Ireland…the start of our journey…
My boyfriend and I landed in Dublin Airport, land of shamrocks and leprechauns, early Thursday morning and waited for the shuttle service to transport us to Temple Bar area. The bus stop was about a ten-minute walk from our hostel but the busy sidewalks of early Irish mornings were overwhelming. We carried our two check bags each along cobblestone alleyways to avoid main sidewalk traffic and eventually arrived at our hostel, Barnacles Temple Bar House. Temple Bar area was a blur by the time we were able to check into our hotel room. We had to wait a few hours before our room was available to we grabbed a quick bite and rested in the hostel lounge.
Wakening refreshed the next morning before the sun rose, We decided to walk around to take a look at the cities surroundings. Once seven o’clock came around we decided to get some food at the café across the way from our hostel.
After our very filling breakfast, we hopped on the hop on hop off bus.
The bus ticket is good for one day and you can get on and off at any of its 20 tourist stops as many times as you want. It is a great way to get around the city in one day for a low rate instead of taking taxi’s or confusing railways. Plus the bus is a tour itself, as you’re driven through the city, they inform you of sites and city secrets along the way. We decided to stop and visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the Guinness Storehouse.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin is an extremely beautiful church. The Neo-Gothic architecture to the stained glass was breathtaking and like many cathedrals in Europe, this one had its own unique properties.
The author of Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift, is buried inside. Swift was Dean of the cathedral from 1713 to 1745. Definition of a Dean according to wiki is:
A dean, in a church context, is a cleric holding certain positions of authority within a religious hierarchy. The title is used mainly in the Anglican Communion and the Catholic Church.
Another interesting fact about the cathedral is that it is located on, what is said to be, the spot where St. Patrick baptized individuals.
If you would like more information about the cathedral here is a link below:
Our next stop was the Guinness Storehouse where on a beautiful day you can view all of Dublin from The Gravity Bar on the top floor. On the other five floors of the storehouse you can view many of modern day and classic sides of Guinness. TV commercials, ads and tons of memorabilia surround you as you tour the storehouse. While there, you can try the dark stout the way it is meant to taste. They also have fun activities where you can learn how to properly pour a pint of Guinness from tap, learn how the beer is made, as well as learn the history of the beer and how it was found by Arthur Guinness.
Since we were already started drinking at the storehouse, we decided to finish the day off right with a night on the town. Temple Bar is the perfect place for going out and having a Guinness in Dublin. There are many bars in the area where loads of locals and tourists grab a pint and start chugging. We did not want to waste a night without getting to know the city better, so we decided to drink and learn more Irish culture through a traditional Irish music pub-crawl.
Two Irish musicians played traditional folk songs while tourists learn the lyrics and sang along. The pub-crawl was over two hours and you stop at two different pubs along the way. They also allowed participants to sing songs from their culture. It was a blast and I would recommend this tour. The musicians were brilliant.
We only had one full day in Dublin until we had to continue our travels to Scotland. Our flight left very early in the morning the next day so we did not stay out at the pubs too late.
Barnacles Temple Bar House was the hostel we stayed at during our time in Ireland. The accommodations were “decent” for Europe.
The pros: it was clean, it had private rooms for couples available, and it was located in the tourist pub area of town.
The cons: the rooms were extremely tiny, even for Europe, and it rained (as it usually does in Ireland) causing a leak through the ceiling on to our luggage. Thankfully only the outside of our bags got wet and nothing was damaged, but we still had to go around with wet backpacks the next morning to the airport. Also, the rain leaked into the fire alarm system and the alarm was going off throughout the night. In order to receive a partial refund for my stay I had to email the manager of the hostel a few times until they agreed to refund me a full night of our stay. I would not go back to this hostel from this experience but that does not mean that they will not accurately accommodate others. So if you are interested in a clean hostel in the Temple Bar area and have dry packs around your luggage here is the link to their site.
Air Coach is the shuttle service we took to and from the airport. It has several shuttle stops around Dublin and was reasonably priced. The shuttles website is: