St. Patty's in Dublin, Ireland

Trip Start Jan 03, 2009
Trip End Jun 18, 2009

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Flag of Ireland  , County Dublin,
Tuesday, March 17, 2009

SO this past weekend I went to Dublin for the weekend of St. Patrick's Day! Let me tell you, I really liked Dublin, but I had a few bumps along the way. We left Friday morning to catch our bus and plane to Dublin. We flew Ryanair, which is a discount airline. I usually love discount airlines for obvious reasons but Ryanair was a bit of a pain. We had to stand in line twice and pay 20 extra euros only because we are not EU citizens and we could not check in online. When we finally got on the plane, it was tiny with tons of people and the chairs did not recline at all. I was very uncomfortable and the whole plane was covered in advertisements. Both of our landings and other people who I've talked to (including one flight pilot) told me that the pilots are horrible and don't know how to land a plane.

When we got to downtown Dublin by bus we had a very nice bus driver walk us to our hostel because we had no idea where it was. On the way, I tried to understand him through his thick Irish accent tell me that I should watch out for junkies. This was not a problem throughout our stay (don't worry dad). Our hostel turned out to be nice and clean but because the city was so full of people for St. Patrick's Day, I was separated from my two friends and had to be in my own room down the hallway. My first roommates turned out to be students from USC and the next ones, French guys. Both groups were loud, smelly and snored. I'm surprised it took me this long to have a bad hostel experience. I was also confused when the desk asked for an extra 30 euros for a deposit for the keys. I expressed my grievances to the front desk because they should have a disclaimer on their website that the beds you are booking are not necessarily in the same room and that there is an extra 30 euros in addition to the 30 euros already paid by credit card when making the reservation. The employees, of course, blamed this on someone else, the company who created the website. I plan on writing a few angry emails about these problems.

The rest of the first day we did a little shopping and walked around Dublin. I had a traditional Irish meal at a nice restaurant that looked very expensive from the outside but turned out to be a very reasonable buffet. I got lamb stew with carrots and potatoes. That night we went to Temple Bar, which is a street with a lot of pubs and tons of people on St. Patty's weekend. Somehow we ended up in the nicest hotel in Dublin, just to see the inside. It had pretty lame modern art.

The next day we went to the Guinness Storehouse, which is next to the Guinness Brewery. The Storehouse is actually just the tourist building that is a museum of the history and how to make Guinness beer. I took a taste test, but I don't really like beer very much. The bar at the top of the building is called the Gravity bar because it is the tallest bar in Dublin. It had great 360 degree views.

On Sunday, we had plans to wake at 9 to get our free hostel breakfast and then go on a free walking tour of Dublin. Because Dublin is one hour time difference from France, I got up an hour too early and had breakfast. I did this again the next day but at 4:45am instead of 5:45 because we had to catch our plane at 7am! Well, we went on the tour and I learned a lot of Irish history, especially all of their attempted revolutions and several failures. See the pictures of what I saw on that tour.

Overall, it was a nice weekend, but I would like to go back to Ireland, especially smaller towns. The best part was being in a country in which the main language is English, something that hasn't happened since the beginning of January!
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