SiKing

July 26, 2006

A day in Dublin

Filed under: eire — SiKing @ 4:45 pm
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So I finally had a chance to do “the tourist thing”. I got me one of them pamphletsPDF, and followed what it said. Here is how that particular excursion ended up. Pictures from this outing are coming up at a later date (although I did not take any spectacular shots); the photo book will have the same title as this entry. Italicized text below came from the pamphlet (with some small grammatical corrections), normal text is mine.

10:00 Begin your day at Dublin’s newest landmark – The Spire – in the centre of O’Connell Street.

Since I am lazy, I actually started like at around 11:00. The Spire is at the intersection of O’Connell and Talbot. Hard to miss: big, tall thing, and surrounded by hordes of tourists – they’re the ones with all the flashing cameras.

11:00 From here walk down Henry Street, passing Moore Street and it’s famous street traders. From Henry Street find Liffey Street which leads to Dublin’s Halfpenny Bridge. Cross it and explore Temple Bar, the city’s tourist quarter.

Well, at least it did not take me an hour to get here; took me more like 10 minutes.
So I am now right on schedule. I have already seen the Moore Street market previously, so I skipped that. On Liffey Street there isn’t that much to see. I did take my time in Temple Bar however, as there are some neat things to see. For example, the Wall of Fame. Note that Temple Bar is both an area of Dublin, as well as an actual bar with like drinks and stuff. Don’t know which of the two came first.
From here to the next point, I took Dame Street passing by the Bank of Ireland. Worth seeing, but not really worth dwelling on for too long.

13:00 After discovering shops selling second−hand clothes and claddagh rings go to Flannagan’s café on Georges Street for a cheap yet tasty lunch.

I failed to locate Flannagan’s café. Also, at the start of this adventure, I did pick up some sandwiches in Dunnes, very close to The Spire. However, I suspect I did not save that much cash or “quid” as it is known locally. Unless you pack your own lunch from home, don’t bother to get something pre-made in the stores. It is just as expensive to just eat out.
The kool thing is, that while searching for Flannagan’s, I was tackled by a rather cute chick, who asked me to partake in a survey … about beer … Guinness for that matter! How can I possibly say no to that?!?! At the end of the survey they paid me €5, apparently to try out a pint. Whoa, kool!

14:00 Now walk down Wicklow Street to Grafton Street, the city’s premier shopping street. Listen to the buskers entertain passers by.

So I am way ahead of schedule now, at around 12:00. On Grafton Street I saw an angel, Ziggy Stardust, Canadian life, guy playing a harp, and several street sweepers – again, see pictures once they become available.

15:00 Just 5 minutes from Grafton Street on Merrion Square is the National Gallery, the country’s most renowned art museum. Also nearby are the Natural History Museum and Archaeology & History museum.

So since Grafton did not take me an hour, more like 15 minutes, then I took a little detour through St. Stephen’s Green park. Hordes of people, but a very nice park nevertheless. Duck ponds a galore here! If you did bring your own lunch, eat it here.
Continue onwards, to hit up the museums. Note that all the museums, at least these ones, have free admission (and free bathrooms if need be)! Natural History Museum: just four storeys packed with stuffed, dead animals. National Gallery was nice to see though. 150th anniversary of GBS. I recommend taking your time here, if you’re into gallery sort of things. I left the Heraldic Museum, the National Library, and the National Museum for a later date, since I am going to be like living here and stuff.
Once you tire of the museums, I further recommend the Merrion Square park. Say hi to Oscar for me. If you’re there on a weekend, then the park is also surrounded by amateur artists (some of which are pretty good IMHO) selling their swag: ‘nother free gallery.

19:00 For more cheap and good food, grab a bite to eat in one of the restaurants with ‘early−bird’ specials. You’ll find a starter, main & glass of wine for under €8.

This particular food option I skipped. The next point, below, leads you back to Temple Bar. On the way there you can hit up Trinity College and check out the grounds. They also have the Book of Kells here, which is like important or something.
After this, if you’re still ahead of schedule, hit up the Dublin Castle. This, I myself have yet to see, but I hear good things about it.

21:00 Go for a pint or two in Temple Bar, but don’t stay there. This part of Dublin is extremely commercialised and can get messy at night.

22:00 From Temple Bar cross Dame Street on to Georges Street. This is one of Dublin’s strips and is where you will find some of its coolest bars and clubs.

Hmmm, as a very naughty tourist, I skipped these last two suggestions. Most bars in Temple bar were full, and I am not into the clubs scene.
I much rather headed over to Ha’Penny bar, which you probably saw right after you crossed the Halfpenny Bridge at the beginning of the tour. First off: catchy name – get it, the joke?! Second: they play my type of music there. Lastly, it’s probably my current favourite bar in Dublin!

Things that this tour does not hit up, which are also worth seeing in Dublin IMHO: Guinness brewery, and Phoenix park. Perhaps another day in Dublin?

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