Dark Ales, Banshee Wails and Red headed males

Trip Start Jul 02, 2010
Trip End Aug 02, 2010

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Where I stayed
Harrington Hall Dublin
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of Ireland  , County Dublin,
Monday, July 5, 2010

As any staff traveler will say at least once, is Staff Travel really worth it? After our airport shuttle didn't turn up twice (Paris taxis refuse to drive you to CDG from Roissy - apparently it isn't worth their fare), we then had to run to the furthest gate at the furthest terminal (Murphy's Law) to then stand in the slowest moving Air France queue whilst time ticks away, and then stand in the slowest moving immigration queue, and then the slowest moving security queue, all the time not even knowing if you have a seat on board yet! Then you turn up at the boarding gate, stressed, sweaty and exhausted with flight closure only 5 minutes away and wonder again, is Staff Travel really worth it?

Then they upgrade you to Business Class and you realise it is.

The flight wasn't half as exciting as the morning, but at least we got a seat on board. After another stamp in our passport, we picked up or hire car and headed for our accommodation. The clerk at the Hire Car check-in advised us that Ireland and Italy are the only countries in Europe where credit car companies refuse to give driver's insurance.

To give you a picture of Dublin, try and imagine a cross between Christchurch and Copenhagen, with seagulls flying overhead, and the world's fastest walking people. Whilst trying to wrangle the winding streets of the city, our first sight wasn't leprechauns or Guinness Pubs. No, it was a scrag fight happening on a street corner between two long haired Irish lasses. Welcome to Ireland!

After checking in, we went for a wander for lunch. I've eaten in Irish pubs in Darwin, Queenstown, Banff and Sydney, this was the first time I've eaten in one in well, Ireland. The weather here is weird! We've had the sun and rain, cold and heat all in one afternoon. We walked through Grafton Street (shopping mall street), Trinity College and St. Stephen's Green which is near our hotel.

We went out again to an Irish pub in the Temple Bar area for dinner (an area definitely worth seeing) and decided to go partying with the locals. Unbeknown to us, things don't really kick off until after 1am - even on a Monday night. Which explains why cafes don't serve breakfast until after 9.30am.

The next day we rang home to see Tiger was okay (he is) before more sightseeing. We headed to St. Patrick's cathedral and then the Guinness Storehouse. I never did find out if the ingredients were a 50% ratio of bog water and chocolate syrup (as stated on The Simpsons). You don't need a bus tour here - Dublin is very walkable. Unfortunately Ted has been battling a cold so he headed back early. I then saw City Hall, Dublin Castle, Christ Church Cathedral and the Houses of Parliament before heading back.

Before dinner, we went back to St. Stephen's Green nearby – we love it there. Just like Dublin’s answer to Central or Centennial Park, it’s an awesome retreat from the city. It seems like every restaurant in Temple Bar has an early bird special, where you can have a 3 course meal for about 15 euro. My feet have been in agony since the all day walks we’ve done in Paris and Dublin, so we settled into a nearby pub to watch an evening of live folk music. Unfortunately the local culture couldn’t compete, as most of the crowd’s preference was to watch the Netherlands annihilate Uruguay in the World Cup.

We weren’t undeterred by last night’s lack of pub excitement so we again went to check out the local scene. As tempting as watching an Irish drag queen performing in a front of a room of 20 year olds was, we moved onto another venue. We settled on local karaoke at the Front Lounge, with a crowd I wasn’t old enough to be a dad to. We met two local Irish blokes, who we went with to a local dance party called Glitz – all this on a Tuesday night? Don’t Dubliners ever go to bed?
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My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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elke on

Hi guys, so nice to hear from u and know that all is well and ur having a gr8 time..except for Ted's cold...try some vicks vapour rub..thinking of u both and wish we were there with u...enjoy love and bhugs xxx

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