Bulmers, which turns out to be an Irish cider; of shamrock shakes from the local McDonalds (they don’t sell them in England); of coffee (both Irish, aka spiked with whiskey), and not… We’ve consumed so much of the city, in so many different ways, not forgetting the cold, wet feet we’ve suffered as the rain turned to snow, to rain, to hail, and back again in five minutes time.
Dublin feels industrial. The architecture is generally modern, except for the government buildings and most of Trinity College. The streets are cobbled sometimes, narrow and winding, but other times paved and potholed and filled with honking buses and taxis. It’s nicer now that the city has died down—the St. Paddy’s crowds have mostly left town, and we spent much of today relishing in the sublime quiet that has descended.
It’s generally homey, and the people of Dublin are friendly. They like to hear where you’re from, and how things are going. They love sharing advice about traveling outside of the city, which started yesterday (Belfast and the Giant’s Causeway) and continues tomorrow (Inistioge, Cork, Kinsale, Schull, Dingle, and back to Dublin by Fniday). A close friend from London met us today and gave us a great driving tour of the city, which warmed us and made us feel a bit more at home. It isn’t London, it isn’t tropical, it isn’t “Girls Gone Wild” for Spring Break, but it’s beautiful and interesting to explore. The fact that the roads are driven on the UK side, and they still use UK plug adapters, yet claim adamantly to love being on the Euro and not having UK cell service… well, it’s a bit of a conglomeration, but it’s definitely a cool place to visit.