I loved Dublin.
It was, alas, a quick trip. We spent two nights in a Townhouse hostel that was once probably someone's grand home. Today it is a three star hostel whose floorboards sink underneath musty carpets and features communal bathrooms designed to rival any truck stop.
It wasn't the Ritz, but it was clean with an excellent location. And if I am being completely honest, I am attracted to the dilapidated estates of yore. While the upstairs remodel was a hatchet job, the downstairs was worn, but bright and was once clearly grand.
The buildings aristocratic face was still in place, with it's tall ceilings, crown molding and curved staircases. It was a bit like visiting the dinosaur exhibit at the Museum. You marvel at the bones and imagine what it used to be back in the glory days.
In my head, the estate was once magnificent. Very Downtown Abbey.
Dublin is a charming place to visit, which would be enough in it's self, but it is also a very lively place to stay. Which means you have a wide variety of things to do in attractive setting. The charm just weaves everything together in a cheerful Irish style.
On our first night in Dublin we went to the Temple Bar Area, a Dublin staple known for it's Pubs and active night life. The Temple Bar Area, maintains it's original layout that dates all the way back to the middle ages.
The bars are all crunched together sandwiching the mobs of people as they meander down the cobble stone streets. Everyone, it seemed was experiencing their own level of inebriation on the warm Saturday night we visited. If you are looking for a quiet night out in Dublin, this is the wrong place for you my friend! The atmosphere in Temple Bar is as invigorating as a beer buzz with just a splash of seedy for flavor. While the area is safe enough, I was glad I brought my 6'3" bodyguard (aka my Husband Rob), who was looking to party.
Me and the bodyguard had a few pints of Guinness at The Oliver St. John Gogarty Bar and started up a conversation with some charming people. We sang along with the live band (when we knew the words) and had a jolly time enjoying the festive atmosphere and music.
After a while, we moved down the street to the famous Temple Bar. While we had to circle like sharks for a seat in the crowded pub, we got lucky and scored a great table in one of the few courtyards within the bar. The Ivy cascading down the open walls and the fresh air provided an attractive spot to eat a little food and people watch.
The next day we took a Double Decker bus tour of town (one of those obnoxious red tourist buses that are ubiquitous in Europe). We saw the sights of Dublin, hopping off the bus to tour the Guinness Storehouse and then we visited the James Joyce Centre (one of Rob's heroes). The night was capped off watching the 2012 London Olympics back at the Hostel, eating and repacking our bags for our early departure the next day.
Looking back over my shoulder as I boarded our train out of town the following morning, I knew we would make it back to this lively town again.
Until we meet again Dublin.