As I write this I still have ‘Galway Girl’ stuck in my head and the taste of real Irish Guinness on my tongue. Ok, that’s a slight exaggeration but I’m confident that the memories I have of Dublin will certainly linger.
I have always wanted to visit Ireland – I’m an eighth Irish thanks to a paternal grandfather I didn’t get chance to meet and have a thing for Irish accents – but although I’ve visited many other places in my 30 years, somehow the opportunity for a trip to ‘The Emerald Isle’ has never presented itself.
That is until my big sister Rachel decided it was high time I got my wish.
Through secrets, subterfuge and flat out lies, she managed to organise a surprise three-day trip so I could take it the sights and sounds of Dublin before I turned 30.
A 6am wake up call and a short flight later and the two of us, plus my mum and brother’s girlfriend Danni, arrived in Dublin.
Danni and Rachel who had both worked late the night before needed a nap, which left me and my mum free to explore the city and do a bit of window shopping.
For those who haven’t been, Dublin’s city centre is comparable to London in that it’s a cosmopolitan city, a mix of high street chains and boutique stores but it’s also home to some stunning architecture and the iconic Temple Bar.
A network of bars, pubs and restaurants in the heart of the city Temple Bar boasts some of the finest craft beers and live music in Ireland. Justifiably, one of the most famous is Oliver St. John Gogarty, a budget hostel and bar named for the poet whose statue resides in the bar and it was here that we spent Sunday and Monday evenings.
The picture I had in my head of Ireland was largely cobbled together from films and pictures, particularly the music scenes in P.S I Love You, so I was delighted to discover that most of the local bands do indeed play ‘Galway Girl’, as well as other classics I knew from school including ‘Whiskey in the Jar’ (Shoutout to Mr Lees and his guitar!)
Tuesday we did the tourist thing, happily wandering around the city searching out statues of Oscar Wilde and Molly Malone, Wilde’s house, the wall of fame and other landmarks.
We didn’t venture as far as the Guinness factory but we did drink ‘the black stuff’ which, for fact fans, is actually ruby red. We also sampled Irish cider and some excellent food during our visit.
With less than an hour to go we found the last place on our list – The Church bar and restaurant and had the nicest meal of our trip.
All too quickly it was time to go home, but as it was to celebrate my birthday I didn’t mind too much!
Needless to say I loved my time in Ireland’s capital and I hope my trip to Dublin was the first of many visits to this diverse and beautiful Country.