Monday, September 19, 2011

Highlights of Dublin

We always intended to start our tour of Ireland in Dublin, as it would give us an opportunity to recover from any jet-lag before negotiating a left-handed manual transmission vehicle on the left side of the road. Also, Greg & I have both visited Dublin previously; him with his brothers in December, 2007, and me on layovers as a Delta flight attendant. We originally planned to spend 3-4 nights in the city but when our trip was delayed by Hurricane Irene, we modified that to only 2 nights.
a double-decker bus on busy O'Connell Street
Always mindful of our budget, we opted to take the local double-decker bus (2.30EUR) from the airport to the city center as opposed to paying 6EUR each for the more direct airport shuttles. We also stayed in a hostel (private room, shared bath) for 55EUR per night versus 70-80EUR for a hotel.
our hostel, Litton Lane is in this alley on the left
Since our flight landed at 6:30AM, we were at the hostel by 9:30 but then had to wait in the lounge until our room was clean. Of course, we were exhausted by this point, so took a much-needed 3 hour nap. We hit the streets in the rain and walked all the way to Kilmanhaim Gaol where we just got in on the last tour of the day. We purchased a Heritage Card for 21EUR each which grants us free admission to all of the fee-paying State managed OPW Heritage Sites located throughout the country for one year. I will elaborate more on how much money this saved us over the course of our trip in a later blog post.
"East Wing" of Kilmanhaim Gaol
One of the most enjoyable things to do in Dublin is sit in a pub and watch the world go by. Of course, this is never a problem for us and on the first evening we managed to hit a couple of good ones: The Brazen Head and The Porterhouse (which brews their own beers). As it was already 10PM, we then headed back to the hostel, enjoying the sounds of live music as we walked through the Temple Bar neighborhood.
After a good night's rest we focused on more sightseeing and beer drinking the following day. Dressed in full rain gear to combat the off-again, on-again showers, we strolled the grounds at Trinity College before visiting the excellent, FREE National Museum of Ireland. We passed through St. Stephen's Green, then walked by but opted not to pay to enter St. Patrick's and Christ Church Cathedrals since we had both seen them before. We did use our Heritage Cards to enter St. Audoens and then to tour Dublin Castle. We also visited the wonderful, FREE Chester Beatty Library before cooling our heels at The Long Hall, an authentic Victorian heritage pub. After eating a budget Indian dinner near Grafton Street, we settled into Mssrs Maguire which has an in-house craft brewery.
The Long Hall
That was about all that we managed to squeeze into our short 48 hours in Dublin. Of course, there are enough sights (and bars!) in the city to warrant a longer stay, but we wanted to get out into the country to visit places neither of us had ever been before. More on those in my upcoming posts...

The link to all of my Dublin photos is embedded in this post's title.

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