Ok, so this is a slight lie, as I did have a few drinks in Dublin. I was with my 15 year old who doesn’t drink (some people might think this is normal for 15 year olds, but when I was 15, it was very different!), so I had to think of other things to keep us occupied.
I booked a city break to Dublin for my birthday weekend…I am a bit extra when it comes to my birthday! It was the first time staying in a hostel with my daughter, but it was cheap and we had a private room with an en-suite, so didn’t feel like it was too scary. The room was tiny, but as we didn’t plan on spending much time there, it didn’t bother me. It was clean, which as far as I’m concerned is the most important point.
The flight was an hour late arriving, so we missed out on exploring on the first day, as we were quite tired. We found the hostel then ventured out for dinner. Being vegetarian in Dublin was a bit of a struggle, but most places had their menus outside, so we were able to see what was on offer before making a decision. We settled on Bobos burgers…I love a burger!
Anyway, as much as I love food, the trip wasn’t just about that (although we did spend a lot of time eating). On Sunday, we booked onto the Historic Walking Tour of Dublin, it starts everyday at 11am at the Trinity College Gates.
We booked online, but you can just turn up and pay when you get there. There are free walking tours too, where you’re expected to tip at the end. I find both are as good as each other, but as I never know what to tip, I always walk away feeling guilty.
Although it is a walking tour, there isn’t too much walking involved. Dublin is a very small city and does not take long to walk around (even though we seemed to walk in circles and for hours trying to find the hostel on the previous day). The tour was 2 hours and really informative, we learnt a lot about why there is so much animosity towards the English (rightly so in my opinion). I did find Dublin to be a strange city architecturally, there was a lot of modern mixed with Georgian and Victorian, no 2 buildings were the same. Some it worked, but a few felt sterile. Our tour guide really helped to paint the picture of how it would have looked throughout the years though.
At the end of the tour, when we could no longer feel our fingers and toes as the cold winds of Ireland had broken us (if ever you think 9°C is warm enough to not take a coat, it’s not!), we headed off for lunch and a hot chocolate.
Once we had warmed up, we headed to the shops for a bit of retail therapy. Not a necessity, but fun for us, as the shops in Bournemouth aren’t that exciting. We also had plenty of room in our hand luggage…as I am a perfect packer!
On Monday, we celebrated my birthday with bubble waffles for breakfast and a trip to the Leprechaun Museum. I had been before, but it was 9 years ago, and I love hearing about the folk lore. I wish they told more tales, as I could spend hours sitting on the giant chairs (once I got up there).
Afterwards, we headed to Kilmainham Gaol (jail). We got the tram to what seemed like the middle of nowhere, but once we found it we wandered round the court house whilst we waited for our tour guide.
Once again, we heard tails of the bad English people (this tour guide really didn’t like the English!), we saw the horrible conditions the prisoners stayed in. There was one cell where the political prisoner was allowed to paint, so I don’t think it was that bad for some wealthy, influential prisoners!
To be honest, by the time the tour was over, we were a bit done with museums…that’s not to say everyone would be, but our attention span is not that great!
I would have loved to hop on a train to Galway or Bettystown, but as we hadn’t packed for arctic weather, it wasn’t the best idea.
I may not be selling Dublin that well, but it’s worth a day trip, even if it’s to learn about the history and sink a few pints of Guinness!
Dublin without the drink