Saturday, January 17, 2015

Dublin In A Day | Guide Of Ireland ♥

The Spire, built to mark the celebration of a new millennium.
Last week we took a trip to Ireland's capital, Dublin. It had been years since I visited, which is crazy really considering it's just three hours away by train or bus. My sole purpose of the visit was to see two of my favourite bands, Korn and Slipknot, play at the 3Arena but I decided to arrive in Dublin early and make the most of my day there. This is my first post of my Guide of Ireland, where I'll be sharing my adventures, travels and recommendations from around Ireland - everywhere except my home city and county of Cork of course as that's all covered in my Guide of Cork, and really, what better post to mark this new series in my blog then a look at Ireland's capital city.

Waking up early in my severe flu suffering state I arrived at the AirCoach saying goodbye to my home city which was covered in snow and ice - a rare thing to see! I had a well needed sleep on the bus and when I awoke I was greeted to a landscape covered in snow, far different to the usual views of green you see as you drive through Ireland. When we finally arrived in Dublin, after a long three hours, the views of snow were replaced by that of ice and a harsh, cold wind which almost blew us away as we walked over the city's many bridges. I'm not going to lie, our first stop was Penneys for a pair of mittens, my poor hands couldn't take the cold.

 We had skipped breakfast due to our early morning start so we set off in search of somewhere nice and warm to eat. We found ourselves at Ann's Bakery on Mary Street which had a fab selection of breakfast items and freshly baked goods available. I settled on a hearty breakfast of hashed browns, white pudding and toast but also couldn't resist the biggest chocolate muffin I have ever seen - it was massive! Everything was delicious and it was just what we needed to set us up for our long day of walking around the city sightseeing.

 From Ann's Bakery we moved on to the Garden of Remembrance in Parnell Square, which is a memorial to all of those who gave their lives for Irish freedom. This is such a humbling place and one which every Irish person should visit in their lives. Being a history graduate I think it's immensely important to remember those who came before us and who fought and died to give our country freedom and the formation of a Republic. The garden features a cross-shaped pool tiled with mosaics of green and blue with images of broken weapons at intervals along the pool - this draws on the Celtic tradition of marking the end of a battle by throwing weapons into rivers. The pool was partly covered by sheets of ice when we arrived, it was amazing to see as I don't think I've ever encountered anything like that in Ireland before. At the head of the cross pool there is an amazing sculpture depicting the legend of The Children of Lir, one which I always liked as a child even though it's rather sad. The tri-colour flies high over the sculpture and there are verses engraved in both English and Irish on the wall behind.

 We then took a stroll down O' Connell Street, passing many memorials and statues of famous people from Irish history as we walked. We also passed the GPO, one of the key places in the 1916 rising. I love that the tri-colour flies high above the GPO too. Anytime I go to Dublin I always get an immense sense of Irishness and history which really does make me proud to be Irish.

 We then made our way over the famous Ha'penny Bridge where people had left love locks, I thought these were so sweet and I love seeing quirky things like this in cities. Little did I know that this would be something we would do ourselves later in the day, oh the romance!

 On from the bridge we made our way to Temple Bar, probably my favourite area in Dublin as it has a really cool vibe to it with graffiti art on the walls, lovely restaurants and pubs. We would later return here for lunch. Isn't the graffiti amazing? I wish I was good at art...

 After what seemed like an eternity we arrived at the Guinness Storehouse, which is Ireland's number one visitor attraction, where we learnt all about the history of Guinness, how it's made and even got to sample some of the black stuff. It was my first time ever tasting Guinness (I know, shame on me being Irish and all) and I have to admit I hated the taste of it. Still, it was great to see the place and visit the Gravity Bar which has views of the whole of Dublin City right down to the Wicklow Mountains, it was amazing. Although I wasn't a fan of the drink I think the trip to the storehouse was fab, it was great to see the history and making of an Irish institution.

 Our next stop was Dublinia, a viking and medieval museum which was actually a lot of fun. Instead of just having things to read as you went along you could actually dress up as a viking, try on chain mail and helmets - just like I did and take interactive quizzes at the end to see how much you'd learnt from your visit - who doesn't love a good quiz?! Here I picked up a little viking helmet for Tyler Lee and a book all about the vikings for him, have to instill the interest in Irish culture and history in him from an early age!

 Finally it was time for lunch and we choose Hippetys in Temple Bar, a place I had fallen in love with the look of as we passed through the street earlier on in the day. This was most definitely the coolest place I have ever eaten in. The decor was a shabby chic mix with things to catch your attention everywhere you looked. The food was fab too... and the wine! I'll be doing a separate review on this place because I loved it so much and I definitely have to visit again someday.

 The final stop before heading to the hotel for some rest and relaxation before the gig was back to the Ha'penny bridge to add our love locks to the rest. I'd like to point out that this was his idea, he even went and bought the lock - romantic right. The pen we used to write our love on was rubbing off in the rain and two sinister looking fellows asked us what were were doing but it didn't matter, we had our romantic moment, exchanged a kiss on the bridge and then skipped off (okay not literally as my feet were killing me) to recoup after our long day of sightseeing, walking and adventure. The wine may have made me very happy at this stage in the day too, good ole Chablis.

There you have it, Dublin in a day. Isn't it amazing what you can fit in to seven hours? I'll definitely be visiting again and seeing more of what Ireland's capital has to offer, although maybe during the summer when it's not freezing cold and the wind isn't trying to blow me away. I thoroughly enjoy my adventures there and it was great to explore somewhere new and see so much in a short space of time.

Have you ever been to Dublin? Is it a place you'd like to visit in the future?

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35 comments

  1. Never seen the locks on the bridge before.
    I've lived in Dublin for 2 years. There's a lot to see. You covered the most important things. There's a lot more but you would need more time. Hop on/hop off tour bus is great to see all sightseeing.

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    1. Yeah you'd need more time to see the rest but I was happy with what we covered in a day. The bus would have been great but I couldn't even look at another bus having been stuck on one for three hours on the way up!

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  2. Fiona I'm from Dublin, worked in city centre for a year. Easily go in once a month and NEVER ever have I noticed the locks. I must be living in another world! Looks like you had fun!!

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    1. Kellie I think when you live somewhere you never notice the little things as much as tourists do. I know I wouldn't notice these things in Cork. I had lots of fun, must visit again someday.

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  3. These pics are fab. My friends new girlfriend is from Ireland and I've heard a lot of great things about Dublin, it's definitely a place I want to visit one day.

    Jenn |

    Photo-Jenn-ic

    x

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    1. Thank you Jenn. Definitely visit Ireland someday!

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  4. Very In depth post, lovely to see someone giving the city a bit of buzz! X


    hailandharmony.blogspot.ie
    // BLOGLOVIN

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    1. Oh I couldn't help but give it a bit ofa buzz, I loved my day there x

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  5. The love locks caught my eye too. It's so romantic and symbolic of young love. Seems like something many dreamers would travel to do together.

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    1. The love locks are such a whimsical idea I think. We just had to have one of our own.

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  6. Oh thank you so much for this! I've pinned it to refer back to! I have been waiting on this as I've told you before my dream is to visit Ireland one day, I love seeing it as much as possible, I've read books and seen shows but it's so much better coming from someone who actually lives there! Keep them coming!

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed this post Rena. I hope you'll enjoy the other posts as part of my Guide of Cork and my Guide of Ireland. I hope your dream comes true one day and you get to visit :)

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  7. I have always wanted to go to that Bridge and do the locks. I would love to do that with my husband one day. Maybe when we are old and grey. It would mean so much to me. This was such a great post, I'm lusting after that muffin and now want to make a trip to Dublin! I would love to experience all Dublin has to offer, it looks wonderful! - JEANINE

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  8. Judging from your pics it looks like you had a fabulous day in Dublin!!! I've always wanted to go... Maybe one day ;-)

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  9. I had this on my bucket list to visit. I can't wait to go and use your suggestions. I love all quirky things in a city. I think that's what makes the city unique. The pictures told me there's so much history and you were enjoying your day trip. I can't wait to go to the bridge and leave my love locket as well.

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  10. First, off your pictures are just beautiful! The food and the scene was beautiful! What a place to visit! I've always wanted to visit Dublin! Its on my bucket list! I would love to leave a lock on the bridge! Love is in the air! How sweet!

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  11. I have always wanted to visit Dublin and many a times I have missed out on the chance but not this year I am definitely coming Fiona lol. I love the love locks, I was introduced to them by my boo when I was in Lithuania and it was beautiful.

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  12. Oh I've always wanted to do the locks on a bridge thing, that is such a fun idea. Dublin looks absolutely AMAZING!

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  13. Tom Cruise had been to Guinness the day before we made it there. :) I didn't try the tap, but hubby did... the certificate is in our game room, on the wall. ;)

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  14. I've always wanted to visit Ireland. The guinness brewery will probably be a must for us! :)

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  15. What a great post! Your pics are great too! I lived in England for two years and I so regret not having made my way to Dublin! At the time unfortunately it wasn't one of the 'cities to visit' on my list ;-(

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  16. I have always wanted to go to Ireland. My parents went on a cruise there and loved every minute of it. Your pictures are beautiful. You got a lot done in a day!

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  17. I would love to go to Ireland one day, I've wanted to go since I was a kid. I would for sure have to add a lock to everyone else's.

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  18. Wow Ireland is just so pretty! What really caught my attention was that blue/green water and the food! My oh my! What pretty pictures! :) I love how everything is so simple yet pretty. Thanks for sharing your wonderful adventures!

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  19. I visited Dublin last year for the first time year and fell in love with the city. I enjoyed a lot of the same things as you like the Guinness Storehouse, street art and good food. It's a great walkable city, and I hope to visit Dublin again soon, though preferably when it's warmer. The freezing cold weather just isn't for me!

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  20. My daughter was a competitive Irish dancer for 11 years. Her dream was to dance in Worlds in Ireland. I would love to go one day. I love all your enticing pictures

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  21. Thanks for sharing all of the great photos with us. I always wonder what life is like in other countries. I think when I was going to school I went to school with someone from there, or maybe it was Scotland.

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  22. I wonder when I will be able to go to Dublin? I bet it is more exciting, interesting and fun if you visit it personally!

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  23. I have always wanted too visit Dublin! A coworker of mine went last year so I got the inside scoop on where to go. However, I love this post and will be keeping it for future reference. Thank you for sharing your experience and quality pictures! I can't wait to visit now.

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  24. It looks like you made a lot of memories. I love the Garden of Remembrance. That must have been quite moving. What a beautiful way to recognize so many brave men and women.

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  25. I just loved Dublin when I visited with my best friend from County WestMead! I had Guinness for the first time with a shamrock drawn in the top, and saw Molly Malone [although she called her something naughtier]! I'd love to take my husband there as he adores Guinness :) I love the shots of you dressed up, that's something I'd do, hahaha!

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  26. You packed in some awesome sights in 7 hours, impressive! Loved the shots of the architecture and food (the latter looked delicious). :9 I haven't been yet, but certainly hope to make it there sometime in my lifetime!

    xo,
    lauriel
    EyeForElegance.com

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  27. I lived in the UK for a year and Dublin is much nicer to visit than England is, for sure :P
    However...at any point in time, you're going to get that awful wind. It's one of the things that drove me the most nuts when I lived there but, hey, at least you get to enjoy the fantastic, beautiful pubs in between gusts! :P

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  28. What a fun trip! Love, love, love the locks!! I had to laugh when I saw you had to stop to buy mittens -- I have had to do that on several occasions. Most of the time I'm stopping to buy an umbrella.

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Thank you for reading my blog and taking the time to comment. I appreciate all your comments and try to reply whenever I can.

Peace & love,
Fiona
xo

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