Dublin. What a place! Good weather, good stout, and great Friends; who could ask for more? When I originally planned my trip it was to visit a friend that I hadn’t seen in a while who was completing his doctorate at Trinity collage, Dylan. As it turned out, another college mate was visiting Dylan at the same time, Ryan.
I arrived in Dublin in the late afternoon and after a short bus ride to the city centre I went and found my hostel. I stayed at Avalon House, which it the cleanest hostel I have ever been in. It was also about a 5 min walk to temple bar, so it was easy to stumble back to.
After I checked in, I called Dylan and we met up at the gates to Trinity College. The college is right in the middle of the city centre and it is a great rally point. As Ryan had yet to arrive, we went and had a quick pint at one of the college pubs. There we ran into another one of Dylan’s visitors, Christine, who was at the end of her trip and planning on flying back to the states early the next day.
After meeting up with Ryan, we went to a pub inside Trinity that overlooks the Cricket and Rugby pitches. A few drinks and we were off to a house party. At the party, hosted by Dimitri, we experienced some authentic Russian cuisine, were dazzles by some juggling (one of Dylan’s new hobbies) and we learnt the traditional way to drink Vodka. Apparently, vodka was used a medicine and one was never supposed to taste it. The basic process is to pour some ice cold vodka into a glass, exhale (so you don’t have to smell it), shoot the vodka back and then bite on something flavourful to mask the aftertaste (were using pickles.) This is a great way to drink vodka and I definitely recommend it. After the group polished off a few bottles we went to a small pub.
A few drinks later we were off to a club called Spirit and it was quite the place. The music was standard club rattle but the on-stage performance was something. Swordfights, juggling with fire, and a little S & M. Midway through our Spirit experience the group lost Dylan and before we knew it I received a text saying that he has gone home to bed! Lightweight! (JK.) Ryan, Christine and I went to Tommy Rockets a blatant inferior rip-off restaurant (with the same prices) to Johnny Rockets and had a quick midnight snack (a burger). This turned out to be the healthiest bit of late night eating I did on the trip. Then off to bed.
Day 2 started about mid-day. Ryan and I met up and went for a bite to eat and then on the bus tour. The tour was fine but it was raining at the time so it wasn’t as good as it should have been. We then met up with Dylan and went to see the Book of Kells. The exhibit was very good and the library above the exhibit is amazing. In fact the library in the second episode of Star wars was modelled after it.
The original plan for the evening was to go on a pub crawl that Dylan runs. He runs the crawl twice a week normally and every day in the summer. This plan was scrapped when Dylan decided to surprise us. It turns out that he got an invite for a special event at the Guinness Storehouse. It was art premier event and whilst the art was a little modern for me the free stout and wine was great. Afterwards we walked back to Trinity stopping off at about a dozen pubs along the way. We stopped off at a tiny room that DJ’s frequent and listened to some of the music. We also tried to catch up to the pub crawl, but they had already finished at the Firehouse (a huge club that is built in an old fire fighter station.) The last thing we did for the night was to stop off for Kebabs at temple bar.
Day three saw Ryan and me start quite late in the day. We walked over to Dublin castle and stopped off in a great little museum: the Chester Beatty Library, which was right beside the castle. It was quite an enjoyable experience. The exhibits were very well done and it was very quiet. It was almost like we were had a private viewing.
After the Library we journeyed back to the Guinness Storehouse and took the tour. The place is well done, and you get a free pint at the end. The bar at the top also gives a great panoramic view of Dublin.
Once we had a quick bite to eat, we met up with Dylan and began the pub crawl. The crawl was fun and there were quite a few people on it. We went to many places, many of which we had briefly visited the night before. Most of the people came from the states but there were a few British, one French and an Auzzie (Jodie.) As the night went on and the group started to disperse Ryan, Jodie and I found ourselves seeking out Kebabs again. I was in bed by 04:30.
Sunday was the day of the big Six Nations match. I met up with Ryan and Dylan around noon and we talked for a while in the graduate common room. Later on, we met up with Jodie and sought out a pub to watch the game. We watched an exciting first half in a small pub at which point Dylan became restless and we began to wander. Seen as every pub in Dublin was packed, it was impossible to see much of the second half, but from the score line, England really ran away with the game. It was interesting to walk through Dublin as it seemed abandoned. Dylan then decided that we needed to visit a few pubs at which point we proceeded to run another pub gauntlet. We visited many pubs from the smallest one in Dublin to some of the largest. Many of them were amazing to behold.
Around seven we retreated to Trinity and had a quick bite to eat. The next stop in our adventure was another house party north of the river. The people in the house were very interesting, but most had only a basic grasp of English so communication was laboured. We stayed there for a couple of hours and then left for some food. After a lot of walking, Dylan decided to call it a night and Ryan an I walked into Temple bar. We found that most of the bars and pubs were closed (around 22:30 on a Sunday?) so we went and got some more kebabs and called it a night.
Monday was very quiet. After some serious drinking and late nights for the past four days I wasn’t in much of a mood to do anything. We did go to a book release party and do a little touristy shopping. The flight home was quick. I spent more time in the airports than on the flight. Overall it was an amazing trip and Dylan was a great host. If you ever find yourself in Dublin, check out the pub crawl as it is a great way to meet people.