In Part 1 of this post: An Irish Tale, Part 1: 10 Random Facts About Ireland & What to Do in Galway I described my experience in the west coastal town of Galway.
In Part 2 we move onto Dublin at the end of our trip.
Dublin… a.k.a The Big Smoke
Dublin has a population of just over half a million, and whilst also calling itself a city, coming from a city like London it is difficult to appreciate it’s ‘cityness’ while it resembles more of a large town. I had 24hours on my own here, and spent it wandering around Temple Bar, Trinity College, and along the river Liffey. The rain came too soon, my time here too brief, and experience somewhat cloudy to recall, so I will come back again some time and elaborate.
Here is a list of what I think are musts for a weekend in Dublin (though I only achieved four of the seven!)
7 MUST SEE/DO/TRY IN DUBLIN
- Kilmainham Gaol – worth the visit to learn about the history and bravery alone!
- Trinity College – go see the Book of Kells.
- Guinness Storehouse – As I only had 24hrs in Dublin on my own I put this on the list for next time. Apparently it is a must, so let me know what you think!
- Pheonix Park – missed out on visiting but I suspect it’d brilliant on a Sunny day!
- Temple Bar – this is a small cobblestoned bar filled pedestrian area south of the river. It has a rich history, but is now quite commercialised. Still worth the visit.
- Ha’penny bridge – name courtesy of the fact you’d pay half a penny to cross the bridge back in the day.
- Grafton Street – because Luke Kelly mentions it in one of his songs, and there is a big needle spire thing on it.
P.S. If you are headed to Dublin at the end of January, make sure you check out the TradFest Temple Bar which takes place 28 January 2015 – 1 February 2015. http://www.templebartrad.com.
All in all I’d say Ireland is a grand little island full of beautiful landscape, and an interesting histroy. It has an easy network of infrastructure to navigate around via car… I would recommend road trips all the way. Be sure to pick up an Atlas road map to highlight your key stops (If anyone uses them anymore!?) and allow the journey to unfold.
Check out this Mini advert for inspiration! It covers many of the must-see places on the Emerald Isle! And to help get you in the mood for planning your own trip – give Luke Kelly’s ‘Song for Ireland’ or ‘Raglan Road’ a listen. For more modern muses, some new talent comes in the form of Hozier – ‘Take me to Church’ being his more popular release, and ‘Someone New’ one of my personal favs and slightly more uplifting than other tracks on the album!
Essentials for your Irish road trip:
- Luke Kelly’s greatest hits album
- Wellington boots or similar waterproof shoes
- Waterproof everything
- A good ear to get by
- Sunglasses (…just in case)
- A scarf (probably just one for me owning a whole drawer full of them and no being able to go anywhere without one!)
- Irish Whiskey from Duty Free
- Biscuits (because it is rude to go to someone’s home without something to give them, and what better than something they can dunk into a hot cup of tea :D).
My grandparents always spoke fondly of how the Irish culture is closely tied with Sikh culture (though one is a nation, and the other a religious identity). Now, from my own experience whilst residing for part of the weekend in Leitrim at my friend’s Grandfather’s house, I understand why. Somehow I don’t think sharing that part of my journey which involved rolling easter eggs down a hill (more like a vague suggestion of a hill than an actual hill), and wandering into a local pub where I became the focal alien for the night is, would be particularly helpful in encouraging your visit… or maybe it would? But I’ve written enough for one post today.
How do you feel about Ireland? Are you a fan, or are you someone who can’t wait to leave (like the lady I met on Fraser Island who was glad to get away!)
I’d love to hear what your favourite and not so favourite things are about Ireland – so please share your stories in the comments section below :).