I recently made a trip to the lovely city of Dublin (25 pounds round trip via bus from Derry!) to visit my friend Jeff for the week!
Jeff and I worked in the Aquatics Department together at Boston College and had a great time there. He is currently studying at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, which is apparently a very prestigious school here (don’t mention that to him however, his ego is already big enough :) )
The first few days were very low-key, where we just caught up and saw a few of the sights around Central Dublin. Lucky for me, his roommate was out of town so I had my own bed and bathroom (with a shower)! I was in Dublin when the Super Bowl was going on as well (which, if you’re from the states, you know it’s a big deal!) Alicia Keys was singing the National Anthem and Beyonce was performing during half-time! Plus, I was stoked for all the commercials (if you’re not that into football, like myself, the commercials and the food are what make this day so great) We first met up with some of Jeff’s friends from Med School to have a few drinks before going to watch the game (Major Fail of the night: I went into a wine store to grab a bottle before heading over to his friend’s house, I didn’t realize until I was AT the friend’s house that under the words “Merlot” on the wine label, were even smaller words saying “Alcohol removed.”) It tasted like fruit juice and I was stuck drinking Carlsberg. We ended up going to a bar called Harry’s on the Green to watch the game. Tickets were 10 Euros to sponsor a local football (not soccer, but American football) team here in Dublin. Since we’re a 5 hour time different here in Ireland vs. the States, the game didn’t start til 11:30 at night and went on til 4am (we only stayed until half-time where we watched Beyonce kick some ass on the stage).
Although Jeff was an amazing host, he might not have been the best tour guide. While walking along his street in Dublin, our conversation went something like this:
Jeff: This is the ATM I use (…walking…) That’s where I had a beer once (…walking…) I ate fried chicken there (…walking…)
You get the point! Luckily, there was a free tour right outside of his house that we decided to take advantage of (TRAVEL TIP: This tour was great and explained a lot of the history surrounding Ireland…AND completely free of charge!!!)
Unfortunately, we could not actually go inside Dublin Castle. On January 1st, 2013, Ireland took over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union resulting in the temporary closure of the state apartments. It was quite pretty from the outside however 🙂
FUN FACT: I’m a little hazy on the dates, but in the early 16th century, the Church collapsed and was rebuilt, not to hold mass, but as a meeting place for businesses and soon after, even a pub! Eventually, in the late 1870’s it was restored back to its normal purposes.
A few notable restaurants?
- A small cafe called Queen of Tarts, located in the Temple Bar area on Dame Street had a great selection of breakfast food. We had smoked salmon, bread and scrambled eggs (yum)!
- Blazing Salad Food Company: Looking for something healthy on the go? Blazing Salad Food Company offers all vegetarian/vegan/organic tasty food! From sandwiches, to the salad bar to desserts! All absolutely delis!
- Gallaghers Boxty House: Lunch special: Choice from 5 lunch options plus a glass or wine or beer-10 Euros! I recommend the spicy chillie on a baked potato with a glass of Merlot
- Jameson Whiskey Distillery: Okay, this isn’t food, but it had to be added in here. Amazing and engaging tour, plus free whiskey in the end (don’t worry, if you’re not a huge fan of this type of liquor like myself, they offer it either on the rocks or mixed with lemonade)
Some fun Ireland Facts!
- St. Patrick was not actually from Ireland!He was actually British and taken as a slave from his home at the age of 16 by Irish Raiders. He lived in Ireland for 6 years before he was able to escape and return back to his family.
- Before the band U2 was famous, they went into the hotel/bar below and were denied service saying “they don’t accept their kind here.” U2 then told the manager that one day when they were rich and famous, they were going to come back and buy this hotel. Not only did they buy this hotel, they bought almost everything on the whole street!
Dublin was everything that I remembered it to be from my previous trip, an absolutely vibrant city, but it can be costly if you don’t watch out! Look for my next entry on the top ten FREE things to see and do while in Dublin!