My trip to the Emerald Isle both started and ended in Dublin. My flight left Seattle and landed in London, then from London to Dublin and vice versa. Despite the 8hr time difference, our first night in Dublin we went out to explore. This was both an attempt to get on schedule with their time zone, and because…well…Dublin!
We arrived around 3pm Ireland time, 11pm Seattle time. And stayed awake until 9pm Ireland time…you can do the math.
The city center itself reminded me of a slightly smaller, less busy Seattle. That is if Seattle had random castles and cathedrals at every corner, and if Dublin had 10x more Starbucks locations. Dublin was the only area I saw a handful of Starbucks locations until I reached Cork nearly a week later. I didn’t mind though, who wants Starbucks in another country?
The city itself is very walk-able. We chose not to get our rental car until leaving Dublin, which was a good move. There is limited parking, and I can assure you I would have been 5.76% more stressed if I had the car. We chose a hotel close to the city center and covered over 30 miles on foot in the first two days.
There is a pub on every corner in Dublin just like there is a Starbucks on every corner in Seattle. You don’t have to worry about getting thirsty, or hungry. We stopped into the iconic Temple Bar, but didn’t stay long. Just enough to say we went. 😉
After wandering the city and grabbing a bite to eat, we retired to our hotel for the night. We chose hotels and B&B’s for this trip, all of which were fantastic aside from the two Dublin locations. They weren’t terrible, but they weren’t great either. The following morning after day one in Dublin I went for a run around the city.
Irish people seem to come alive a wee bit later than I’m used to, and it was great to run through the city with minimal people. The weather was cooler than the previous day giving perfect running temps. I ran by the city river, through the streets, passed cathedrals, and donut shops. Mmm. Donuts.
I didn’t worry about getting lost because on day one we located a large spire that quickly became a point of location. No matter where we were, we could always see the spire, and from there it was easy to find our hotel. Navigation level expert.
Even if I did get lost, the people in Ireland are so friendly. I lost count of how many times I asked for directions in Dublin. Without a cell phone to navigate location we relied on good ol’ fashioned verbal directions. It was fun.
Where we stayed: Nights 1-2 we stayed at Hazelbrook House B&B, but we were disappointed to learn that we had to pay extra for the second B. No breakfast, small room, and uncomfortable bed. Alas the location was perfect so it was fine.
Night 10 (final night) we stayed at Dublin City University, because they rent out the dorms in the summer. It sounded awesome, but the beds were worse than Hazelbrook. The walking paths nearby were lovely though, and it was very close to the airport. Again, not so bad.
Edible Highlights: The donut that broke the camels back was found at Off Beat Donuts. Before departing Dublin at the beginning of our trip we wandered the city a bit more. Not much was open (remember, everything comes alive later than in the states) but the donut shop was.
This was the catalyst to my “eat everything” mantra.
Sweet mother of pearl. That donut filled my soul in ways I cannot describe. It gave me the green light to put away my food fears and just eat. Everything. My vegan friends would be horrified, but I was liberated. The food in Europe is nothing like in the states, and I felt better physically than I had in years. Yes…years.
Cheers to that.
Live music, mini farmers markets, friendly people, Dublin was a great start to the trip. My next two posts will share more of Dublin with my trip to Trinity College and the Guinness Factory, as well as a spontaneous adventure to the outskirts of Dublin.
Travel tip: Ask for directions. The people in Europe are very friendly, and this allows you to gush at their awesome accents.