City buzz
| August 24, 2015

Here we meet again! ;) Of course the journey started and ended in the capital city of Ireland - Dublin. While most nations drive on the right, Great Britain and Ireland (and few other countries) remain to keep their left driving alive - to the detriment of the tourists. For this reason we ordered a car with automatic transmission at the car rental but we weren't lucky - got a manual transmission.

General tips

It's really strange: sitting on the other side, shifting and blinking with the left hand and passing cars on the right on motorways. And it all began in the big city; means full streets, hurry and crossing people! Thankfully, I didn't have to drive.. it would not have been allowed anyways (in Great Britain aswell as Ireland one must be 25+ to rent a car / drive a rented car). Everyone in the car was navigating the driver (my dad) at our first ride but it was getting better and better in the course of time. So I highly recommend to drive with at least one more person to get along well (especially when it's your first time).

Whether driving with your own car seems to be the easier option, I do recommend renting a local car. When you're sitting on the left you can't spot the circumstances on the road as good as you can when you're on the right. Additionally, driving from e.g. Germany to Ireland would be a whole journey for itself... a bit tough and time investing huh?

Ireland is known for its changing weather and rain will be a part of it very often. Lucky us, we only had a short mizzle while driving - that was it for the whole week! But in general a rain cape / jacket is very recommended! Never leave without a rain jacket!, the Irish say. Obey! ;)

Must have seen

We had a real tough time management, so we haven't been to all the tourist attractions. A Sightseeing bus tour would have been the perfect option, but we decided to discover the city by feet because we were going to sit in the car the whole afternoon, driving to our next destination (NOTE: We've seen more things than I talk about today; this is just my personal view of the most attractive and best things to do). 

This way I had time to soak in all this beauty of the houses. I love how lovely and welcoming they look in the UK and Ireland. In some districts of Dublin it's defined how the front of the houses has to look like (bricks all over the walls). The only individual statement is the door - there are doors in every colour and size, with windows and without. They're really creative!

The hippest part of town is definitely Temple Bar. If you go there on week end it'll be crowded and you won't find a free space in a pub. Busker are singing against the traditional Irish music playing in the pubs around. Temple Bar offers you pubs, restaurants, and clubs. All you need to end a city day.

Not very much to say about the Merchants Arch but there was really good live music!

Another little highlight is the Book of Kells exposed in the Library of the Trinity College. The book is a gospel and contains 680 pages of handwriting. Not only the gospel is worth a visit, so is the library itself. The 70m long room is furnished with lots of shelves and even the ceiling is wooden.

Museum lovers now pay attention! Mostly, museums are for free (i.a. the National Gallery of Ireland)! This would be an option on a rainy day, wouldn't it?

Everybody knows St. Patrick's Day, and of course there is a St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin! There was a mass going on when we arrived, so I sadly didn't see it from the inside but such a well-known building needs to be visited (even if it's only reason is the park around it - good to give your feet a rest;).

Calm down

Yes, I mean it. Even though cities are often turbulent and embody the feeling of hurry and business, there are also places to come down and relax. Of course there are parks like the Merrion Square and St. Stephen's Green, but I myself did enjoy canal walks the most. Everything seemed so peaceful and homely plus the purling of the water... oh well!

Where to eat

When we were in Dublin we wanted to go to a traditional pub (great selection!) in Temple Bar on a Saturday evening (selection narrowed). You need to know that the Irish have huge (!!) meals but only until about 9 pm. That's why every house specialized in making good food is full at dinner time  (NOTE: Ireland is the most expensive country right after Denmark. So going out for a meal is quite pricy).

The Italian Corner
23/24 Wellington Quay
Dublin 2, Ireland

After looking around for a place to eat for a few minutes, from one pub to another - we finally had success getting the last table at an Italian restaurant. Though the room had no free chair left, our order came fast and it was so good! I mean really delicious!

Dublin at night

I've planned to stop at the docking stations of Dublin Port to take some pictures of the modern quarter when darkness falls. The futuristic Samuel Beckett Bridge and the Bord Gàis Energy Theater were a real eye catcher! Actually the theater should have been illuminated in prismatic colours but - you can see it - there was no play of colours. Nonetheless I took pictures of it haha.

Particularly the areas around the River Liffey are great at night. It's just beautiful when the buildings and bridges reflect on the clear water, isn't it?

The Ha'penny Bridge (see below) has been the first pedestrian bridge in Dublin to pass the river. When they walked along the bridge they had to pay a toll of a half penny, so it's called the Halfpenny Bridge although it's real name is Liffey Bridge.

Where to stay

...and if you've done all I wrote done here, you'll need nothing but a comfy bed to relax yourself. We've stayed at The Mespil Hotel, which is about a 30 minutes walk away from the city centre and right next to the canals. I liked it's location because you have a calm night (no drums, beats and party people) but a good link to the big roads which will lead you to your next destination.

The Mespil Hotel
60 Mespil Rd
Dublin 4, Ireland

We didn't have a dinner there, so no information about that. The breakfast was quite various and of good quality. The rooms were tidy and clean (very important to me). (NOTE: Mostly, the hair dryer is placed in the upper drawer of the dresser, if it's not fixed in the bathroom!).
All in all a good place to stay and for a one-night stay absolutely sufficient!

This was a quite big post today, I must admit. Not every post will be as long as this one but I want to give you a good overview and Dublin has so much to offer and to talk about, you know.

Hope to see you tomorrow when we are heading to a new location!

No comments

Post a Comment