(The Big City)
Excerpts from Beth:
About 40% of Ireland's population lives in the Greater
Dublin Area, so it is just like any big city. With this knowledge,
we ditched our car and decided to explore Dublin by foot and
by bus. After settling into our hostel, we headed toward the
"Guinness Storehouse" which promised to be touristy.
stories of Guinness Stout propaganda: beer making basics,
history, bottle collection and advertisements followed up
by a bar at the top with 360 degree views and trendy techno
music. We were amazed upon leaving the storehouse at the line
of people that stretched around the block behind a velvet
rope. We had definitely come across the most touristy attraction
of them all.
Much of the fun in Dublin was meeting interesting people
who had made their way there. One night, we were in a pub
(which was fairly typical of all of our nights) and came across
a group of Londoners having a Stag Party. They were all wearing
matching shirts and silly hats, and all seemed to be related
to the bride-to-be in some way (except for the groom-to-be,
I hope). We shared drinks and stories before heading to meet
up with a "ghost tour" we'd signed up for.
Although the tour guide never showed, we had the pleasure
of talking to a young Australian school teacher who had recently
moved to town. She had spent the last few years traveling
and gathering teaching certificates in various countries.
Her time in Dublin was to be a small break from teaching before
continuing with her quest. We picked her brain about Dublin,
and learned some insider info about the area north of the
River Liffey. She'd been checking out apartments and was being
shown a nice little studio north of the river one afternoon:
While listening to the landlady's schpiel, she noticed a car
being broken into across the street. . . and then to her horror,
the vandal set the car on fire!! In her panic, she called
the fire brigade on her cell phone while the landlady continued
to pontificate on the features of the apartment. Needless
to say, she passed on that one.
rest of the tour in Dublin was spent strolling. We took a
fantastic and all-inclusive walking tour one day and explored
the shops and streets of town.
One word of caution about Dublin's attractions: it seems
that many sites come and go. Even the latest travel guide
may have inaccurate information. Make it a point to call ahead
to get the scoop-although the journey is half the fun.
Tip #2 about Dublin: After over a week of driving around
the countryside being bombarded with new excitement and challenges,
we were physically exhausted for our two days in Dublin. If
you're interested in the "traditional Ireland flavor,"
fly into Shannon and stay in the western counties. There will
be plenty to see, and the country is small enough that you
could even take a long day trip to Waterford Crystal or some
other attraction of interest. If you're interested in the
city life, head for Dublin!