So we spent the past few days in Dublin, which wasn’t too difficult to get too even though we have had a less than stellar track record with the public transportation here in Ireland. It simply involved a bus that was close to an 30 minutes late, and then a 4 hour train ride.
Dublin was more interesting. Not in a bad way, but in a “well I didn’t see that coming” sort of way.
Matt and I booked a hostel a few days before we left. The address said South Gt Georges St. so we looked up how to get there from the train station and made our way along. Needless to say Gt Georges St is probably one of my favorite roads I have ever seen and spent time on. It had open markets, home made clothing sold in little shops, music stores, old buildings, and coffee shops.
After about our third time walking up and down this road looking for our hostel, I stepped in and asked a lady about where it was on the street. She looked at me and told me it was on North St Georges St. about a 20 minutes walk away, on the north side of the river. Now before we go any further I had multiple people give me warnings about the north side of the river. “Don’t walk it alone” or “Don’t go past there after eleven” apparently it is part of the rougher side of town.
So needless to say when people were telling me to be wary of the rough part of town I was a little nervous. I mean this is a city of a million plus in the capitol of a country known for it’s drinking powers. So we made our way up to O’Connell’s St, then past the race bookies, the post office with a mysterious line in front of it at 7pm and onto North Gt Georges. To my surprise the road was not covered in beer bottles and blood stains of drunken Irish fights from long ago. It was a pleasant little road, quirky for sure, but nice.
The hostel on the other hand was not so nice, apparently clean linen sheets don’t account for cigarette burns or mysterious clear, but thankfully not hard, stains. I slept fully clothed with my hoodie over my face those three nights. Not to mention meeting a spider that made a home in my shoe the next morning that was big enough to have a soul.
Among our time in Dublin we saw a weekly show called The Ruby Session, it is an acoustic show where they collect artists from all around to play once a week to raise money for the arts, giving underprivileged children the chance to escape to something less dreary for a while.
Before the show Matt and I ordered some Guinness, where I can officially say they have served the worst pints I have tasted. So word for the wary traveller, if you are looking for a good pint, Doyle’s is not the place.
While we were waiting for The Ruby Session, I was itching for a cigarette since I forgot my tobacco at home. I was on the hunt watching the window for smokers, waiting for the opportune moment to swoop outside hand them a 10c piece for a cigarette and then after asking “Are you sure?” light the cigarette and put the change in my pocket.
I was in luck, the three standing outside were young and were smoking rollies. Anyways, after talking for a bit I found out they were playing one of the four sets for the night, which had me unjustly worried, since so many people I had talked too told me The Ruby Session was something I had to see while in Dublin.
So we parted ways, I came back to my unfinished pint, and Matt still sipping away on his. And we made our way up to the music. It was amazing, the three kids ended up being my favorite, and were also the headliners for Dublin Pride’s music section. And they bummed me a smoke, and I may or may not have told the singer she would make and awful Mormon when they telling me about how horrible of a Utahan I am for smoking and drinking.
Since this post is going on for too long already, I will make the rest quick. Matt and I bought new pipes from the Peterson Store, where we spent a good two hours handling pipes, smelling tobaccos, and generally being in awe of the largest Peterson pipe store in the world.
Grafton Street is amazing, if you like shopping, buskers (one particularly entertaining fellow was dressed in traditional formal Spanish bull fight garb, while doing the robot to a tape of old Irish music), and just general organized chaos, then Grafton St is for you, or South Gt Georges St. its north counterpart is apparently shanking territory.
I saw St Patrick’s Cathedral, which I highly recommend. We didn’t see the Book of Keels, we decided that spending 10 dollars to look at a book and say, “Huh, that’s cool” could be spent in better ways, like X-Men 1st Class. Which I thoroughly enjoyed.
The Museum of National History is cool, it has old druid sacrificial daggers, and a Psalter from the 700s that was buried in a bog.
St Stephen’s Green is cool, but when you leave it make sure you are heading in the right direction, if you are not it is a very long walk all the way back around the outside of the park.
Temple Bar is overrates and too expensive, don’t do it unless you want to be able to say you had a pint in The Temple Bar.
Dublin Castle and Trinity College are both work walking through.
The Burger King further north from the one on the corner on O’Connell’s is a few dollars cheaper than the one closer to down town, and that one is a few dollars cheaper than the one on Grafton St.
Also Matt discovered that it is not permitted to take pictures in a train station.
Well, that was basically our Tuesday to Friday, where most of the highlights we hit.