Sunday, 26 February 2012

Dublin – The First Time Round

29We left Cologne in the morning on the 10 December, We flew via London and had a 6hr wait at the airport. Why 6 hours? Well flying via Gatwick to Dublin was the MUCH cheaper option then flying direct. There was also the option of flying via Poland, but that only gave us 3 hrs to transfer, which didn’t leave much time to collect all our stuff and recheck-in (it was with different airline carriers). Given last winter, where flights were cancelled/delayed it also gave us a more time to catch the second flight if there were any delays this year .Of course if any flights were cancelled there wasn’t much we could have done, except arrive late at our next destination (that’s also why we made sure there were a few days either side of our tours to allow for late arrival due to missed flights Smile) – of course it turned out that winter was VERY mild this year, the complete opposite of last year, but I suppose better safe then sorry!

Anyway, we arrived in Dublin with enough time to collect our luggage and catch the FREE1 (woohoo!) shuttle bus to our accommodation for the night. We checked in and dragged our heavy suitcases up the stairs (Ok, well really only mine was heavy – I had a 19.5/20kg suitcase Surprised smile). Here we met Angie, a lovely America, who it turns out was doing the same tour as us! That night we had a light, and cheap dinner, which we cooked at the hostel, and then off to bed.
The next morning we went in search of a self service laundromat, being a Sunday, however, nothing was open until like 12 o’clock… and we had planned to do a walking tour that started at 11am. So we gave up on that endeavour and headed to the meeting spot. Before we got there we walked to the Jameson distillery – which was also closed. Dublin is a really sleepy city on Weekend mornings, not surprising really since it is the home of Guiness! The walking tour was over 3 hours long and took as around town and along the river.

Dubh Linn (Dark Pond) Gardens - which doubles as a helipad

What the snake looks like from above (the black circle)
Dublin Castle from two different angles 

The Ha'Penny Bridge - named for the toll pedestrians had to pay

The River Liffey

The Monument of Light, more commonly know as The Dublin Spire, erected to commemorate the millenium (only three years late in 2003) with a statue of O'Connell in front. The spire has many nicknames, which you can check out here. From that link it looks like Dubliners like to nickname things :P

St Stephen's Green statues

910After the tour we went to the National Museum of Ireland, which had ‘bogmen’ on display, and then for dinner had fish and chips as Dublin’s oldest ‘chipper’ It was a cold night, and the fish and chip shop didn’t have any seating, so we ended up eating it standing up, using a retaining wall for a bit of shelter from the wind. We then went for a walk to get some pictures of the Christmas lights at night – The Irish seemed to enjoy Christmas decorating, it was a bit OTT to be honest. By the end of the day we had done a LOT of walking, and I for one was glad to get back to the hostel to rest, ready for the start of our first tour the next morning.
(We never did get around to getting our washing done before we left on tour, by the way)

I just noticed the traffic lights in picture - How cool would it have been if I got the different colours of the tree AND the lights?!

Stree decorations Dublin Style