Dublin has always been close to my heart, and although I have vested many times, my Boyfriend Carl was yet to experience everything this vibrant city has to offer. Situated perfectly in the centre of Ireland, the capital city has a massive array of different things to see and do for every traveller.
There are a few things that you are guaranteed when visiting Dublin, these are friendly people, great value for money, and the chance to experience the “craic”. Irish people have a lust for life, and there was never a dull moment when we were in the city. With so much to do in the city, a weekend was never going to be long enough, but we did as much as possible.
I knew that we could not visit the land of Guinness, without taking Carl to the world famous Hop Store, which attracts millions of visitors every year. This stunning historical building is located in the heart of the Guinness Empire and offers fascinating architecture, alongside a pint or two of the black stuff.
The history surrounding Guinness and the buildings that we were privileged to be exploring were unbelievable; I do think Carl enjoyed the Guinness more than the tour. As we made our way to the wondrous Gravity Bar we were one of many to enjoy the breathtaking view of Dublin. Sipping our complimentary glasses of the black velvet, we began to plan our next event.
As it was beginning to get late, we decided that venturing out to the lively Temple Bar was our plan, to enjoy the local hospitality. This vibrant party atmosphere ensured that Carl and I were going to be entertained for hours. After a few more glasses of Guinness, Carl joined in with the traditional Irish dancing, and a merry old sing along.
Time goes so fast in Dublin, and before I knew it we were heading back to our hotel, although we could have partied until Dawn, we had left Max our beloved dog in the dog friendly hotel. These are becoming a popular option for dog lovers, and the one we had chosen was excellent. Many places throughout the city accept well behaved dogs, especially the older style bars.
The next morning we decided to venture out on foot, which is easily done in Dublin, and it also meant that Max could come with us and explore. Dublin is considered a compact city, with a huge amount to see, you can enjoy the old cobbled streets nestled amongst the new developments. We were amazed at the range of buildings, and were surprised to see old Georgian Squares, next to modern office buildings.
Carl decided that he had drunk enough yesterday, and today was about sightseeing, and he wanted to visit St Michan’s Church. I thought it was for the beautiful architecture; however, I soon learnt it was due to the preserved bodies in the vault. Carl was impressed by the body with its limbs severed, and the six foot six crusader that was preserved.
As we wandered through the church, I noticed that there were many original features, some dating back to 1095 when the church was originally built. However, a vast majority of the building was rebuilt in 1686. I was glad to escape the mummified people, but did enjoy browsing the unusual carvings, and majestic organ that is situated in the church.
We had chosen to visit in August as the weather is promised to be better than other months, and although the rain held off it wasn’t particularly warm. This is why it came as a huge shock when Carl declared he was taking part in the annual River Liffy Swim. This river is magnificent and cuts through the center of the city.
Over 80 years ago local people decided that it would be a good idea to swim from Watling Street Bridge to the Custom House. Now over 400 competitors join in this madness, and this year Carl would be one of the madmen in the freezing waters. Having qualified through the stages, he could now compete, and all max and I could do is stand and watch.
Another of Carl’s passions is sport, so we had to make a trip to Croke Park, which is the sixth largest stadium in Europe. He had never seen Gaelic Football, so I knew this trip would be an experience, as this is a strange sport. I did wander off during one of the games to admire all of the memorabilia in the GAA museum.
Shopping was next on my list, and as Carl had indulged in his interests it was time for him to join me as I shopped. There are many different shops to enjoy in Dublin, but I wanted to experience shopping in a unique style. This is why I ventured to George Street arcade, which is located in a distinctive Victorian building.
This place was incredible, packed full of small shops and stalls, offering numerous different items, all at incredible prices. I was in awe at the handmade jewelery, and enjoyed several glasses of the local wine which was on offer. Even Carl begun to enjoy himself, and discovered that there are many little cafes to watch the world go by with Max.
Once Carl had refreshed himself drinking the local coffee, laced with Jameson’s, he decided that a tour of the Jameson’s Distillery was needed. So, off we went for another booze-based educational tour, and in all fairness it was quite good. We got to taste the famous Irish whiskey, and learn more about the rich heritage that surrounds the city.
After we had finished in the distillery, I managed to convince Carl to join me on the historical walking tour of Dublin. This tour is excellent and is run by graduate students from Trinity College, and provided me with all the history and facts I needed. Towards the end the Whiskey was kicking in and I think we both needed a sleep.