A proposal of a weekend in Dublin and the promise of galleons of Guinness with your mates sounds quite amazing, doesn’t it? The six month wait between between booking and flying out was a suspense of excitement to say the least (with a little panic when Ryanair cancelled one of our flights).
My pals are bellringers, and had organised a peal (between 3-4 hours of non-stop church ringing of a learned method) at Christ Church Cathedral on the Saturday, so we decided to make a weekend out of it.
The vibe of the city by day was a little perplexing; the character seems so different from other cities like Edinburgh or London. Though, one comparison would certainly be London’s plethora of tourist souvenir shops – but Dublin’s are a chain company all selling the same crappy stuff!
By night however, Temple Bar is teeming with Irish, Americans and Europeans all singing merrily along to a live band. This was the atmosphere I soaked up, never wanting to leave (partly because I didn’t want to force my way through the crowd to the exit). Be warned however, the drinks are pricy. ‘The morning after’ found my purse with a considerable lack of money, and receipts listing two pints for €14. By the end of the weekend, the total food and drink bill had surpassed €300.
Pic: Kacper Gunia (Flickr)
If you’re someone who enjoys both slightly pretentious yet hearty food, the Millstone restaurant comes highly recommended and was the choice venue for the belated celebration of my 20th birthday. Other than the occasional curry house, this was the first meal out my boyfriend and I had that wasn’t Spoons! The food was delicious and the atmosphere perfect: dim lights, low adult chatter, and a pleasant decorative interior.
If you can manage to peel yourself away from the bars for an hour or two, do book a tour for the Kilmainham Jail. The staff were highly professional throughout, and there’s an additional museum afterwards. The National Gallery is also a must – especially if you’ve been to London’s equivalent. Dublin hosts a better variety of subject matter in the artworks, which is far more interesting to walk around than the hundreds of biblical scenes which hang in London and most tend to skim past.
Quite honestly, a weekend in Dublin was the best experience I’ve had to date. I’m never going to forget how on top of the clouds I felt being in a different scene with some amazing people. We’ve created a whole host of fantastically drunken memories to add to our collection. So, don’t knock travelling a little closer to home. If you have great company, you’ll make anywhere enjoyable! I didn’t do the whole girls holiday in Maga thing when I left secondary school, and while I was envious of those who did at the time, I realise now that wouldn’t have been my thing. Next stop – Leeds!
Words, Rachel Deakin – @RachelSophiexo
Top pic: Giuseppe Milo (Flickr)